This new USB-C cable is the first cable to deliver 10Gbps and 4K video at 3 meters
USB-C is finally here, and it promises to usher in a new wave of high-speed, ultra-convenient connectivity. While USB-C will likely make for much more convenient connectivity, however, some might not be aware of the fact that not all USB-C cables are alike – and in fact, getting the wrong USB-C cable could lead to some major frustration.
Before buying your next USB-C cable it’s worth reading up on the differences between cables and what they mean for your setup. Here’s everything you need to know.
Isn’t USB-C just USB-C?
There are two main types of USB-C cables – passive, and active cables. Passive cables are the USB-C cables that you’ve probably used before. They’re usually relatively short, and that’s by design – USB-C signals can degrade over distance, so while for basic charging and lower data rates longer passive USB-C cables should be fine, if you want to really get the benefits of USB-C at a distance, you’ll want an active cable.
Confused as to what kinds of cables you should go for? Well, there’s another keyword to know – a “full-featured” cable. A full-featured cable is able to transfer 4K video, offer at least a 10Gbps data speed, and 60W of power delivery. There are actually a ton of full-featured cables available, but most of them are relatively short, leaving users who need a longer cable largely out of luck.
So what do you do if you need a USB-C cable that can carry data over longer distances? Well, you get the new Cable Matters Active Full Featured USB-C cable, which is actually the first full-featured cable to work over three meters. Because of the active components in the cable, the cable is able to deliver 4K video, 10Gbps data, and 60W of power at up to a hefty three meters – which is great news for those that want to connect their phone or laptop to a USB-C monitor or transfer large amounts of data relatively quickly.
In other words, you can use the new cable with monitors like the new AOC i1601FWUX or LG 43UD79-B, or you can use it to quickly and easily transfer data at a distance between a hard drive and a computer – and at massively fast speeds.
The Thunderbolt 3 standard also uses a USB-C connector, which can make for a slightly more confusing setup for some. Thankfully, however, the Cable Matters Active Full Featured USB-C cable supports Thunderbolt 3 too – which essentially means that you can use the cable with your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, or with your USB-C-compatible smartphone.
What cable should I get?
If you’re looking for a USB-C cable to charge your computer or phone over shorter distances, then you probably don’t need a cable like this. While it’ll certainly work for basic charging, you could probably find a cable that will do the job for cheaper.
That said, it could still be handy to have a cable like this on hand, especially if you end up wanting to charge quickly over long distances. While phones may not be able to draw as much power as this cable can deliver, laptops and other larger devices may benefit from the ability to charge at up to 60W.
If you want to connect your device to a monitor more than 1 meter (3.3 feet) away or want to transfer data at up to 10Gbps, then this cable is definitely for you – and in fact, buying a cheaper cable may result in a lower-quality signal.