The introduction of the 12-inch MacBook into the market kicked up quite the storm. It brought a tiny logic board, a pressure-sensitive touchpad and a number of other fancy features that other manufacturers hadn’t tinkered with in the past. Perhaps the most significant addition, however, was the introduction of the USB Type-C port as a replacement for all other ports that previous MacBooks and other conventional laptops shipped with. The system uses it to charge, for data transfer and for audio and video in-out. As Apple is the trendsetter in the tech industry, you just know that even if you never buy the new MacBook, USB-C is going to become the global standard or at least the default option very soon.

Learning More about USB Type-C

Type-C connectors are brand new, super-small, and super-fast with support for new standards for USB power delivery and USB 3.1. Your Type-A connectors were 0.47×0.18 inches, and Micro USB B was 0.28×0.06 inches. The Type-C, falls somewhere in the middle at 0.33×0.1 inches. Like none of its predecessors, the Type-C hub is also reversible, meaning you could have it work even if you plugged it in upside-down. Unfortunately, it is not directly backward compatible due to the port-connector mismatch. The ports, however, can support various protocols, which means hubs and adapters will be available for all your other protocols.

Are USB Type-C and USB 3.1 Same?

No, they are not the same. USB Type-C ports and cables could be utilized for USB 3.1, however, depending specifically on the devices and host controller maybe only compatible with USB 3.0 or USB 2.0. According to the MacBook’s spec sheet, the versatile USB Type-C port seems to be compatible with 3.1 (gen 1).

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What about USB 3.1?

USB 3.1 is a high-speed data transmission standard that provides a theoretical bandwidth of 10Gbps, which is double from the previous generation (USB 3.0). The first generation 3.1 controllers were tested by Tom’s Hardware and achieved speeds of 700MBps in SSDs which gave about half of that when connected via 3.0. These are fully backward compatible with previous generations. It is worth remembering that MacBook states the speed cap for 3.1 at 5Gbps because it is a Gen 1 3.1. The second generation should be able to achieve the full throughput. All connections via 3.1 have boosted data encoding and ensure better efficiency in terms of speed and power consumption.

All about USB Power Delivery

USB Power Delivery or USB PD is supposed to be a specification standard which would be allowing devices to effectively receive or send maximum 100W of power over just one single connection when transferring data simultaneously. USB 2.0 is supposed to be most commonly used connector for tablets and smartphones and generally provides 2.5 Watts that seems to be sufficient for small devices but not adequate for most laptops that require a minimum of 20 Watts to 65 Watts. Thanks to USB PD, now you could be easily connecting your laptop directly to the monitor for sending a 4K video over while drawing optimum power from it.

At present, laptops of every model and make are using different types of power connectors but the day is not far away when all laptops would be using USB Type-C connectors that have USB Power Delivery. You would then successfully use the adapter from your Dell Laptop while switching over easily to your notebook from Lenovo, in the same manner; you could be using your Samsung AC adaptor and wire with the LG smartphone.

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We have explored answers to some frequently asked questions about USB-C hubs. The answers have come from experts and they should be helping you to understand why USB-C hubs are dominating the market scene currently and how cutting-edge devices are embracing them for their super-capabilities.


Trudy is a Business Tech Analyst. He is very responsible towards his job. He loves to share his knowledge and experience with his friends and colleagues.


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