What is USB-C and What Does It Mean For You?

January 25, 2019 5:25:00 AM PST

Electronics can be tricky.

It’s hard enough trying to figure out which plug goes to what, especially when plugs with the same name might not all work on the same devices – we’re looking at you, USV.

 It’s a lot to take in!

Electronics are supposed to be fun and functional, not headache inducing! As your local electronics store, part of our mission is not only to sell you the best products in town, but also to help keep our customers educated on all the various happenings going on in the world of electronics. For this month, let’s start with USB, and help break down exactly what this USB-C is that you may keep hearing getting tossed around.

 

What is USB?

Universal Serial Bus. That’s what USB stands for, but no, your kids aren’t going to ride a USB to school.

From flash drives to cell phones, chargers to computer keyboards, you probably use – or at least rely on – USB devices many times a day without even knowing it. USB ports are everywhere, and most of the time they really don’t require much thought. They’ve become so commonplace, even the technologically inept among us know how to plug a USB cord in to connect something to, well, something else.

USB can be used for devices to connect to each other, talk to each other, and also as a power supply. That’s pretty nifty if you think about it – all just from three little letters.

 

So, uhh, what about USB-C?

Depending what type of phone you have – or what other devices you encounter in the wild on a daily basis – you may have noticed USB cables that have one end that looks like what you are used to … and one end that looks slightly different. The problem is that other end could be a host of different things: Mini-A, Mini-B, Micro-USB, and so on and so forth. If you’ve ever grabbed a USB cord and tried to use it on a device that it wouldn’t fit into, then you were probably dealing with differing types of connectors. 

USB-C then, is a newer type of USB connection. It can provide video output from your device, and can be used for high-power charging on everything from a MacBook to a Nintendo Switch, meaning your devices will get the juice they need to last longer, quicker.

 

And there you have it! While you might not be able to dominate a USB-based category on Jeopardy now, at least you have some background on what it stands for, what it can be used for, and what those new shaped USB-C plugs are all about! Make sure to keep an eye on our blog, and check back next month for another entry in our customer education series. And in the meantime, remember we’re always right here in town when you are shopping for new electronics! 

Posted in From Our Experts
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