usb: USB Type-A vs Type-C: Differences beyond the design


In over a decade, we have come across multiple USB standards, plug types and speeds. There’s the USB Type-A port that has been there for a long time now and has also come a long way. Then there’s the new USB Type-C port, which replaced the micro-USB port and has become the most common USB port on modern devices.
However, the major question is what’s the difference and how this affects the user’s day-to-day life. Here we will look for differences between the USB Type-A and Type-C beyond their designs.
What is USB Type-A?
USB Type-A is the first USB connector or let’s say the original USB connector. We usually see this on pen drives or on the other end of the charging cable that goes into the charging adapter.
Now, modern smartphone brands have started offering Type-C to Type-C charging cables. But, still, most phones come with Type-A to Type-C charging cables.
USB Type-A is non-reversible and features a big rectangular flat shape where the bottom side is reserved for connector pins that transfer the data. Also, there have been different variants of USB Type-A like USB Mini-A and USB Micro-A, and even eSata USB was built around the USB Type-A.
What is USB Type-C?
USB Type-C connector came into the picture in 2014. The port was aimed to address some of the biggest problems of USB Type-A and it solved them. For starters, it is compact and small compared to the Type-A port. That allows manufacturers to make their devices thinner by integrating the USB Type-C ports. The new MacBooks are the best example of this.
Also, the Type-C ports are reversible which means you can use it in any direction and it will work.
USB Type-A vs Type-C: Performance difference
There’s no doubt that USB Type-A has ruled for a long time and it has become really hard to replace. The main reason behind that was the flexibility it offers. The Type-A port has different variants depending upon the need and device. Also, it can support modern USB standards and support high-speed data transfer.
However, the USB Type-C is far more versatile compared to Type-A ports. For starters, it can handle even faster data transfer speeds with Thunderbolt 4 support. Apart from that it also supports USB power delivery (USB PD), allowing for bi-directional charging by up to 100W. Which means it can power bigger devices like laptops and even monitors.
USB Type-C can also act as an alternative to HDMI ports and modern devices can power multiple 4K monitors simultaneously via Type-C port.



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