Apple dragged its laptop customers into the USB-C future kicking and screaming back in 2016 and most have adjusted to life with USB-C hubs and USB-C accessories by now. But for those with lots of older USB devices who don't want to live the dongle life, many new laptops still launch with traditional USB Type-A ports.
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The internal documents in question allegedly come from Intel and detail the USB 4.0 host controller with support for USB 4 and USB 3.2 specifications, but it is notably silent on support for USB 2.0 or USB 1.1, which are the specifications typically associated with USB Type-A ports.
This doesn't necessarily preclude laptop makers from building them into future laptops, but it certainly reduces the likelihood of them choosing to do so without some backward compatibility.
[Intel USB4]Intel Processor USB Controller> Device ID 0x9A1B, 0x9A1D, 0x9A13> Power Delivery 3.0, > USB Type-C> USB 40Gbps (USB4) pic.twitter.com/tCWOyxnEtHAugust 10, 2020
This shouldn't come as a shock to users; while Apple has endured quite a bit of heat for being early with its move to all USB Type-C ports on its laptops, that was almost five years ago now and the writing has been on the wall.
As the number of devices that depend on USB Type-A has dwindled, there should be less of a fuss this time around, after all, no one will argue that USB Type-C is not the superior cable and port with its reversible configuration and a wealth of new advancements coming with USB 4.0.
These documents highlighted some of the benefits, including Power Deliver 3.0 for charging devices rapidly and 40Gbps transfer speeds. These are the kind of features that should help users avoid shedding a tear for the loss of USB Type-A.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.