Currently Being ModeratedMay 22, 2012 11:55 AM (in response to pulpman)
My sympathies because we all suffer from this engineering decision. The only recourse you have is to use an extension cable which will allow you to use both or an external hub. If you want to send a little extra money, get a 17" MBP which has three USB ports and then you will have enough room to use two at the same time without any adapters, but not all three.
Currently Being ModeratedMay 22, 2012 12:10 PM (in response to OGELTHORPE)
Thanks for your reply. I don't understand ""engineering decision" Is there a valid reason for apple to do This?
Also, does apple sell the exteernal cable, or could a a simple insert with two hubs be plugged in to one of them?
Currently Being ModeratedMay 22, 2012 12:17 PM (in response to pulpman)
Unfortunately, this isn't just an Apple thing. Many manufacturers have their USB ports set up the same way. I can only guess there must be a significant cost savings in having the two ports located in the same spot.
Currently Being ModeratedMay 22, 2012 12:39 PM (in response to pulpman)
When ever a product as complicated as a MBP is designed a variety of factors come into play when determining the final design. (materials, components, costs, manufacturing considerations, ergonomics etc.) Decisions often have to be made in favor of one factor at the expense of another. There are, fortunately, ways around the 'problem' you have mentioned and I suspect that the Apple engineers were aware of that when they made their final choices.
I have included some representative examples of the options that are available to surmount this problem.
I am not necessarily endorsing these particular items. Cables should be as short as possible. I use one that is six inches long.
Currently Being ModeratedMay 22, 2012 12:49 PM (in response to pulpman)
The USB ports are close together because there's very little space in the MBP case design to fit all the ports into. If you look at what's inside the case, you'll see at a glance that the right edge of the case is fully occupied by the optical drive and hard drive; the front edge by the hard drive and the battery, the back edge by the display hinge, cooling vents and airport card (inside the hinge cover), and only the portion of the left edge that isn't occupied by the battery is left over for ports.
There are many USB devices and plugs that are narrow enough to use side by side in the MBP's USB ports. You need to be careful to buy those from now on, not just any USB cable, flash drive, etc.