How do you feel about laptops being powered by USB-C?

edited April 2017 in Hardware
How do you feel about laptops being powered by USB-C? i think it's a step in the right direction. With every laptop I've had in the past, the AC adapters always get fucked up in someway so I think this is a step in the right direction.


  • It's a universal standard, can replace Type A and various video ports, (possibly audio too) and reversible. This is a good step for the industry.
  • A step in the right direction... but there are miles to go still. I think using USB C for charging will only be good if we can standardize on charger output. I definitely foresee someone trying to run their laptop with their cell phone charger. Or trying to charge their phone with a laptop charger. And if we could make smarter chargers that would actually allow that to work, I think that would be great.

    The biggest problem I have with USB type C is that it can do so many things but it's not required to do them all so it can be confusing what each port does...

    Your shiny new laptop could have, let's say 3 USB type C ports. 1 is a charging port, 1 is a thunderbolt + USB port, and 1 is just a normal USB 3.1 Gen 1 port.

    So you go to plug in your charger and for some reason that you (John Q. Consumer) can't figure out, your laptop isn't charging. Maybe it's broken? Let me try a different port... nope... still nothing. Let's try another port... ok, now it's working... funny. I guess those other two ports are broken.

    Or let's say you go to plug in a fancy new SSD external drive and transfer some data from it. But why is it copying so slow? I thought I had the latest and greatest fancy new USB port that could transfer at 10 Gbps. Nope, it's a 3.1 Gen 1 port (formally known as 3.0) running at 5 Gbps.

    To be fair, you'd probably never notice the difference between 5 Gbps and 10 Gbps, but still, the point is that the type C port can be many different things and buying new hardware right now, it's kind of a crap shoot what features your new USB C port will support.

    Will it support charging? Will it support thunderbolt? Will it support USB 3.1 Gen 2? Better memorize the specs of your machine so you won't be disappointed later when you go to plug in your new peripheral.

    These problems will likely be solved in the future, but for now it's still a bit too new and hasn't settled down yet.
  • Power Delivery requires negotiation, so your phone should be able to use a laptop charger, and if the laptop can do a trickle, the phone charger.

    The fact that what protocols are supported on a port are ambiguous though. TB3 is also not entirely common yet - I hope it can come down in price.
  • Don't have much to say on this, but I've been using one with my 12" MacBook and I don't have any qualms about it. It's important to have that power negotiation considering it ranges from 5V to 20V so the typical consumer doesn't fry anything just because the cable fitted.

    Although I was are of this when I purchased the MacBook, the only downside was having just the one USB-C port, so at some point will purchase one of those USB-A/USB-C/HDMI adapters. The USB-C AC charger is nice though, very compact and convenient to put in your bag while on the go.
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