In this Medium post praising the potential for USB-C on the new MacBook Pro, the author doesn’t fully address the ‘ESC key’gate issue. But I will concur that I don’t fully understand the dongle drama. My 5-year-old ThinkPad W520 can connect up to 11 peripherals; instead I wind up using one USB cable to which everything else is attached to, so as there’s actually less clutter & wires immediately surrounding the laptop. Seems like the MacBook Pro will induce similar solutions.
A million hot takes have been posted about how the late-2016 MacBook Pro with USB-C is the undeniable proof that Apple doesn’t care about developers anymore. They took away all the ports! No Esc key! It’s just a more expensive MacBook Air!
But in some ways, the new MacBook Pro is the most techy and expandable laptop Apple has ever made. They are trusting their pro users to wade into murky USB-C waters in search of the holy grail of a universal, open standard for moving data and power between devices.
I’m not here to change your mind about the MacBook Pro. Yes, it’s probably too expensive and more RAM is better than less RAM. But everyone posting complaints without actually using a MBP for a few weeks is missing out on all the clever things you can do because it is built on USB-C. Over the past week or two with a new MacBook Pro (15in, 2.9ghz, TouchBar), I’ve been constantly surprised with how USB-C makes new things possible. It’s a kind of a hacker’s dream.