USB-C: The New Port Powering Up Devices

January 8, 2016

The USB port you’ve come to know is getting a makeover. USB Type-C or just USB-C is a new port finding its way into a growing number of devices, which has become clearly evident through new product debuts at CES 2016, the world’s largest consumer electronics showcase in Las Vegas this week. 

It’s expected to become the new standard for most devices in the future. 

What is USB-C? It’s a new type of USB connection that serves as a common connector across all devices. It boasts faster speeds -- up to 10 gigabits per second. It’s smaller -- about a third of the size of an old USB Type-A plug, the one that most people are already familiar with. As devices get thinner and lighter, the ports to plug cords into are getting downsized too.

“USB-C is the universal port that does it all by being the first common connector across all electronic devices,” says Rick Kennedy, cables category manager at Griffin Technology, which announced several new accessories for USB-C connection ports during CES 2016. “As more and more devices begin to utilize USB-C connections, users will be looking to bridge the gap between their new technology and the gadgets they’ve grown to love. Our latest accessories do just that by providing affordable solutions for both new and existing technologies.”

The new USB-C ports made headlines in March when Apple announced its new MacBook would have just two ports -- a headphone jack port and a USB-C one. The USB-C port will be capable of handling charging, data transfer and external displays. 

Some tech experts are advising those looking to purchase a laptop to not even buy one that doesn’t have at least one USB-C port if you want to make sure your device doesn’t fall out-of-date soon. 

USB-C adapters are coming. Also at CES this week, Acer debuted a new line of H7 series monitors that are among the first displays to use USB Type-C connectivity. Dell also announced it is adding USB-C ports to almost every one of its new model of laptops. Google’s new Nexus phones and a range of new laptops and phones soon coming to the market also will be carrying USB-C ports. 

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey for REALTOR® Magazine