We’re not sure if this is a public service announcement, but we sure feel obligated to let you know about USB Type C. Trust us when we say that you’re going to be seeing a lot of new devices coming to market featuring the USB Type C ports.
Let’s first talk about benefits that apply to every USB Type C. The port is far more resilient and meant to last far longer than the microUSB ports that you’ve seen on pretty much every smartphone and tablet in the past number of years. What’s even better, is that the USB Type C port is reversible. That means whether it’s inserted upside down or right-side up, it goes in without worry. In general, charging your device will be less of a hassle thanks to USB Type C. Regardless of what version (see below) of USB Type C that your device has, it will transfer files fast, at least 5Mbps and up to 10Mbps.
Now here is where everything gets confusing. If you see a device as being advertised with a USB Type C port, it may have one of the following standards listed: USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Gen 1, or USB 3.1 Gen 2. But what you really need to understand at this point, is the USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 Gen 1 are the exact same standard. Yes, there are USB 3.0 ports that are identified by being blue, and yes, there are USB 3.0 ports that are using a USB Type C connector. Please digest that for a moment, then continue reading below.
So at this point, regarding of what you’re reading online or on a spec sheet, there is ultimately only USB 3.1 Gen 1 or USB 3.1 Gen 2.
As a consumer, what you really want in terms of value added and future proofing is? USB Type C 3.1 Gen 2.
You want to see USB Type C Gen 2 in the specs. It’s also going to be listed as Superspeed+. If you can’t get those details in a spec sheet, then you need to inquire and find out before you jump into a purchase. Things get very exciting when you look at what USB 3.1 Gen 2. It’s still an emerging technology, but it’s going to be far more than just a data transfer port. It’s going to provide a tremendous amount of flexibility out of one port.
The governing body around the USB standard has created logos to help you, the consumer, distinguish what you’re actually getting on a devices USB Type C port. The USB 3.1 Gen 2 is worth paying extra for, but if you’re only going to be getting USB 3.1 Gen 1, then it’s actually a bit of a let down. It’s a nice port to have, but it’s certainly not a game changer or future proofing your device.