It seems there has been a lot of confusion going on online about the new USB-C standard. This technology was first introduced to the mass public via the new MacBook, which made some of you believe it was another attempt by Apple to force you into buying more adapters, cables and accessories. Then Google announced the new Chromebook Pixel, which doesn’t come with only one, but sports two USB-C ports.
This made everyone go nuts, so we thought we would create a little space in which we can clarify exactly what USB-C is all about. No, it is not an Apple creation… at least not completely. And yes, USB-C is here to stay, and you are about to start seeing a bunch of manufacturers adopting it. With that in mind, let’s jump into the specifics and clear the mystery.
What is USB-C?
There’s many factors that make up the hot, new USB-C connector, but let’s start with a simple definition. USB-C is a new standard created by the USB Implementers Forum, which is made up of over 700 major companies, including major ones like Apple, Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Samsung, NEC Agere Systems and more. These companies pretty much make sure everyone is using the same technologies. Imagine if every manufacturer had different ways to transfer data. It would be a mess!
USB-C is made to support the latest technologies while staying powerful, convenient and user-friendly. It looks much like a MicroUSB adapter, but it happens to be a bit thicker to accommodate for one of its most notable features – it has no up or down side. This means that you can connect it without worrying if you are placing it upside down. That is hardly the cable’s best feature, though. USB-C is packed with capabilities.
What does USB-C support?
As you may assume, this USB-C technology is compatible with all other USB types, so long as you have a connector that transforms the form factor. Things are taken to the next step with USB-C, though. Here’s what the new standard supports:
- USB 3.1 (and all previous generations) with max speeds of 10 Gbps
- Power (20V at 5A – 100W)
- Any normal things USB can do, like transforming to ethernet
In short, USB-C does it all, from a single port and connector type. And because it can also charge (both the devices or external peripherals), devices won’t really need any other ports. In fact, this is exactly what Apple did with the new MacBook. All it has is a single USB-C port.
What are the downsides of USB-C?
There is no down side, remember?! OK, bad joke. Let’s get serious again. Looking at the details, we wouldn’t blame you if you thought USB-C was the future. It really is, and it completely changes the game if we compare it to what we currently know as USB (and all its different types). This is the direct evolution of USB, not just another proprietary connector, like most people thought just some days ago.
Is it perfect, though? Well, not exactly. Because it is a bit thicker than micro-USB, for example, smartphone manufacturers may have a harder time fitting it into super thin devices. It won’t be a major problem for those who can play around with more space, though. Like laptop makers.
Another downside, although temporary, is that you will have to adapt to the new standard. You will have to buy adapters, connectors and new cables until the industry finishes adopting USB-C. This may be a bit pricey, but the idea is that adapters will become cheaper as competition flourishes. Plus, soon enough you won’t need adapters at all.
We hope that was a good explanation of what USB-C is and what its introduction entails. This technology is superb, so we are hoping for a speedy adoption and a better future for it. Let’s welcome the new USB family member, guys! But tell us, are you happy about the introduction of USB-C? Do you disagree with us and consider it a gimmick? Let us know in the comments!