USB-C is the latest industry standard connector for transmitting data, video and power. The USB-C connector is symmetrical, so struggling to find the right orientation is thankfully a thing of the past. In addition, the default USB-C 3.1 protocol supports data transfer of 10Gbps, so twice as fast as USB 3.0. There are in fact two flavours of USB.C; Gen 1 and Gen 2. Gen 1 meets the same interface and data transfer rates as USB 3.0, 5Gbps, whereas Gen 2 supports 10Gbps.

USB Type C ports support a variety of different protocols using so-called Alternate Modes, which allow the docking station or adapter to output HDMI, Display-Port or VGA, through a single USB-C port. The USB-C Power Delivery specification supports up to 100W of bi-directional power, so a device is able to send or receive power. This means that you are now also able to charge your laptop via your USB-C port, as a typical laptop requires around 60W. Although USB-C offers a lot of potential benefits, it is important to note that not all USB-C ports are alike. Some laptops or tablets might only support Data Transfer, while others will support Data, Power Delivery and Video Alternate Mode. So, checking the flavour of the USB-C port is essential when selecting accessories.


Power Delivery

A technology that enables delivering power to laptops and various other devices via a USB-C/ThunderboltTM 3 connector. That is, assuming the laptop manufacturer chooses to support this feature.

Power Delivery has 3 versions:

  • PD 1.0 – capable of charging with up to 100 W.
  • PD 2.0 – capable of charging with up to 100 W, in both directions.
  • PD 3.0 – capable of charging with up to 100 W and now also able to share capacity when charging multiple devices simultaneously. Charging in both directions is also supported.