The Best USB-C Cables and Adapters
5 January 2023
You need a cable to charge a device with a USB-C connection and to transmit data to and from other devices, such as a MacBook or other compatible laptop, an iPad Pro, a Nintendo Switch, or an Android phone. Unfortunately, even seemingly comparable cables might operate very differently when it comes to USB-C. For instance, a connection that charges your phone quickly might transfer audio files slowly, while the opposite may be true. We examined dozens of cables and adapters to help you select the ideal cables and adapters without going overboard with your expenditure.
For those living in blissful forgetfulness, here is a brief introduction to USB specifications: Ordinary USB-A connectors can only supply 12 watts of charging power, whereas USB-C ports can give phones 18 watts of fast-charging power and, less frequently, laptops up to 240 watts (depending on the cable and device you plug into them). Apple’s Lightning connections support USB-C for quicker charging and standard 12-watt charging using a USB-A cable. Whether a USB-A or USB-C connection is present, Micro-USB and Mini-USB can only provide ordinary charging. In terms of charging power and speed (measured in watts, W) and data transfer speed between devices, each has unique capabilities and constraints (measured in megabits per second, Mbps, or gigabits per second, Gbps).
Cable Matters Slim Series Long USB-C to USB-C Charging Cable
You may favour it: You can charge your phone, tablet, or laptop from a far outlet with the luxuriant 10 feet of length provided by the Cable Matters Slim Series Long USB-C to USB-C Charging Cable (though it is also available in 3-foot and 6-foot varieties). In our tests, it supplied up to 60 W of power to charge USB-C devices at the fastest possible rate, including a 13-inch MacBook Pro running numerous programmes. Most laptops only require 60 watts or less. Its rubber exterior has a pleasingly gripping texture, and the cable’s body is thin and flexible enough that you can roll it up and put it in a bag or drawer. It costs roughly half as much as our top choice in this category.
Flaws but not deal breakers: This cable has excruciatingly slow USB 2.0 data transfer rates and isn’t quite as powerful as our top recommendation in this area (supporting up to 60 W instead of 100 W). Given the lifetime warranty and the fact that it is not USB-IF certified, this cable is still a good choice even though its housings are not as good as many of our other picks. Rather than being made of a single seamless piece of plastic, these housings have a small rubber collar and a plastic grip.