Best USB Type-C Accessories and Cables
USB Type-C is slowly but surely becoming the standard connector for both charging and data on laptops, phones and tablets. While not every device has this powerful port yet, a number of prominent notebooks, including the Apple MacBook Pro, Dell XPS 13 and HP Spectre Folio, employ it.
With Type-C on board, you can copy files at USB 3.1 speeds, deliver enough power to charge a laptop or use Alt Mode to send other types of data using DisplayPort or Thunderbolt 3 connections. However, Microsoft recently changed the default setting on USB drives to "quick removal," so speeds will be slower. Check out our quick guide on how to make your drives operate faster on the latest Windows 10 update.
All Thunderbolt 3 ports use the Type-C connector and are compatible with both the faster Thunderbolt 3 standard and regular Type-C devices. Because Thunderbolt 3 has four times the bandwidth (40 Gbps) of standard USB Type-C 3.1, you can connect to external GPUs which let you play games on your thin and light notebook. Some docks also take advantage of the faster speeds.
Looking forward, you can expect USB 3.2 to come soon, which is another version of USB Type-C. It doubles regular USB Type-C speeds at 20 Gbps, but is half of Thunderbolt 3 speeds. USB 4 is coming as well, and its throughput will have a speed of 40 Gbps. The best part, though, is that when you upgrade to a laptop that supports it, it will work on all of your existing cables, so no need to wait on buying them.
Below you’ll find a list of the best USB Type-C accessories that will help you continue to use your older USB-A peripherals, charge your devices, provide extra ports and take advantage of USB Type-C’s ability to output 4K video. It’s everything you’ll need to make the most out of the new connector, especially as it ends up on a growing list of devices.
WGGE USB-C to USB-C Cable
WGGE produces this tangle-free, nylon braided, 10-foot USB-C to USB-C cable for only $10.99. You can use it to charge USB-C devices as well as connect external hard drives and docking stations. And if you don’t want the joy of a really long, inexpensive wire, you can get the 6.6-foot version for an even cheaper $8.99. WGGE also includes a two-year warranty with it.
Plugable USB-C Triple Display Dock
The Plugable USB-C Triple Display Dock (UD-ULTCD) is the best pick for early adopters who need a dock. It works with the newest standards, like USB Type-C for charging and external displays and supports 4K monitors. We didn’t like that it’s locked into vertical orientation, but you can’t argue for great performance and support for three displays at the same time.
Aukey USB-C to USB 3.0 Adapter
If you don’t want to buy a whole bunch of new cables, you can grab a tiny adapter. Aukey’s USB-C to USB 3.0 adapter is small and will work with any of your legacy peripherals. It also doesn’t hurt that you get a two-pack for just $10, so you can just multiple USB Type-A accessories with your new computer at once.
Samsung Portable SSD T5
The Samsung Portable SSD T5 takes the spot of its predecessor, the T3, on this list, with even faster speeds and a better design. It comes with both a USB Type-C cable and a USB-C to USB 3.0 cable, so you can use it with any laptop and many newer Android phones. It has blazing fast transfer speeds of up to 540MBps, and backed up my computer extremely quickly. I love the new blue color for the 250GB ($127.99) and 500GB models ($196) , while the 1TB ($397.99) and 2TB ($797.99) options come in black. The thing is tiny -- smaller than a credit card -- and includes a three-year warranty.
SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive
If you're transferring data between USB Type-A and USB Type-C devices, SanDisk's two-sided Ultra Dual flash drive is the perfect storage solution. Starting at 16GB, this flash drive uses a slider to switch between a USB 3.0 Type-A connector on one side and a USB Type-C connector on the other, so you will see blazing speeds on both ends of the transfer. You can also get it in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB sizes.
Apple USB-C Power Adapter
No doubt your USB Type-C device came with a charger. But extras never hurt, and the 30W Apple USB Type-C Power Adapter is a compact and sleek-looking choice. Just remember that you need to bring your own USB Type-C to USB Type-C charging cable.
