Apple made waves this year by ditching the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and abandoning ports with the MacBook Pro (save for the Thunderbolt 3). The latter was arguably the more significant alteration, because creative professionals (graphic designers, musicians, photographers) now need adaptive dongles to connect any of their existing devices. Heck, you can’t even charge your new iPhone 7 with your new MacBook Pro without an adaptor.
The Thunderbolt 3 ports do come with some advantages: they connect at 40Gbps — the fastest connection available to date — and can transfer data, output video and charge the MacBook Pro all from a single port. Fortunately, for many the new MacBook Pros — a GP100 award winner — will be worth the minor inconvenience of having to use dongles. Also, change takes time, and Apple has recognized that. Since announcing the MacBook Pro, Apple has cut costs on most of their USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 dongles until the end of 2016. Here are 10 of the most important ones you’ll need and why.
Editor’s Note: As Mac users, we believe that if you have the option to buy first-party dongles, use it. Apple also endorses some trusted third-party manufacturers, like Belkin and SanDisk. For a full list of USB-C accessories, go here.
USB-C to Lightning Cable by Apple $19
Connect any Lightning-equipped iPhone, iPad or iPod directly into your MacBook Pro.
USB-C to USB Adapter by Apple $9
Connect any standard USB accessories to your MacBook Pro. This includes digital cameras, wireless headphone chargers, thumb drives or your current iPhone charger.
Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter by Apple $29
To connect your MacBook Pro to desktop monitors and external disks.
Thunderbolt 3 to Dual HDMI Adapter by StarTech $92
Connect your MacBook Pro to an HDMI display. This supports up to 4K resolutions with a refresh rate of 30Hz.
USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter by Apple $49
If you own a projector, this adaptor will let you mirror your MacBook Pro’s screen on the projector in up to 1080p HD. (There are also ports for USB and USB-C.)
Dual USB-C and USB Flash Drive by SanDisk $15
External storage for your old MacBook and new MacBook Pro. For the person who prefers not to save all of their files to the iCloud.
USB-C to USB-C by Apple $19
In case you want a backup charging cable for your MacBook Pro.
Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter by Apple $29
In the event that there is no wi-fi.
USB-C to SD Card Reader by SanDisk $29
Quickly upload photos from an SD card to your MacBook Pro.
Thunderbolt 3 Adapter Combination dock by Satechi $60
Bundle all the ports you need. This dock connects via Thunderbolt 3 and has ports for USB 3.0, USB-C and 4K HDMI.
No Touch Bar. More reason to buy. Read the Review