The downsides of using the USB-C
USB-C is currently set to be the universal port on all devices replacing the USB-A, USB-B, Micro USB and mini USB.
As with every tech innovation, the Type-C delivers an improvement to its predecessors in terms of speed, but that’s not the only interesting thing about it.
The Type-C is a one size fits all. If this is already too confusing for you, let me explain further.
If you take an example of the currently produced laptops, they each carry a number of ports on them.
One for the USB, another for the HDMI, another for the power connection and others.
With USB-C, all this will go away; your device will now have one cable and one port to connect to everything, including charging your laptop.
Dive deeper into understanding the differences between the USB-B and USB-C on this previous post published here.
With no doubt, the USB-C is the future.
But it carries along some faults or issues that you and I should be aware of before getting fully invested into it.
See the issues below;
The issue of voltage
Every device manufactured requires a specific amount of voltage and incorrect voltage may damage its system.
A USB-C connector is capable of drawing a higher voltage than other connectors and if you aren’t very careful when buying a USB-C cable, your devices components related to charging might get damaged.
This means you have to take extra care when inserting a Type-C connector into your device.
While they might all look the same, they might not be carrying the same voltage.
A Type-C cable charging your laptop might not be good for your smartphone.
The challenges of adopting USB-C
While the USB-C is set to be the universal port on all devices, this is still far from occurrence seeing that the currently sold devices still run the older versions.
If we take an example of the smartphone industry, most manufacturers of the low to mid-range devices still stick to the previous Micro USB for both charging and file transfer.
Since these manufacturers take up a bigger percentage of the smartphone market, full-scale adoption will entirely depend on their adoption of the USB-C on their products.
The issue of difference in capabilities
The USB-C exists in several different formats and will require keen attention when purchasing one.
One of these issues hinted on above is the difference in voltage carried by each cable.
And there’s also a difference in transfer speeds attached to each cable. You might be convinced you are purchasing a faster cable and end up getting disappointed with a slower one.
Some USB-C connectors only support charging, others don’t even support it.
Some will transfer files at superfast speeds, some won’t transfer at all. Some will transfer video at 4K resolution, others won’t.
This is all confusing because while all these connectors look the same, there are some variances that affect capabilities.
If you need to power a device, then you will need to ensure that the cable supports USB power delivery, and for HDMI, MHL or display port video you will need a USB-C cable with Alternative-Mode functionality.
The upside is that some of these issues will be fixed as time goes on.
We might wake up one day to cables that support all capabilities.
Major manufacturers like Apple are already adapting to this new standard and others will follow along.
And it always doesn’t hurt to pay keen attention when making any purchase.