David Sparks, a.k.a. MacSparky on the rumored 12 inch MacBook Air
I think a higher resolution MacBook Air is a swell idea but if Mark Gurman is right and the new machine has just one USB port to cover power, external display, and external devices, I’m going to go on record as saying that is a little bit crazy. Can you image having to unplug your external drive so you can print or unplugging your power so you can connect a scanner?
MacSparky is a smart guy. He has lots of good thoughts, and the Mac Power Users Podcast he hosts is great. But printers? Scanners? Someone using a Mac for work could potentially run into this problem with printers (are scanners used commonly that often?), but even with printers many are wireless or network printers anyway.
That doesn’t completely invalidate the point, only one USB/power port is potentially issue. It is more an issue though if there isn’t a way to charge the device and use a USB device at the same time (there might be some sort of adapter that would support this). The 13-inch MacBook Airs only have two USB ports, and anyone that would need to use them would almost certainly be at a desk of some sort that could easily house a USB hub as well.
The way this machine is being theorized it doesn’t seem like it is designed for someone who is often somewhere with a scanner, printer or multiple USB devices to plug in. It seems geared more towards someone who doesn’t need lots of power, just loads of portability and more than an iPad offers.
Of course all of this is just speculation on rumors anyway.