One port to rule them all

apple usb

The new MacBook has just one port. It charges, it powers USB devices, it connects to monitors, it slices, it dices.

The single port uses a brand-spankin'-new technology called USB-C. It is about a third of the size of a standard USB port, giving Apple (AAPL) the ability to make the new MacBook its thinnest and lightest Mac ever.

But that simplicity and thinness come with big tradeoffs: For people who want to use their existing, standard USB devices with the laptop, they'll have to buy an $80 adapter.

Apple's gamble (and hope) is that the rest of the PC industry soon follows suit, and USB-C becomes an industry standard.

First published December 2, 2015: 10:04 AM ET