Best USB Type-C Accessories and Cables
USB Type-C is the new 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, Dell XPS 13, Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe, HP Elitebook x360 and a slew of other laptops 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.
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 20MBps, but is half of Thunderbolt 3 speeds. 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.
Microsoft finally adopted USB Type-C on the Surface Book 2, so now every major vendor is supports the new standard in some way.
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 MBps) 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.
Below you’ll find a list of 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.
Monoprice USB-C to USB-C Cable
Budget favorite Monoprice has a wide variety of USB Type-C cables ready to go — and at slightly more palatable prices than some of the other early competition. At the moment, this 3-foot, USB-C to USB-C cable will come in handy mainly for charging. But this is a full USB 3.1 Type-C cable, so as additional accessories (e.g., external hard drives, battery packs) with USB Type-C become available, this cable will be useful.
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 predecssor, 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 29W 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.