Type-C Explained: What Is Type-C and Why You’ll Want It

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Type-C is the emerging standard for charging and transferring data. Right now, it's included in devices like the newest laptops, phones, and tablets and—given time—it'll spread to pretty much everything that currently uses the older, larger USB connector.

 

Type-C Features a New Connector Shape

USB Type-C has a new, tiny physical connector—roughly the size of a micro USB connector. The USB-C connector itself can support various exciting new USB standard like USB 3.1 and USB power delivery (USB PD).

The standard USB connector you're most familiar with is USB Type-A. Even as we've moved from USB 1 to USB 2 and on to modern USB 3 devices, that connector has stayed the same. It's as massive as ever, and it only plugs in one way (which is obviously never the way you try to plug it in the first time). But as devices became smaller and thinner, those massive USB ports just didn't fit. This gave rise to lots of other USB connector shapes like the “micro” and “mini” connectors.

Type-C Features a New Connector Shape.jpg

Connector of Type-C

This awkward collection of differently-shaped connectors for different-size devices is finally coming to a close. USB Type-C offers a new connector standard that's very small. It's about a third the size of an old USB Type-A plug. This is a single connector standard that every device should be able to use. You'll just need a single cable, whether you're connecting an external hard drive to your laptop or charging your smartphone from a USB charger. That one tiny connector is small enough to fit into a super-thin mobile device, but also powerful enough to connect all the peripherals you want to your laptop. The cable itself has USB Type-C connectors at both ends—it's all one connector.

 

Benefits of Type-C

USB-C provides plenty to like. It's reversible, so you'll no longer have to flip the connector around a minimum of three times looking for the correct orientation. It's a single USB connector shape that all devices should adopt, so you won't have to keep loads of different USB cables with different connector shapes for your various devices. And you'll have no more massive ports taking up an unnecessary amount of room on ever-thinner devices.

Benefits of Type-C

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