Ultimate gizmos and kit for USB C to USB A/USB 3.0 mixed lifestyles


Ok for the true power geek, here are the USB C accessories you need. The main things to do are to look for cables with USB-IF certified and e-Marker chips and take the advice on sorting your cable capabilities by length since USB C cables all look the same but have very different speed differences. Don't be the guy who thinks he is getting $30 100 watts power delivery and 40Gbps speed when he buys a $3 cable that is really 15 watts and 480Mbps.

  1. Silicon Power Swivel C80 USB C/USB A USB 3.0 flash drive. What a great idea, it has a solid metal ring so is durable like the Kingston's we love, but it is reversible so perfect for the transition to USB C. At $70 for two 64GB drives it's a real bargain. Not super fast, but super convenient particularly with the key fob ring.
  2. Cable Matters 72 watt USBC/USB c charger. Ok, this gives you 60 watts out of the single USB C so it can power our MacBook Pro. While not quite the 87 watts that you get with the big MacBook Pro 15 charger it has some huge advantages: a) half the price,  b) it uses a standard extension cord and is only two prongs, so easy to go international, c) it has four USB 3.1 traditional ports for charger your cell phone etc.
  3. USB C female to USB A male adapter  and USB A/USB 3.0 male to USB C male Adapter. This is super confusing, but there are two cables you need. It's confusing, but the first cable let's you plus a new USB C cable into an old USB A charger or computer like the charger above. The second let's you plug an old USB A cable into a new USB C charger or computer.
  4. uNi USB C 100 watts/480Mbps 6m with USB-IF certified e-Marker cable. These are half the price of Apple's and pretty reliable. Just be aware that not all USB C cables are created equal. Our little algorithm is all cables we buy at 2 meters are the same, they are 100 watts/480Mbps. Whatever you get make sure it says it has a true e-Marker chip that manages the power cable (yes power cables in USB C have chips that tell the charge device which pins do what, in USB C, a pair can carry 5-20amps at 5 volts) and they have different transmission rates (480Mbps USB 2 speed, 10Mbps USB 3.1 and 40Mbps at Thunderbolt 3)
  5. Skiva USB C 100 watts/10Gbps 1 meter USB 3.1 Gen 2 cable. then all cables we buy at 1 meter are special, they are full poe delivery and USB 3.1 data rates. These by the way are half the price of Apple at $12.
  6. Cable Matters Thunderbolt 3 40Gbps USB-IF certified 0.5m Cable. Get these in 0.5 meter are 100 watts/40Gbps. Otherwise you will get hopelessly confused. As an aside, 0.5 meters is the maximum length for 40Mbps.
  7. Apple Thunderbolt 3/USB C to thunderbolt 2 adapter. Ok, on the list of things if you have older Thunderbolt 2 disk drives, this converts from 40GBps Thunderbolt 2 to 20GBps Thunderbolt 2 and the mini-Displayport compatible connector. Note that an identical looking cable does USB C to miniDisplayPort, but this is not compatible. Argh!


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