We are all quite familiar with the USB Type A and Type B connectors. After years of USB Type A and B, USB Type-C is the latest advancement in USB ports. What is Type-C? A USB type-C is the new connector that enables data and energy transfer. USB Type C and USB 3.1 are two different properties and must not be confused as interchangeable. This article defines both USB Type-C and USB 3.1 in detail, defining their features and discussing pros and cons. Here you will get to know everything about USB Type C and USB 3.1.
Features of USB – C
The USB Type-C is also commonly referred to as USB-C. So what is the difference? The main difference that the new USB Type C offers are:
The best advantage of the new USB Type-C connector is its reversibility. This 24-pin USB connector can be used both ways. As with older USB ports, the user does not have to worry about flipping it over to see which side to insert in the port. This comes as a big relief because hardly anyone can connect a device the right way in the first try. No more fumbling with these plugs.
The USB type-C connector itself doesn’t have anything to do with speed. The usb type C is more of a physical upgrade. Unless of course it is combined with USB 3.0 or 3.1 that speed up data and energy transfers. USB 3.0 and 3.1 are discussed in detail later.
USB type-C cables support at least 3A current (up to 60W) and a maximum of 5A (100W) current. USB type-C cables not only charge devices but can also charge laptops. While the USB 2.0 connection could only charge mobile phones and tablets, the USB type-C offers much more. In fact, products such as Google’s Chromebook pixel and Apple’s Macbook are already using their USB type-C ports as charging ports.
The USB type-C connector is small in size yet powerful. It is roughly 2/3 times smaller than the standard Type –A connector. As devices become thinner and sleeker, this conveniently sized connector works well with new devices.
While we are used to have a Type – A connector on one end of the cable and Type-B on the other, the latest cables come with the USB type C connector on both ends. This makes it very convenient for users to plug in the USB from which ever end and it will work fine.
As new products come equipped with USB type-C ports, it eliminates the need for carrying separate cables for all devices. In fact, a single cable is enough to charge mobile devices, connect mobiles, hard drives and tablets to laptops.
USB type-C ports also eliminate the need for separate headphone jacks in mobile phones and laptops.
USB-C 3.1 cables are full-featured cables that give speed, reliability and convenience. These full-featured USB-C cables boasts of a data transfer speed of 10 Gbit per second.
Pros and Cons Pros
Convenient – the USB type-C connectors are much more convenient to use.
Minimize number of cables – if you are planning on travelling or commuting to work, you don’t have to carry multiple cables for the variety of devices that you have. In fact, USB type C has made it easy to pack since you only need a single cable to all your device charging, connectivity and data transferring needs.
Charging options – the bi-directional USB type-C cable allows data and energy to be sent or received through a device. Now you can even charge your laptops through portable batteries.
Transitional problems – As new devices slowly adopt the new technology, users still using older devices will not be able to fully enjoy the experience of a universal cable. Users with a mix of old and new technology still have to carry multiple connectivity cables.
Never confuse USB Type-C with USB 3.0 or 3.1. The USB Type-C refers to the physical shape and design of usb ports. In contrast, USB 3.1 is a technology standard. This distinction is quite important since not all USB type-C ports carry USB 3.1 for now. Earlier versions of USB type-C connectors are still using USB 2.0 technology to support older products. Over time as older products phase out, you might not need to differentiate but at the moment attention to these details is important when buying a USB type-C cable or USB type-C hub. USB 3.0 has a bandwidth of 5Gbps while the USB 3.1 has a bandwidth of 10 Gbps.
First published in 2014 by the USB Implementation Forum (USB-IF) the USB-C is being widely used now. It is important to understand that the USB Type-C is not a new technology standard. It does nothing for speed or efficiency; rather the USB Type-C is more of a change in physical outlook. When the Type-A plugs seemed too large for mobile devices, the micro and mini usb ports were introduced. Similarly, over time the need for a reversible connector was realized and hence usb type C was designed and introduced. Nevertheless, the convenience it offers is certainly not exaggerated. The USB type-C connectors are fast becoming a standard feature for all new devices from laptops, notebooks, mobiles to cameras.
For now as you struggle with the mix of new and old technology, you might need to invest in a type-C hub to connect old and new devices. This is because the type-C connector does not offer reverse compatibility – the older larger USB devices won’t fit new type-C ports and the new type-C connectors won’t fit the older type-B ports. The good news is that the USB 3.1 offers compatibility with older versions of USB such as USB 1.0, USB 2.0 and USB 2.5. All you need is a good adaptor with USB-type C hub at one end and an old USB port on the other. You can get a QacQoc GN30H Premium USB-C Hub to cater to your needs. The QacQoc GN30H Premium USB-C Hub is a multipurpose type-C hub suitable for Macbook, Chromebook Pixel and other type-C devices.
Technological progress sure makes our lives easy. The USB type-C and USB 3.1 are already replacing USB type-B and older versions of USBs. We are looking towards a more convenient and faster data and energy transmission mechanisms. USB-type C connectors will make charging laptops through portable batteries and thus increase power options. We are looking over a standard technology to solve our charging, data transfer problems and at the same time reducing ports on our laptop and mobile devices.