Apple laptops are known to be one of the best laptop lineups on the market, which have an option for everyone, be it a business, working professionals, or students.
These laptops are also among the most powerful ones, packing insane performance in their small chassis, with a premium look, solid build quality, and a clean thin, and light design.
However, any MacBook user will know that these devices do not come cheap.
Though it’s alright for Professionals, students cannot afford such a huge amount for a laptop. MacBook Air solves this problem. This post will let readers know if MacBook Air has a USB port.
1. The MacBook Air
The MacBook Air is a lighter, less powerful, and cheaper version of its more premium counterparts, the MacBook Pros. MacBook Air costs USD 999 (or INR 99900) for the base model with an M1 chip and USD 1199 (or INR 119900) for the base model with an M2 chip.
The M1 MacBook Air is among the best ultrabook laptops in its price range, making it one of the best student options.
It handles almost everything thrown at it effortlessly and is deemed a better option than the 13-inch MacBook Pro by many; it comes with a very frustrating issue, a severe lack of ports. This raises the question if the MacBook Air has a USB port.
2. Does MacBook Air has a USB port?
The important question is, does a MacBook Air have a USB port? The M1 MacBook Air has a USB port, including two USB type C ports on the left and a 3.5 mm headphone jack for audio output on the right. Both the USB C are thunderbolt 3, have a 100W PD, and can connect external devices.
Important ports like an HDMI or a USB A port are unavailable, forcing people to invest more money on adapters, which cost a fortune in the Apple store.
Apple has always been nasty with its USB port options, with the iPhones still haven’t switched to a USB C and still using a lightning cable instead of a USB C cable, while the iPad recently switched completely to a USB C cable for its full lineup. Apple also removed important ports like a USB A and HDMI from its 2020 Macs.
3. Convert the Dual USB C Ports
Though the MacBook Air has a USB Port, they are not enough. To use other ports on a MacBook, we have to use an external adapter that converts either one thunderbolt USB C or both thunderbolt USB C ports simultaneously to other ports like more USB c ports, USB A ports, HDMI, sd card readers, ethernet, etc.
These adapters are very expensive in the Apple store. However, there are many cheaper options available.
4. Are Options Available?
To buy a good USB C adapter, you must know your requirements first. Ports like USB a port, extra USB C ports, and an HDMI port are mandatory, while other ports like ethernet and SD/TF card readers depend on the user’s needs.
There are many USB adapter options available on the market ranging from USD 20/INR 2000-3000 and going all the way up to USD 100/INR 10000-15000.
I will list some of the adapters at every price range:
4.1 Anker 555 PowerExpand USB C Adapter (8-in-1) – Best Overall
One of the best options on the market for someone looking for a good USB C adapter is the Anker 555 PwerExpand. It created a USB C connection to:
- Two USB C ports, one which supports 10 Gbps of data transfer, while the other that can support 85W of USB C Power Delivery
- An HDMI port that can support resolutions up to 4K 60Hz, when most other adapters cap at 4k 30Hz.
- An SD Card reader that has a rating of UHS-I (104MBps)
It is lightweight, weighing just around 130g for all the Power it provides, and costs around USD 99.99/INR 15,499, which is definitely on the more expensive side, but all the features it provides make it worth that price.
You can also connect it to other devices, like an iPhone or an iPad Pro.
- USB C to 8 USB ports
- One USB c with 85 W PD and another USB C with 10Gbps data transfer speed
- 4k 60Hz HDMI support for external display.
- Sometimes gets warm during use, though Anker says it’s normal
- Older UHS-I SD card reader
- Pretty expensive.
4.2 Ugreen 4-in-1 USB 3.0 Hub – Multiple USB-A Ports
Ugreen USB 3.0 Hub is the best option if you want to simultaneously connect your MacBook to 4 USB A ports, which can transfer data at 5Gbps.
It also has a USB c port that can provide 10W of Power to the connected devices but cannot charge the host mac. Though it has 4 USB A ports, the maximum number of Hard drives that can be connected simultaneously is two.
- 4 USB ports and 5Gbps transfer speed.
- USB c port with 10 W of PD to connected devices
- Only suitable for USB c to USB a connection.
- Cannot charge host device using USB c connector
4.3 BESTOR USB C Hub HDMI Adapter- Best Budget-Friendly Option
Bestor’s USB C Hub is one of the cheapest on the market, costing around INR 1281. It can perform all the basic connector tasks that you expect and can convert a USB c port to an SD/TF card reader, 1 HDMI port, 2 USB A ports, and one USB C port, and it also has an ethernet port.
The USB C port allows 55 W of charging, which is pretty good at this price point, and the HDMI port can support 4k 30Hz on an external display and 60Hz on lower resolutions.
It is super lightweight, weighing just 100g.
- Extreme Value for money
- USB C port with 55W PD
- 4k 30Hz external display support
- Very basic functionality
5. Author’s Choice:
5.1 Verilux® USB C Hub for MacBook
I have been a MacBook Air user for more than a year, and from the very first day, I felt the need for a USB adapter. The adapter used is the Verilux 7-in-1 USB C hub for MacBook.
It connects to both the USB C ports on your MacBook Air simultaneously and converts them to two USB A ports, two USB C ports, an SD/TF card reader, and an HDMI port, which can support 4k.
It is pretty basic, which was suitable for my needs. Basic needs like connecting a mouse, an external display, or using an SD card and the hard drive are pretty convenient with this USB hub. It is also very inexpensive, costing around INR 2700.
However, the biggest con is that it connects to both USB C ports simultaneously, and these thunderbolt ports are much better than what Verilux provides, so while connecting it, you lose a lot of PD and data transfer speeds.
6. Need a Headphone Jack Today?
Apple removed a lot of USB ports, like the basic thunderbolt port and a traditional USB port, when it refreshed its MacBook lineup in 2020, creating a lot of fuss in the Apple community.
However, Apple said it had to do that to keep a MacBook thin and light (the same reason Apple claims why the MacBook air does not have a fan).
Though with its 2021 refresh of new MacBook Pro models and 2022 refresh of the new MacBook Air, Apple introduced various new ports back to the MacBook, like MagSafe, an HDMI port, a USB A port, and a thunderbolt four-port, which surely reduced a lot of burden for mac users.
Apple also introduced the Mac Studio, Apple’s most powerful Mac device, with a wide variety of port options.
Though it might or might not be that a MacBook Air has a USB, it has always been loyal to headphone jacks. Even the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models have a headphone jack. Even when they removed all the ports and kept a bare minimum of just two USB C, they did not remove the headphone jack.
I feel it is really important to have a headphone jack on a laptop because most laptops are used for heavy tasks like video editing, productivity, development, etc.; having an audio output only through Bluetooth will be uncomfortable and reduce performance.
A wired audio output option is always favorable, and MacBook Air and Macbook Pro models have retained the same.
7. Do your Research
It is always favorable to do your research before buying your new MacBook. Though the lack of ports is not a big deal for some people, and they can manage using an external adapter, it is a real dealbreaker for others.
So, before buying a new MacBook, say a MacBook Air, do your research to see whether a MacBook Air has a USB port and whether they are enough for you or if you want more.
The MacBook Pro is a solid machine that can handle extensive tasks like 4k video editing, AI-Ml development, graphic designing, etc., without a sweat.
The new I/O options on the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air makes the MacBook one of the best laptop lineups on the market.
Did you like the information we provided regarding the I/O options on a MacBook Air? Do comment to let us know if you have any other useful information we can include in our blog. Also, read this post to free up space on a MacBook.