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Why the Universal USB-C is Not Always the Same

Did you know that not every USB-C cable is the same? The universal hope for a common connection for all devices has become complicated. That's right, you now have USB-C for MHL, HDMI, Thunderbolt 3 and DisplayPort. It is very confusing. 

 

Just because a port is USB-C shaped, doesn’t really guarantee very much about it. Not every USB-C port can charge your devices and provide video output (or video input). It all depends on the choices made by the manufacturer.The same USB-C cable that charges your phone isn’t necessarily going to be able to take video from your laptop and put it up on a big screen. 

 

When browsing through laptops, cables and monitors look for "Alt Mode", this is what allows a USB-C connection to support more than USB-C. This should allow your computer to connect to your monitor with one cable. If this does not work you will likely need an adaptor. 

 

As older devices are phased out, USB-C will become more common and less complicated. For now, just remember that the friendly USB-C port on a laptop or a monitor may have a variety of different roles, which you need to look at carefully when charging or adding accessories (monitors and such).  

 

We found this article by David Nield with Gizmodo very helpful. https://bit.ly/3wDw415

 

As always, we are here to answer any of your questions. Come shop with us!

 

Megan