Hyperdrive, Thunderbolt USB-C hub for MacBook Pro

Ever since I got my swanking new MacBook Pro about a week ago, I had to deal with Thunderbolt 3 ports. The problem is, there is nothing I can do with Thunderbolt 3 ports on my MacBook Pro, since I have no peripherals at hand that uses them. So I can’t connect my external drives, my SD cards, charge my iPhone, or use my thumbdrives.

Getting the Hyperdrive Thunderbolt USB-C hub for the MacBook Pro seems like the most economical way to expand my ability to connect my ‘legacy’ devices using ‘legacy’ ports.

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I purchased off from their Indiegogo website and within a week and a half it arrived at my doorstep. The Thunderbolt USB-C hub allows me to connect to an external monitor via HDMI, has an SD card and MicroSD card slot, and offers 2 USB 3.0 ports in addition to Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports just like what the MacBook Pro originally provided. The good thing about this hub is that it allows power passthrough, meaning you can charge the laptop while this hub is connected directly to it. The strange thing however, is that the hub uses both Thunderbolt ports to connect the hub. Once connected, only the top Thunderbolt port allows for charging and not the bottom one.

But still this hub greatly expanded my abilty to connect with other devices like I mentioned just now.

Another aspect of this hub that I really like is that the design of the hub is such that it sits flushed right next to the laptop. Buy the hub that matches the colour of your laptop, and it looked pretty natural – like an extension to your already great looking laptop. It doesn’t look bulky, or out of place and the build quality is pretty good, all aluminium, with pretty decent parts. Plus, it comes with a nice, snugly little leather pouch to safety store your hub away when not in use.

Dealing with such hubs can be annoying, but it is a necessity if you wish to walk down a path, using a laptop with nothing but Thunderbolt Ports. So for those who wish to walk down this path, know that you need a little bit more investment in choosing the right dongles or hub so that all your devices you currently have play nice with your new Macbook laptops. The Hyperdrive Thunderbolt USB-C hub manages to tick all the right things when it comes to portability, design and build quality without breaking the bank (US$69).

The rationale behind the Macbook Pro purchase.

Yesterday my Macbook Pro arrived. I ordered the laptop 2 days ago, which is just a couple of days after it was officially announced. On the day I placed my order for the new laptop, I put my Lenovo laptop up for sale on Carousell. I was pleasantly surprised to receive multiple offers to buy my laptop second hand. I finalised the deal with one of the buyer and decided to meet later during the night to complete the transaction. Meanwhile, it was a race against time to backup all my data and reset the laptop to its original factory settings. I had around 3 hours to do all that before our agreed upon meeting time and place.

Ever since getting my laptop, I have been reflecting deeply behind the true motivations in clicking that buy button. Why did I click it? My Lenovo laptop was perfecting fine. I like that laptop quite a lot, especially the keyboard. The keyboard is a joy to type on, and no doubt one of the best keyboard available out there on a mobile device. So what compelled me to click on that buy button?

Impulse is definitely at play here. It was a snap decision. Rarely do I make large purchases without thinking through it carefully first. It will take me weeks, sometimes months to finally make my decision, going through carefully every pros and cons. This time however, I immediately bought it after the official announcement at WWDC. But then again, one can argue that I buy because I know that Mac products are top notch. You can’t go wrong when it comes to Apple products. Having owned and used the Mac Mini (my first foray into the Mac ecosystem) and then upgrading to the MacBook Air, it feels natural to finally be part of the big league and get for myself a MacBook Pro. My gut instincts told me that this is a great time to get a new one. Despite only a spec bump and a new generation of CPU, the overall design of the MacBook Pro, in my opinion, is already highly refined. And the machine does look extremely beautiful and elegant. I had no problem with the weight, as the design philosophy has been adopted from that of the MacBook Air. So it seemed natural to sacrifice just a little bit of weight for a rather large increase in overall computing power.

Another reason might be the fact that deep down, I miss the Mac. It has been a couple of years since I passed on my Macbook Air for my dad to use. Ever since then, I’ve never used that laptop any longer. Then I got myself a DIY gaming rig, which I love it to death till this day because it was built with my own two hands. I have no intention of upgrading that PC or getting a new one anytime soon and expect that PC to last a very long while. So as far as a desktop PC is concerned, I have it covered even though its a Windows based PC.

My Lenovo was bought on a budget, with the rationale that it would only be used for school. Ever since I started my Master’s Programme in NUS, that laptop has served me well. The laptop is just 7 months old when I decided to sell it off. Like I said it’s perfectly fine. It’s all plastic, which is again, fine, but now that I have the Macbook Pro, the design and build quality is miles apart. Holding the MacBook Pro in hand in hands and on my lap, reminded me once again at the level of care and attention to detail when designing their products. There is just something magical about their devices. It may not be the most powerful devices and it don’t come cheap, but you are well assured that its a quality product. That X-factor of art and technology coming together to create a product not just to use but to enjoy and experience. That is something you don’t encounter everyday with other tech gadgets and products.

Will I regret splashing two thousand dollars on a laptop on impulse? Probably not, since I know Mac products really well and they have never disappointed me so far. Will I enjoy this laptop for many years to come? Hell yeah.

WWDC 2016

There is only one thing that I am interested in.

New MacBook Pros!

I have a feeling that they will not reveal any hardware this year at WWDC. Rumours on new MacBook Pros have been sparse lately, except for the fact that it might come out with a snazzy little OLED panel display at the top of the keyboard, just beneath the screen. How rad is that? Other than that, no one knows anything at the moment. And now that WWDC is just around the corner, I am quite certain I will be disappointed.

Still I am wiling to sacrifice some sleep to watch the live stream of WWDC, happening in just under an hour. Fingers crossed, really hard for some hard announcements. I really need to upgrade my MacBook Air. Its long overdue.

Cmon Apple, time to surprise us. Use your magic thingy to wow and dazzle us!

Bluelounge – Studiodesk

Bluelounge is one of many companies that I come across purely from the internet. They make some really innovative products, mainly geared towards Apple products. They also have some great cable management solutions.

I went to Courts Tampines the other day and I came across the Bluelounge Studiodesk. The desk offers the most complete, and effective solution to hide your messy cables from your desktop or notebook underneath the table. It has a slit, that allows the cable to pass through and connect to your notebook or computer on the desk. You can slide the desk out to access your hidden cables.

 

Courts was originally selling at S$999. But when I was there, they were clearing stock and selling for only S$299. I took the chance to buy for several reasons:

1. I want to revamp my room again. I am going to give up my bedroom to my dad. That room will be his study room with bookshelves and and the teakwood table that I am using currently as my computer desktop. That way, he will have his own study room on his own. That means I will give up my bed.

2. I will sleep in my study room in the near future during the revamp. To save space, I have decided to choose a sofa-bed, that would serve two purposes. A sofa during day time for guests or for me to relax during daytime and a bed for me to sleep in. I am concerned about the comfort of the bed though, since sofa-beds are not known for comfort during sleep. The Studiodesk is slightly wider than my current table and I would need all the space saving I can get. But the sofa-bed is not confirmed yet. I might resort back to a super-single back. But with that in mind, I would need think through seriously on the rearrangment of furnitures around my room.

3. I am getting a Macbook air/pro, with the intention of using that as a desktop replacement. I might want to give my current Mac mini to my dad for him to use. And he would need a monitor too. So I would give him that. For the time being, I would use my new notebook as a desktop replacement. The Studiodesk would look minimalistic.

I hope by april/may, everything would be in place.