Dongle. Dongles. It’s one of those words that if you say it enough times, it starts to lose its meaning. And yet, for some companies looking to drum up a competitive spirit against Apple, those dongles are an important factor.

Why? Mostly because they want to show that their machines don’t need them. Devices like Microsoft‘s Surface Pro 7 and plenty of other similar devices (running Windows 10) have more than one port, which, by default, means it can support more external devices without needing any dongles. Meanwhile, the most powerful tablet on the market, the iPad Pro, only has that USB-C port. You can get a Magic Keyboard and add a USB-C port, though!

So, in some use cases, dongles are a requirement.

But as you can imagine, it comes down to the individual. What their needs are on a daily basis. That’s obviously where the initial purchase even stems from — do you go with an iPadOS-powered tablet or the Windows 10 experience on a non-Apple manufacturer? But that’s just one element of a multi-factored decision tree. Why are you buying the product in the first place? And so on and so forth.

I’ve seen what the dongle life can look like. In many public outings to coffee shops across the United States, I’ve seen people bring out their mobile workstations and, well, get to work. And in some of those cases, they’ve had more cables and external products than I could even count. And each time I remember looking at my own setup: my MacBook Air, an iPad Pro, and that’s it.

It’s a lingering issue, but I oftentimes think about switching from Mac to Windows. Sometimes I go through with it, but ultimately I always come back. And while I have my reasons for wanting to switch at the time, I can say that it’s never been a dongle issue. Because I’ve never had to deal with it. Knock on wood that doesn’t change anytime soon.

These companies have to have some statistics they’re looking at when they keep leaning into these arguments, that’s how often I hear about dongles. Both Microsoft and Intel raised those concerns pretty recently! And that’s why I’m curious to hear about it now from you.

While the iPad is tossed under the bus more often than not when it comes to dongles, the MacBook Air/Pro lineups are certainly prone to being pointed out, too. So I want to know: do you live that dongle life? And, if so, is it mostly because of work? And how many dongles do you need to rely on every single day? Let me know!