So what is USB-C?

USB-C is the hot, new industry standard (developed by the USB Implementers Forum USB-IF) for connectivity and power.
It is faster (up to 10Gbps – it can download a HD movie in 30 seconds), more powerful (allows for backward charging between devices up to 3A and 100 watts) and better quality for audio and video (4k video and Ultra HD music). Over time, it will become the norm across all consumer electronics manufacturers. The standard USB connector you’re most familiar with is USB Type-A; its large and not best suited to the growing trend for micro thickness devices such as tablets, TVs or smartphones. Given larger USB ports simply won’t fit in smartphones, digital cameras, game controllers and all the other devices many other shapes of connector were born; including micro and mini connectors.

USB-C is about one third of the size of the older USB Type-A plug. With this new technology you’ll just need the one cable, whether you’re connecting an external hard drive to your laptop or charging any smartphone (Apple have adopted this, so it may even turn up on an iPhone soon) from a USB charger. That one tiny connector can be small and fit into a mobile device, or be the powerful port you use to connect all the peripherals to your laptop. The mess of USB, HDMI, Display Port, VGA and other power ports on typical laptops can be streamlined into a single type of port.

Currently smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices often use a USB connection to charge. A USB 2.0 connection provides up to 2.5 watts of power – that’ll charge your phone, but that’s about it. A laptop might require up to 60 watts!

USB Type-C is a worthy upgrade. It makes waves as it’s in the new MacBook, but it’s not an Apple-only technology and it will shortly be appearing in devices from practically everyone. Whatever you think of Apple, this time around they are pushing hard behind a new standard that everyone can adopt. Over 700 companies support this standard including Apple, Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft and Samsung. This is important because it’s more likely to be adopted by the majority of PC manufacturers.

 

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