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Crowd-Funded Cusby Tackles MacBook's USB Type-C Connectivity Problem

One of the big questions raised when Apple revealed its new MacBook is how you'd connect multiple devices to it with its single USB Type-C port, which doubles as the notebook's only charging port. You could always buy a special docking station or dongle, but the Cusby team thinks it has come up with a better solution, called, um, "Cusby."

The Cusby team started a campaign on Indiegogo to build Cusby, and you can preorder it there through various different donations. The team doesn't have a single word to describe what Cusby is, but explains it as "The first ever modular and expandable solution that unlocks the USB-C port of the new MacBook." We describe it as a modular docking station, although even that is a stretch of the imagination.

Included in the most extensive Cusby pre-order pack are three little bricks and one extension wire. The bricks are simple. One end has a USB Type-C male plug, the opposing end has a female Type-C port, and on one of the sides is a Type-C charging port, a USB Type-A port, or an HDMI port. You can daisy-chain the modules and therefore use them all at the same time, but connect only the ones you need. At the end of the chain will still be a Type-C port, for when commensurately equipped devices do finally hit the market.

The campaign has a handful of tiers, with the least expensive one starting at $39. For that you get one extension cable and one Cusby block of your choice. The Cusby Essential Pack will come with an extension cable, a USB Type-C Power Charging Cusby, and a USB Type-A Cusby for $65. Ten dollars more buys you the Early Bird Cusby ProPack, which comes with all three units and the extension cable.

Of course, the Cusby works not just for the USB Type-C port on the new MacBook, but with any USB Type-C port. Even so, the new MacBook is obviously the product for which it's intended.

The Indiegogo campaign should be live now. Delivery should take place in October if it hits the $15,000 funding goal on time and if all else goes according to plan.  

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • hitman400
    To be honest, this solution looks ugly. I would much rather take the solution that acts as a stand for your laptop, a battery, and a bunch of other ports. That is not only thought out better, but it actually makes the Macbook having 1 port look less silly.
    Reply
  • xenol
    To be honest, this solution looks ugly. I would much rather take the solution that acts as a stand for your laptop, a battery, and a bunch of other ports. That is not only thought out better, but it actually makes the Macbook having 1 port look less silly.
    Maybe like a flat dock that raises it about a port's height? It'd be out of the way and wouldn't raise the laptop's angle.
    Reply
  • usertests
    The solution: don't buy a MacBook
    Reply
  • johnnycanadian
    "Cusby"? So after you buy it, it'll slip you a Quaalude and you'll wake up with a sore a$$?
    Reply
  • Dan414
    I really wish Apple had put another port on the other side, but remind me again why you need multiple ports? USB 3.1 is supposed to allow charging from other devices like a monitor, which has to be plugged in already, while still delivering data. If you need to plug in a flash drive, you can do that at the monitor or whatever device you're using
    Reply
  • Quixit
    I really wish Apple had put another port on the other side, but remind me again why you need multiple ports? USB 3.1 is supposed to allow charging from other devices like a monitor, which has to be plugged in already, while still delivering data. If you need to plug in a flash drive, you can do that at the monitor or whatever device you're using

    I want to charge it while using my mouse. That's a pretty common request.
    Reply
  • Dan414
    16295730 said:

    I want to charge it while using my mouse. That's a pretty common request.

    You have a mouse with USB type-c connector?
    The simplest solution is a wireless mouse. But if you want to use a legacy USB type A mouse, you'll need an adaptor anyway.

    Edit: Also, using a mouse, you miss out on the force-touch enabled trackpad, which is conveniently built in.
    Reply
  • hitman400
    16295065 said:
    To be honest, this solution looks ugly. I would much rather take the solution that acts as a stand for your laptop, a battery, and a bunch of other ports. That is not only thought out better, but it actually makes the Macbook having 1 port look less silly.
    Maybe like a flat dock that raises it about a port's height? It'd be out of the way and wouldn't raise the laptop's angle.

    Yes, I'm not sure if its being crowdfunded or already exists, but I have seen it somewhere.
    Reply
  • bigpinkdragon286
    Basic usage scenarios have caused Apple's form over function motif for this piece of equipment to be a serious constraint. Equipment is generally meant to be used, not just looked at. In regards the engineering of a complete item, Apple has demonstrated yet again how very short sighted they are. What is the actual problem these devices are being created to solve, the need for better looking equipment, or the need to get work done? Sounds like somebody has a Don Quixote problem of championing solutions to problems that aren't really there, while ignoring actual needs.
    Reply
  • Dan414
    16297033 said:
    Basic usage scenarios have caused Apple's form over function motif for this piece of equipment to be a serious constraint. Equipment is generally meant to be used, not just looked at. In regards the engineering of a complete item, Apple has demonstrated yet again how very short sighted they are. What is the actual problem these devices are being created to solve, the need for better looking equipment, or the need to get work done? Sounds like somebody has a Don Quixote problem of championing solutions to problems that aren't really there, while ignoring actual needs.

    Anyone buying the MacBook is probably buying it for form as a part of its function (light, thin, easy to carry or put in a bag). The internals are not designed for heavy processing. The flexibility of the type-C connector allows the single port option to work, even without chunky adapters like this, for the target audience of this hardware.

    And in the end, if you charge enough windmills, you'll find giants eventually.
    Reply