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Nonda's Hub+ Looks To Solve MacBook Port Woes (Updated)

Got a new MacBook with only one USB Type-C port and a number of devices you need to connect? Nonda may have the tool you're looking for with its Hub+. This device is currently on Kickstarter and has already accumulated 2,102 backers pledging $243,145 at press time. The project, which seeks a goal of only $35,000, will cease taking pledges on June 16, 2015.

"When we ordered our new MacBooks in early April, we realized there was only one USB-C port, and we didn't know how we were going to connect our desktop monitors or other devices," the Kickstarter page said. "On a mission to solve this problem, we spent nights and weekends pouring [sic] over designs and testing prototypes. Finally, we arrived at the Hub+, the USB-C hub for the new MacBook.

The specifications show that the Hub+ provides two USB Type-C ports, three USB Type-A ports that can charge a mobile device, one SDXC card reader, one mini DisplayPort connector and a built-in lithium ion battery for charging phones even when you're away from your desk. This device has an aluminum alloy body and is smaller than a smartphone. The device will even charge your MacBook when a power cord is attached.

According to a timeline, early bird orders will begin shipping in late June followed by mass distribution in July. Those who pledge at least $79 will receive one Hub+ and a mini adapter, which is $20 off the regular retail price. Pledge $699 or more and get the Hub+ pack, which includes ten Hub+ units and ten adapters, and a thank-you note from Nonda. The $3,999 tier provides a 24k gold-plated Hub+ and adapter.

The big deal here is that Apple's new MacBook only comes with one USB Type-C port. Unlike most thin-and-light notebooks that manage to cram more than one USB 3.0/2.0 ports, Apple's solution is severely lacking. You can gauge from the numbers backing the Kickstarter project that Apple isn't providing the ideal solution for adding multiple devices to the MacBook at a reasonable price.

For instance, Apple sells a USB Type-C to USB adapter for $19. There's also a USB Type-C Digital AV Multiport adapter for $79, which only includes an HDMI port (cable sold separately), a USB Type-C port and a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port. For customers with a VGA-only monitor, there's a USB-C to VGA multi-port adapter for $79, as well.

With the Hub+ from Nonda, customers seem to be getting a lot of bang for the buck.

Update, 5/15/15, 11:08am PST: A representative told Tom's Hardware that within the first day, Nonda not only reached its funding goal, but also sold five 24K gold plated units. Ten days later, the company is expecting to break past its stretch goal of $250,000 and plot out additional stretch goals this week. These will be based on feedback from backers and public interest.

In addition to the new stretch goals, the representative said that based on feedback from backers, the company has ripped out the USB-A 2.0 ports and replaced them with USB-A 3.0 ports for a faster connection.

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  • brandonclone1
    lol WHAT! let me get this straight... you buy a $1300 laptop without looking at its features. then you realize you can't do what literally ev-er-y-one else does with their laptops. then you buy an $80 piece to make up for it. haha!
    Reply
  • Robert Ostrowski
    why would I read the specs? it has an apple on it,
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    Actually something like this would be great for other PC's as well. A full hub to support mointors, mice, flash drives, memory stick etc....... Then when you get home all you have to do is plug in one cable.

    However, the small usb connectors wear out and go bad, have intermittent connections etc.. So having one sucks long term, if it goes bad, you're screwed.
    Reply
  • ptmmac
    I would hope that anyone who put only one port on a computer would do some testing to see that it lasts. I suspect Apple has already done this. The usage case here is for people on the road who use wifi, charging and an occasional phone or usb drive connection. This is not a desktop computer.
    Reply
  • Haravikk
    lol WHAT! let me get this straight... you buy a $1300 laptop without looking at its features. then you realize you can't do what literally ev-er-y-one else does with their laptops. then you buy an $80 piece to make up for it. haha!
    More and more things are wireless these days, the only really problem with the Macbook is that this single port isn't in addition to a port for power (IMO an oversight), but if you don't actually need any wired devices then it doesn't matter. For example, if you're using a wireless back-up drive (e.g- a Time Capsule, or a NAS on a WiFi network), and wireless peripherals (e.g- Bluetooth mouse) then why do you need more than one port?

    Of course that's not true for everyone, so this hub may be a good way to get the same ultra-lightweight laptop without having to cut cables out completely, but not everyone will need it.
    Reply
  • none12345
    "For example, if you're using a wireless back-up drive (e.g- a Time Capsule, or a NAS on a WiFi network), and wireless peripherals (e.g- Bluetooth mouse) then why do you need more than one port?"

    Because all that wireless stuff just sucks? Ill take wired connections, and wired peripherals any day. The ~$7 wired keyboard im typing this message with. Utterly desotrys the $200 wireless keyboard i was using prior. The wired mouse im using while not as cheap as that since its a gaming mouse, also blows away the even more expensive wireless mouse i had before. Having to constantly change batteries is stupid. Having link loss is stupid, etc.

    And lets not even start on the craptastic wifi networking connections....(having owned dozens of different wifi routers from cheap to expensive, they all suck). From linkloss to having to reboot them all the time when they refuse to do anything wireless(the wired ports still work fine in these situations), to slower transfer speeds then wired.

    Having wired stuff just works, no hassle no fuss.

    So, ya id never buy a 1 port computer. Then have to buy a external hub to fix their idiocy. Put the hub internally like smart designer, and put appropriate ports in like a smart designer.
    Reply
  • KPOM
    Having wired stuff just works, no hassle no fuss.

    So, ya id never buy a 1 port computer. Then have to buy a external hub to fix their idiocy. Put the hub internally like smart designer, and put appropriate ports in like a smart designer.

    There's plenty of fuss with wired connections. Need to move to the other side of the room? Sorry. How well does a wired connection work on an airplane?

    If they had put all the ports in, it would have been thicker and heavier. The MacBook is intended for road warriors, who may need these ports maybe 5-10% of the time. It isn't intended to be a desktop computer. They are pushing the envelope as they usually do with removing ports. I think they should have come up with their own version of this for those who occasionally need connectivity, but their own options are a bit lacking. This kickstarter project seems like a good design.
    Reply
  • KPOM
    lol WHAT! let me get this straight... you buy a $1300 laptop without looking at its features. then you realize you can't do what literally ev-er-y-one else does with their laptops. then you buy an $80 piece to make up for it. haha!
    lol WHAT! let me get this straight... you buy a $1300 laptop without looking at its features. then you realize you can't do what literally ev-er-y-one else does with their laptops. then you buy an $80 piece to make up for it. haha!

    So in a few years when most notebooks come standard with USB-C ports and have dropped the legacy ports (just like most notebooks today no longer have DVD drives and most ultrabooks use adapters for Ethernet and external displays), I assume you'll retract your comment?

    I'm a bit surprised Apple didn't release one of these hubs themselves, but they have always been one to push the envelope with deleting ports, unlike PC manufacturers, some of whom still put VGA ports on their notebooks (that port is way past its expiration date).
    Reply
  • Christopher1
    However, the small usb connectors wear out and go bad, have intermittent connections etc.. So having one sucks long term, if it goes bad, you're screwed.
    Not true. My mother has a Kindle Fire that she plugs and unplugs a good 5 times daily and she has had it for over 2 years now.
    The small USB connectors do NOT go bad, have intermittent connections, etc. when you PROPERLY INSERT THE THINGS and DO NOT PUT UNDUE STRESS ON THEM.
    Those are the two issues behind what you describe, someone not properly using or abusing the connectors.
    Reply