Dell USB Type-C to HDMI/Ethernet/VGA/USB 3.0 Adapter
This USB Type-C adapter from Dell can do the work of several adapters by allowing you to plug into displays, attach older USB accessories and connect to wired Internet with one compact adapter that’s easy to take with you anywhere. It’s the Swiss Army Knife of USB Type-C attachments.
Anker PowerCore+ 20100 USB Type-C Power Bank
Laptops, tablets and smartphones keep getting thinner, and most don’t have replaceable batteries. Certain USB Type-C ports, like the ones on the 12-inch MacBook and Google’s Pixel C, support charging, so Anker has introduced a high-capacity external battery that will keep your battery full on the go. This battery also features two USB-A ports to feed hungry tablets, headphones and other rechargeable gadgets.
Kingston Nucleum 7-in-1 Connetion
Apple’s 12-inch MacBook has one measly USB Type-C port, but Kingston's hub can make it much more useful. It boasts two USB Type-A 3.1 ports, two Type-C ports (including one for power, an HDMI output for up to 4K resolution, an SD card slot and a microSD card slot. That's enough to transfer data, power monitors and use both new and old USB accessories.
AmazonBasics USB-C to USB-A Cable (White)
This 3-foot, $9.99 cable will come in handy wherever you go, especially in situations where you have a USB-C device and are surrounded by USB-A charging stations. And whether you need to transfer files to an older computer via a connected smartphone or hard drive, Amazon has got your back with that 10 Gbps data transfer speed. We updated this with the white cable because the black one was out of stock.
Scosche PowerVolt 3.0 USB-C / USB-A Fast Charger for Cars
With a blazing Power Deliver 3.0 system, Scosche's USB Type-C (18W) and Type-A (12W) car charger will keep up to two devices fully charged for a journey across the country, all for $24.99. It's up to 3 times faster than typical 5W chargers, and it also includes an LED power indicator as well as safety measures to prevent your device from overcharging.
Uni USB-C to HDMI Cable
If you don't want to blow $60 on a dock just to connect your laptop to another monitor, then this cable is perfect for you. It's just $20 and it can handle 4K at 60-Hz. Not to mention that the cable itself is durable due to the braided nylon and aluminum casing around the wire. If that wasn't enough, the cable can connect to your smartphone as well.
Accsnet USB C to Headphone Jack Adapter
There are plenty of laptops and tablets, like the Google Pixel Slate and the 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro, that have forsaken the precious headphone jack. So instead of letting this bleak new future blindside you, come prepared with Accsnet's USB C to Headphone Jack Adapter. The adapter supports music control as well as calling control, and its L-bending design makes the plug less susceptible to bending.
Syntech USB-C (Female) to USB Type-A (Male) Adapter
If the rest of the tech you own is already USB-C capable, but your laptop is not, we've got you covered on that front as well. Syntech's USB Type C Female to USB 3.0 Male Adapter allows you to connect your phones, tablets, hard drives and USB-C hubs. It can transfer up to 5Gbps of data, and the best part is that it comes in a pack of two.
CHOETECH USB-C (Female) to Micro USB (Male) Adapter
You may be running on the USB-C high life, but your controllers aren't (most of them anyway). If you need to plug-and-play or simply charge, why bother getting another cable when you can use your existing USB-C cable with a handy adapter from CHOETECH, which is only $7.99 for a pair of USB-C (female) to Micro USB (male) adapters.
Anker USB C Hub 4-in-1 Connection
For $29, you can maximize your download speed with Anker's USB-C Hub, which includes an Ethernet port (RJ45) on the end of it. On top of that, you get three USB 3.0 ports on the side. The actual cable measures at 1.3 feet and the hub's chassis is made from aluminum as opposed to cheaply made plastic. Anker also offers an 18-month warranty on its USB-C Hub.
Anker USB C to Lightning Cable
Anker's USB C to Lightning Cable is a necessary accessory if you're an iPhone or iPad user, as you can seamlessly connect your Apple device your MacBook or iPad Pro to charge and sync your data. The cable is 3 feet long and also has Apple's MFI certification, so you'll have no problems connecting with this cable.