MacBook Air: Could this be the first laptop computer with just ONE port?

Posted on by Mike Evans

Yesterday I was talking about the Henge Dock and the desire to click a laptop computer into its desk home with minimal effort, not to mention with minimal cable clutter. But, probably, the best dock of all is just one cable to connect your laptop to everything. 

If rumours are to be believed, however, the forthcoming 12in MacBook Air will feature just one port, the USB 3.1 Type-C connector, capable of transmitting both data and higher power in both directions. This would be miniaturisation of a tall order but, if it works, could be the stuff of dreams. Imagine: One cable, connected to a hub containing a power-supply unit, and all the ports we need as well as other useful stuff such as an SD-card slot. Cable bliss, no less.

Apple has never been shy when it comes to ditching ports and drives. It was the first company to pension off the 3.5in disk drive, the first to banish the DVD slot (how could we ever manage without a disk drive?) and has been assiduous in whittling down the number of communications ports. The current 11in MacBook Air, for instance, makes do with one Thunderbolt slot (which also powers an external monitor) two USB sockets, a MagSafe power connector and an audio port. It doesn't take too much of a leap of imagination to whittle all this down to just one USB Type C. Roll on the day.

Read Jason Snell on the rumoured MacBook Air 12

Postscript: some reports describe the rumoured Air as having "two ports".  Since one of them would be an audio socket I have discounted it. It just isn't relevant. This will be a one-port device to all intents and purposes.