Best USB Type-C Accessories and Cables

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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.

It's also an option for users tho want to attach a graphics amp (over Thunderbolt 3) to get gaming performance out of otherwise less powerful machines and will soon be an option for headphones. Even if Microsoft isn't putting it on its Surface line just yet, you'll see plenty of accessories roll out for other laptops, desktops and phones. If you can find it, Thunderbolt 3 is a more powerful option that can output even more data.

MORE: USB Type-C FAQ: Everything You Need to Know

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 T3 Portable SSD

If you need storage that will support your shiny new USB Type-C cable, the Samsung T3 Portable SSD is your best bet. The credit-card sized storage device uses a USB Type-C port, so you can replace its USB Type-C to Type-A tablet with one with USB-C on both ends (sold separately). It's blazing fast with read-write speeds of up to 450 MB/s and includes encryption software. It's so small I often forgot it was even in my bag, and I appreciated the two-tone black and gunmetal gray design. It starts at $170 for 500GB and goes up to $789 for 2TB.

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.

VinPok Bolt

This incredibly successful Indiegogo campaign succeed at almost 800% of its total goal. Why? The cable brings back the magic of Magsafe with a magnet on one end. It also claims to be the first USB-C cable with support to charge the 15-inch MacBook Pro, which needs 87W of power.

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.

Satechi Type-C USB 3-in-1 Combo Hub

Apple’s 12-inch MacBook has one measly USB Type-C port, but this hub can make it much more useful. It boasts three USB Type-A 3.1 ports, an SD card slot and a microSD card slot. You’ll be able to transfer data, back up hard drives, charge your gear and more, all through the built-in USB Type-C port on your Mac or PC.

 

Author Bio
Andrew E. Freedman
Andrew E. Freedman,
Andrew joined Laptopmag.com in 2015, reviewing computers and keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter @FreedmanAE.
Andrew E. Freedman, on
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6 comments
  • Droevig Says:

    Not a very good review at all. Besides the apple remarks is the Dell USB-C adapter so worthless that Dell advices themselves to use a different make.

  • Joe King Says:

    This guy has to be paid by Apple. You just can't blindly charge a Windows laptop with Thunderbolt with chargers designed for 5v USB. All of these batteries and chargers? Only will work on a Macbook or your peripherals.

  • Steve Says:

    The one I am waiting on is a simple USB Type C to 3.5 audio adapter. Does't look like it has come to market yet.

  • Charley Says:

    WTH are they putting out of date DVI input on new electronics for computers. Nothing is being made with DVI monitors for over 5 years. I can see HDMI but come on really make a new device with out of date inputs.

  • john Says:

    Are you getting paid by apple?? Why do you link to apple's crappy netbook, but do not link to the google's Pixel?

    The Pixel has TWO type C ports as well as legacy USB type A ports and an SD card reader.

    This means you have a truly portable laptop, and do not have to carry around adapters to compensate for apple's disregard for their users needs.

    Nobody with any sense should buy apples sad little netbook. If you love OS X, get a real laptop from Apple.

  • cipnrkorvo Says:

    This is great! I hope more phones/tablets/laptops will come out with USB-C soon!

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