USB-C Charger 101: All You Need to Know

USB or “Universal Serial Bus” is the most renowned standard for charging devices in the world There have been numerous variations in the form factor of USB to adapt to the changing technological requirements. Popular models include the USB-A, USB-B, and micro-USB.

Among these varied USB connector styles is the USB-C. It was a unique re-invention of the USB. The idea for the USB-C connector was conceived in July 2013 by companies like HP, Intel, Microsoft, AMD, and other members of USB Implementers’ Forum  (USB-IF) and hit the market in August 2014. Apple and Google were the first to implement it in their laptops, and today, USB-C is a standard in laptops, chargers, game consoles, and dozens of other devices.

USB-C-charger-101

With its overwhelming popularity, USB-C will prevail long after the other USB connections are discontinued. So, if you want to learn more about USB-C, we’ll help cover the basics like:

  •  What’s a USB-C charger?
  • USB-C Charging speed
  • USB-C vs. USB-A and Micro-USB
  • USB-C Compatible Devices

Continue reading this article to know more about its technological advantages and how it progressed over the years.

What is a USB-C?

A USB-C, also known as a Type-C, is a connector standard published by the  USB-IF. They are a group of industry leaders within established consumer electronics communities like Apple, Intel, and Dell, who designed the USB for universal and user-friendly compatibility.

The USB-C has an oval shape, similar to a rectangle with its corners smoothened into a curve. However, it is also completely symmetrical, making it impossible to plug it in the wrong way.

USB-C Uses

Some common uses of USB-C cables are seen in the Nintendo Switch, MacBook Pro, and Samsung Galaxy phones. They are hailed for their ability to charge devices rapidly and for faster data transfer speed. With future devices looking to adopt the USB-C port, technology will likely be smaller than their predecessors, with thinner and lighter models than ever before.

USB C Cable

USBs work as physical connections, so their charging and transfer speed depends on the version of the USB specification of the device you are using. 

For example, you can get an Apple connector that relies on a USB 2.0 specification and is limited to five watts of power. However, devices that use USB-A connectors would be faster as they can deliver up to twelve watts. Meanwhile, compared to USB-C chargers, they can deliver a robust 18-watts of power. Hence, they can be considered versatile with a much higher power delivery (PD) spec that can even work up to 100 watts.

If you want to learn about Power Delivery and how we categorize fast charging technology, we have you covered.

Why Is USB-C Taking Over?

Here is a quick refresher on what the alternative USB connections are and what makes them worse than Type-C. 

USB-A

Commonly used in phone chargers or cables, USB-A chargers have a classic flat and rectangular shape. 

USB Types

The biggest problem with Type-A is the way the connectors fit together. The port is large and won’t fit on a cell phone or tabet. Unlike the Type-C connection, the Type-A connection needs to be inserted so the receptacles fit together, which can be pretty annoying if you are trying to charge your phone in the dark. 

Micro USB

Micro-USB was created to solve the size problem of USB-A, but the creation of USB-C has made it redundant. Micro-USB connections have fewer copper pins and an overall less efficient design. Nowadays, it only exists today on legacy devices and bargain bin devices. If you wanna learn more about USB connector types, click here.

What Can a USB-C Charger Charge?

 USB-C cables have an extensive power range and can charge well-known devices such as the Nintendo Switch, MacBook Pro, and the latest series of Samsung Galaxy Smartphones. Similarly, they are installed in many of the latest Android phones, tablets like iPad Air and Huawei tablets, game consoles such as the newest Xbox controllers, and monitors.

The world is eventually moving towards USB-C cables, and many upcoming devices will reflect that. But even if you have an old device, there are numerous cables and adapters that can help bridge the gap between USB-C and existing USB devices. 

To learn more about these adapters, you can click here.

USB-C Charger Wattage

USB cables can supply 5W of power up to 100W of power. It’s also possible that in a couple years they will be able to supply 240W of power.  The effectiveness of your charge will depend on the software and hardware in a device. The wattage that a wall plug is rated for is its maximum output, but it can always supply less. A charger that has multiple ports will also distribute the power to different ports.

UGREEN-USB-C-chargers

20W Mini PD USB-C Charger

It is the ideal charger for providing full-speed charging for mobile phones, tablets, and more compatible devices. It provides up to 3 times the charging speed of the 5W charging of previous iPhone models with half the size of a standard iPhone 12 USB-C charger.

It also comes with an intelligent chip inside it that matches the current of the device automatically, protecting them from overcharging. Its elegant square design and stable center of gravity ensures that your device charges safely overnight. 

A 20 W mini charger is ideal for your iPad Pro, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, Airpods, Samsung Galaxy S-series, LG phone, or similar devices.

45W USB-C Charger

The 45W USB-C charger comes with a USB-C power adapter that features a Type-C port with a Power Delivery 3.0 with a maximum output capacity of 45W. It is ideal for fast charging your electronic devices, and it works on most USB-C devices. Similarly, it is also compatible with QC 3.0, QC 2.0, Samsung AFC, and Huawei FCP devices. 

Related article: Everything you need to know about fast charging

Just like the 20W charger, the charger distributes the wattage, and over-current, over-voltage, and short-circuit protection methods effectively protect your devices from damage and ensure safe charging overnight.

If you are looking for a 40W widely-compatible USB-C charger for your MacBook, Samsung Galaxy, Air pods, Google Pixel, Nintendo Switch, and LG phone, you can buy a UGREEN charger from us by clicking here.

65W 4 Port 3C1A PD GAN Charger

The 65W 4 Port 3C1A PD GAN charger can charge a wide variety of digital devices and supports all Fast Charging Protocols. It consistently works to ensure that your devices charge with three times better efficiency, and it serves as the lightest and smallest GAN Fast Charger. With 4-ports, an efficient ergonomic design, and a lightweight of 165g, it can save you half the space of a regular charger.

Though the charger works for practically all devices, principally, it functions for Apple devices. It is ideal for the MacBook Air 2020, iPad Pro, iPhone 11 Pro, AirPods Pro, Apple Watch, etc. If you want to buy this highly efficient 45W charger with 3 Type-C and one USB-A port, you can click here.

GaN charger

100W 4 Port 3C1A PD GAN Charger

The newest addition to the UGREEN fast charging lineup is the 100W x series of chargers. There are a variety of 100W wall plugs available in this series but the most versatile is the 100W 3C1A. In this case, 3C represents the three USB-C ports and 1A represents the one Type-A port. 

Not only is it great for charging your MacBook Pro, but it also has the ability to charge multiple devices as well. The 100W can be distributed to charge multiple devices that require less power. That is the reason it is sometimes referred to as the All-in-One. It can do the job of all the other chargers and has fast charging protocols for most major brands like Apple, Samsung, and Huawei.  

Conclusion

To conclude, a USB Type-C charger may not be the most widely accepted USB type currently. However, it is safe to assume it will eventually, judging by its rapidly spreading popularity. With a symmetrical user-friendly design and exceptionally faster charging, it is no wonder why manufacturers are turning to USB-Cs as the future of charging technology. 

USB-C Charger 101: All You Need to Know

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5 Replies to “USB-C Charger 101: All You Need to Know

  1. USB-C charger may charge faster because it offers higher voltage at the same current, but the faster you charge a lithium battery, it will most likely not last as long as a slow charge that came initially with tablets.

  2. I think there’s a typo in the text underneath the image of the four USB connector types. The first sentence reads “The biggest problem with Type-C is the way the connectors fit together…”
    I think you mean Type-A
    Thanks for an intersting and informative article.

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