Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Apple Thunderbolt adapters arriving in Apple stores

Apple's low-cost Thunderbolt adapters offer legacy I/O connectivity for newer Mac systems.

CNET - Part of Apple's keynote address at WWDC this morning was a demonstration of its new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro systems, which have not only done away with optical drives but have also streamlined other I/O offerings. In order to save space in its systems, Apple has combined USB 2.0 and 3.0 connections, but has also fallen to relying on its Thunderbolt connections to provide the I/O connectivity from older Mac systems.

Apple's new Thunderbolt adapters look like the white dongles of most of its other adapter offerings.
(Credit: Apple)
As the MacBook line has evolved over the years, Apple has attempted to remove legacy ports from the systems, including the Ethernet port from MacBook Air systems, FireWire from some MacBook systems, and the ExpressCard slot from all but its 17-inch MacBook Pro.

With the inclusion of Thunderbolt in its systems, what used to be Apple's reluctance to keep a port or two has become an opportunity for it to be rid of these altogether, especially since Thunderbolt allows for the addition of any I/O technology that is needed by the user. Currently both Apple's Thunderbolt Display and upcoming third-party docking stations offer similar opportunity, though they are relatively expensive and may include features (such as a display) that are not needed.       More