The USB-C Connector
If you own one of the latest laptops, whether Windows PC, Chromebook Pixel, or Mac, you have most likely started using the new USB Type-C. The USB-C is a new connection standard port that aims at eliminating the problems of previous chargers where you had a new cable for every new digital gadget. For instance, whenever someone would purchase a new laptop, there was a high chance that the new power charger differs from your previous device, so you end up with an unused e-junk in your closet. That’s why the tech industry wants to fix this issue with the new standard USB-C cable.
That said, you’ve most probably also noticed the latest tablets, laptops, and phones at the office, school, or even at home no longer have the type-A USB port. The small oblong USB type-C has now taken over. And although iPad and iPhone users are still using Apple’s proprietary lightning connector, most of the recently manufactured devices come with the USB Type-C. Notably, some of the popular devices already utilizing USB Type-C are Samsung Galaxy phones, Huawei phones, Nintendo Switch, and MacBook Pro. Keep reading to learn more about this latest tech revolution.
What Is USB-C?
USB-C is a new type of connector that delivers power and data from and to computing devices. Unlike the older USB Type-A, USB-C has a rectangular shape with corners smoothed into a curve. One great advantage about the USB Type-C cable is that you can never insert it incorrectly, thanks to its symmetrical shape. This eliminates the frustrations people faced while using earlier USB connectors. Moreover, this connector is narrow enough, making it simple to fit your phone without any problems. As a result, USB-C can be a standard connector used in both phones and computers as well as devices such as game consoles.
What are the Advantages of USB-C?
There are several reasons to love the new USB-C connector, including:
- Size: The USB-C is much smaller in width and height than the Type-B and A connector, and it’s only slightly larger than the micro-USB connectors or Apple’s lightning. This plays a significant role in keeping USB ports cleaner in smartphones and laptops.
- Speed: USB-C has the latest version of USB protocol that delivers zippy speeds when making data transfers that can get to ten gigabits per second. However, the speed isn’t determined by the USB-C but by the USB standards such as 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1. Also, you should use devices that support the USB type C connector to achieve these high speeds.
- Powerful: The USB-C connector can provide a power output of up to 100 watts, which is enough for laptops. This is significantly more than the power output in USB Type-A and B. If you have a new smartphone with a USB-C port, it will charge quickly due to the significantly high power delivery.
- Symmetrical: Unlike the older USB cables, USB Type-C is reversible, so you can plug it in, either way, allowing for faster device connection.
- Durable: USB-C can withstand approximately 10,000 times of usage in both insertion and removal cycles. This is a significantly longer lifetime than other connectors like USB Type-A that can withstand about 1,500 insertion and removal cycles.
- Support: USB Type-C has excellent support from some globally established smartphone and laptop manufacturers such as Hp, Apple, Samsung, Dell, and more. This is proof that USB-C is universally accepted and supported.
- Safe and secure: The USB Type-C authentication program launched by the USB Implementer Forum aimed to protect against non-compliant USB threats. For instance, in case your smartphone detects a suspicious USB-C cable plugged in, it will interrupt both data and current flow to your phone.
How Can USB Type-C Be Less Confusing?
One thing that we can all agree on is that USB-C solves several frustrations associated with previous cables. However, acquiring the future isn’t a simple procedure, so learning a few things about the USB Type-C is vital. For instance, not all USB-C ports are identical, and not all USB-C cables function the same way. Therefore, if it’s your first time using a USB Type-C port, you need to pay attention to some vital details. On the other hand, using the traditional USB Type-A is relatively basic since anything you connect to it will still work. Things are no longer simple with the new USB Type-C because the cables and connectors might not work depending on your device’s features.
The main confusion with USB-C is that they come from different manufacturers, and they lack a clearly supported functionality list per device for every manufacturer or device. For example, you can never be sure if a certain USB-C cable will charge or power your tablet or laptop or whether it supports video. Manufacturers should standardize these cables to eliminate the possible frustrations and messes users may have to go through.
You may also confuse USB-C with Thunderbolt and USB 3.1 because they use the same connector. Since USB-C only refers to the size and shape of the plug, manufacturers should label Type-C cables with the proper specs. Also, it would be good to have all these cables standardized so that users can only have one connector instead of a variety.
Is USB-C Worth It?
USB Type-C isn’t just limited to devices such as tablets, laptops, and smartphones. With time, USB-C will make its way into other devices, so it’s clearly designed for the future. Therefore, if you think of going back to different connectors for different purposes, this may be a wrong decision. In fact, the USB-C may even replace Apple’s lightning connector on iPads and iPhones since it’s already on the latest MacBook. Therefore, upgrading to the USB Type-C is worth ensuring that you are ahead of the curve.
The new USB Type-C is here to stay. Many devices have already made a move to use this technology. With the USB-C connector, you will enjoy faster speeds, higher power output, durability, and more secure data transfer. However, manufacturers need to figure out a way to standardize these connectors instead of a variety without clearly supported functionality.
Why Call Tektonic
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Thanks to our friend David with CEU Technologies in Chicago for his help with this article.
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