13 Disappearing Laptop Ports and How to Get Them Back

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Apple recently kicked over a hornet's nest filled with dongles when it unveiled a pair of iPhones that do away with the 3.5-mm audio jack. Unfortunately, in their zeal to save money and make their systems ever thinner, notebook vendors have also removed a lot of important connectors. Other technologies, like FireWire connectors, are just too obsolete for manufacturers to support, but if you still have devices that use them, you don't care how old they are. 
If you buy a new laptop today, you can rest assured that it will work with your old headphones, but there's a good chance it won't work with your camera's memory cards, wired office network or backup drive out of the box. The bleeding-edge 12-inch MacBook has only a single USB Type-C port to go with its audio jack, while the business-friendly Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon has room for three USB ports but eschews the Ethernet connection you need in many offices.  
To help you stay connected, we've detailed some of the most important ports (or drives) you might be missing and how to get them back with the right adapters. 

Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director on
Add a comment
  • stan zap Says:

    your website is broken i don't need 13 pages of 'click next to continue' for one line of text and a picture... my mouse has a scroll wheel for a reason

  • Nigel Appleby Says:

    Now I know why I still like my Toshiba 17 inch which I bought in 2010. The only problem has been a hard drive crash - and yes I did have a back up. It has an optical drive and most ports including an SD card reader. It is heavy and slower than my PC but it does everything that I want it to.

  • Pamm M. Says:

    Great article. As a small business owner the disappearing port issue has always been a problem!

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