Every now and then a new kind of technology or connector comes along that changes everything. We saw the biggest change ever in computing when USB ports started to appear on computers, and over the last decade and more, we have come to use these ports for everything from keyboards and mice to complicated devices. Things though, are looking to change, and while annoying they are for the better. Say hello to USB C. It is smaller, faster and can carry more power than USB. It can also connect to pretty much anything. Everything from monitors to phones to those in between things. In fact, the new Nexus phones by Google also have USB C ports on them, instead of the micro USB ports we have come to recognize over the years.
CES 2016 has highlighted that most new computers being released are starting to feature these ports, and even other hardware will not feature it. Apple has already on the train with their latest Macbooks.
This does cause a problem. Accessories for phones and normal USB ports have existed for years and years, and are extremely cheap. You can choose what to pay, and how much, and get what you pay for. A quick search on USB C, and you find that it really isn’t the case. Or so was the case that lead me to a frustrated tweet, and a friendly hello from the awesome folks at Kanex, who have been waiting for the exact opportunity. They have a whole suite of accessories ready to be used and bought, and below, we take a quick look at them.
USB-C to USB 3.0 Cable
Let’s start with the folks who have them USB C phones. Having a charger nearby with Micro USB was a dream, but not quite the case with USB C, as most of those chargers have USB C connectors on both end. Solution? Have a USB C to USB 3.0 Cable. Want to connect your phone to your computer? Just plug one end in the computer, and the other in your phone. Simples. Same goes with charging your phone, or plugging it into a battery pack.
Available from Kanex at €19.95.
USB-C to USB Adapter
And what if you have the opposite problem? You have a computer with a USB C port, but only USB 3.0 devices? Their is a cable for that too, and using it you can plug in anything that you may already have.
Retails from €19.95, and is available at Kanex.
Fancy something a bit more robust and posh?
For a couple of quid more, you have the premium version which comes in Space Gray, Silver or Gold, and features Dura Braid, for long lasting use.
USB-C 3-Port Hub with Gigabit Ethernet
And what if just one USB port won’t do? Hey, there is a USB C to USB 3 hub for you, which is ironically also 3 way, and it features a Gigabit Ethernet port as well. Ticks quite a few boxes this one, and is available from Kanex at €50.96. Of course, being compact means it can travel with you in your travel bag, and being plug and play means you don’t need to worry about what works and what doesn’t.
USB-C to display
So one of the things noticeable on these new fancy machines is that while they may bring to you USB C, they are getting rid of all the other ports. The real important ones. I am not talking 1990s Serial Ports here. I am talking your VGA and HDMI ports! Yeah, USB-C is even getting rid of those! And what if you don’t have a USB C monitor? Kanex have answers for both:
The USB-C to VGA Adapter not only allows you to plug in any monitor, it gives you video up to full 1080p, meaning there is no need to throw out your old monitor. This one retails for €39.95.
And if you do have an HDMI Monitor, or even one that goes up to 4K, there is an adapter for that too. And being 4K means you don’t have to worry about upgrades, just wait till Netflix and the likes catch up.
Retails for €49.95.