USB-C: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

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Most of the new laptops are 13.1mm at their thickest point, which leaves the space for I/O ports with the size of 7.5mm USB socket. Any connector still needs few vertical clearances internally to connect to motherboard and rest of the system. To solve the issue of manufacturer build thinner and lighter laptops and tablet USB-C connector is introduced.

What Is USB Type C?

USB-C is a hot new industry-standard connector, and cable is used for both connectivity and power. The USB Type-C connector was developed by USB Implementers Forum a group of companies which has developed, certified, and shepherded the USB standard. There are 700+ companies in its membership, including major brands like Dell, HP, Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Samsung, Lenovo, and Asus. Now USB-C is becoming more important because it is likely to be accepted by the majority of PC manufacturers.

So, It’s Like Micro USB?

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The USB-C connector looks like a micro USB connector at first impression; but it is slightly thicker to support its best features: Lightning and MagSafe, the USB-C connector has no up or down orientation. You can plug in the connector without flipping it. The cables also have the same connector on both ends so you won’t have to have to figure out which end to the plugin, unlike older USB cables we’ve been seeing and using for past 20 years.

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Is This USB 3.1?

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Yup, it is USB 3.1, which is theoretically twice as fast as USB 3.0 and it is fully compatible electrically with USB 3.0. However, you won’t be able to plug in physically without an adapter. It is as fast as the original specs for Thunderbolt (10Gbps).

What About Those Adapters?

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Few laptops don’t come with any adapters aside from charger and single USB-C cable. Others will be available separately. Apple’s USB-C to USB 3.0 adapter will cost $19, but that one which will provide you optimum performance is expensive at $49 USB-C AV Multiport Adapter which provides USB 3.1 Gen 1 (old connector), USB-C pass-through for charging and HDMI port. The USB-C is an industry-standard connector, the cheaper adapter is inevitable.

What Else Does it Support?

The USB-C connector supports HDMI, DisplayPort, power, USB, and VGA. Thunderbolt replaced the Thunderbolt which is superseded by USB-C just like FireWire.

What about Power?

Apple MacBook comes with 29-watt power supply while the larger laptop has 85-to-135-watt power supplies. Traditional AC adapter uses a morass of different sizes. Indications are that the USB-C standard supports at least 100 watts of power delivery, so it’s possible that USB-C could replace most power adapters as a standard in the future.

So, I’ll Have to Buy New Cables and Adapters?

Unfortunately, Yes, you will have to buy. However, once you a cable or two the will work with everything that supports USB-C. Unlike the situation, you might be facing today.

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Adeel Younas
Editor-in-Chief at TechWafer (previously The Tech) an Entrepreneur, Blogger, Developer, and Freelancer.

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