It wasn’t long ago that I shared my thoughts about why the USB Type-C standard wasn’t perfect yet, but some vital, forward-thinking milestones have started trickling their way down the manufacturing lines, and it smells like progress.

While many USB Type-C cables continue to display limitations regarding data speed, power delivery, or both, some brands are making a difference by offering the best of both worlds. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t quite say the standard is perfect yet.

The original problem starts to fade away

As I indicated in my original piece, my primary pain point with USB Type-C was that I couldn’t find a practical all-in-one cable for my 2017 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

Deficiencies in the existing market (at the time) made it challenging to locate a cable supporting both 100W power delivery and USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) data transfer speeds. Most relevant cables maxed out at around 60W power delivery, but some supported 100W power delivery at the expense of reduced data speeds (pitiful USB 2.0).

Given that the MacBook Pro occasionally pulls 87W of power at peak performance, 60W wouldn’t be enough for the long haul. I found myself either carrying two separate cables with me during my travels to support my power needs and peripherals, or settling with a single cable that exhibited either awful charging or data transfer speeds.

Fortunately, brands like Anker and Belkin pioneered what I like to call a USB Type-C revolution. Anker’s PowerLine II ($19.99 on Amazon) and Belkin’s USB Type-C cable ($29.99 on Amazon) each support both 100W power delivery and USB 3.1 Gen 2 transfer speeds (10Gb/s). These were some of the first major brands to manufacture a USB Type-C cable with the best of both worlds, and the floodgates are now opening as a quick search on Amazon would indicate.

But only slightly…

It seems like a blessing that these two respected brands would finally introduce almost precisely what I was looking for this entire time, but the key word in that comment is “almost.”

While these cables will do just about everything I could ever aspire for them to do, you might have noticed that both measure just one meter in length. Comparatively, the OEM USB Type-C charging cable that ships with Apple’s 2016/2017 MacBook Pro measures two meters in length.

If you happen to have one of those OEM extension cables from an earlier Mac notebook, then this isn’t as much of a problem. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t include one with the 2017 MacBook Pro (and perhaps other new machines), which leaves a plethora of people with limited options.

That said, if you choose to use one of these one-meter cables, you’ll either need to purchase an Apple OEM extension cable from Apple for $19.00 to meet your distance needs, or you’ll be hugging the wall on which any power outlet you choose to use resides.

Nope; not really the ideal situation – but it’s better than it was just a couple of months ago.

The search continues

There are no clear indications about what’s taking so long to develop the “perfect” USB Type-C cable, but if I had to guess, limitations inside the circuitry at each terminating end of the cable could have something to do with it. Perhaps the hardware driving both the scale-tipping data and power delivery speeds is only robust enough to send the signal across one meter of cable.

With all things considered, it seems like manufacturing companies are only just beginning to scratch the surface of the capabilities introduced by the USB Type-C standard, and it could be a while before the ideal product finally launches to the public.

On the other hand, research and development got us this far, so it only seems obvious that manufacturers are on the verge of progress. Perhaps with a bit more patience, the perfect USB Type-C cable will eventually surface.

Are you satisfied with the current USB Type-C standard, or would you like to see it evolve even further? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • therealjjohnson

    No. All USB-C cables are not created equal.

  • stylesbeyond

    while type-c is great, the problems comes to generation and a decent and cheap rubbish cables, some do some things while others don’t do various other things, ive recently upgraded all my cables to anker 3.1 usb-c gen 2 cables

  • Josiah

    It seems to me like the technology isn’t ready for those kinds of data transfer speeds or power delivery capabilities. Then at the same time not all USC C cables are the same, and not all power bricks are the same. As an average cconsumer, the only thing I see that is better than the previous micro USB is that the connector is reversible. I don’t think the average consumer can get much out of USB C cables because the quick charge is only available on certain devices and those devices require certain power bricks and even sometimes certain cables that run way more expensive. The standard isn’t a standard when each phone company makes theirs special so you have to buy theirs if you want to performance you are looking for.

    • I agree with you 100%.

    • Jack Wong

      I would rather get a apple smart battery case than this usb fast charging, because I still need to be indoor or in a car -.-;

  • Joz Jonlin

    I’ve purchased them from Anker and Belken and have avoided other brands due to the concerns mentioned here. I’ve looked everywhere for the Samsung OEM cable which came with my Note 8. No luck. It’s a 4′ cable which seems like the perfect overall length for every day use. It’s neither too long or too short. For now, I’ll be sticking with Anker and Belken because of their higher quality products. Personally, I’d rather pay a little more for a better quality product than saving some money but getting junk in return. Give it time. I’m sure we’ll see higher quality products proliferating the market sometime soon.

  • I still think USB-A is the way to go till at least 2019…