Type A or Type C

by Volker Weber

Sketch

This was a bit of a trick question. You can view it as choice between the past and the future. You can also view it as a question about convenience. I have literally hundreds of things that require a USB Type A connector and I have only three things that have a USB Type C connector. And they all came with a Type A to C cable.

IMG 9868

The question became interesting when Microsoft announced two new computers, the Surface Laptop and the new Surface Pro, and did not provide a Type C connector, drawing much criticism from pundits. Much in the same (or opposite) way that Apple received for their "courageous" decision to provide only Type C connectors on MacBook and MacBook Pro. Panos Panay:

“I love the technology in Type-C, I believe in Type-C,” explains Microsoft’s Surface chief, Panos Panay, in an exclusive interview with The Verge. "When Type-C is ready for our customers, to make it easy for them, we’ll be there.” While Panay isn’t ready to add USB-C to Surface devices just yet, he thinks he has the answer: a dongle. “If you love Type-C, it means you love dongles,” jokes Panay. “We’re giving a dongle to people who love dongles.”

I can't count the number of times people have moaned about their need to bring dongles for their Type A devices. Eventually, the dust will clear and we might have Thunderbolt 3 with Type C connectors but for the time being, this area is very confusing. Power supplies that fry electronics through Type C, cables that aren't complying to standards, confusion between Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 protocols. If it fits, it does not sit.

 

The ubiquitous connector for Surface is the reversible and magnetic Surface Connector. It connects Surface dock to all mobile Surface computers, it connects the Surface Book clipboard to the base or a dock, it connects to the power supply. This one is going to stay. Eventually there will be Type C Thunderbolt connectors on Surface. In the meantime you will be able to bridge from the Surface Connector to Type C via a dongle. And plug a gazillion of Type A connectors into the device without a dongle.

Comments

the actual size of the A connector doesn't bother me all that much.. it's actually pretty small (compared to say parallel and serial cables), what the C (and the Lightning) connectors have that's great is the ability to plug them in any which way.
As far as I can tell, USB-As were designed to ensure you never get it right the first time.

Craig Wiseman, 2017-05-25

Type A are those three-sided beasts, right? You try first, no fit, turn around, still no fit, turn around again - fits 🤣

Hubert Stettner, 2017-05-25

Recent comments

Andreas Schleth on What is ISO on digital cameras? at 23:21
Marco Schirmer on Plantronics 6200 UC haben sich bewährt at 16:34
Volker Weber on Und was ist mit den alten Headsets? at 22:28
Ragnar Schierholz on Und was ist mit den alten Headsets? at 22:26
Thomas Traub on AutoSleep Tracking mit der Apple Watch at 21:43
Nina Wittich on Und was ist mit den alten Headsets? at 17:51
Volker Weber on Und was ist mit den alten Headsets? at 15:40
Mario Plötner on Und was ist mit den alten Headsets? at 13:23
Stanislaus Landeis on Empathy and innovation :: this is not your dad's Microsoft anymore at 13:13
Bernd Hofmann on Ausprobiert :: Eve Light Strip at 11:24
Ralf Pichler on Ausprobiert :: Eve Light Strip at 08:46
Axel Laemmert on AutoSleep Tracking mit der Apple Watch at 06:35
Volker Weber on ANC Headphones :: Beats vs Bose vs Microsoft vs Sony at 22:28
Hubert Stettner on The best thing you can do for your health: sleep well at 19:27
Christoph Rummel on ANC Headphones :: Beats vs Bose vs Microsoft vs Sony at 14:47
Volker Weber on Empathy and innovation :: this is not your dad's Microsoft anymore at 14:23
Peter Seidl on Empathy and innovation :: this is not your dad's Microsoft anymore at 12:49
Patrick Bohr on Jetzt auf meinem Sonos :: Das Radio der von Neil Young Getöteten at 11:47
Patrick Bohr on Dieses Schaubild ist die Quelle aller heutigen Apple-Gerüchte at 11:17
Reinhard Fellner on AutoSleep Tracking mit der Apple Watch at 10:21
Volker Weber on Empathy and innovation :: this is not your dad's Microsoft anymore at 10:20
Thomas Langel on udoq :: Es kommt auf das Netzteil an at 09:11
Volker Weber on Empathy and innovation :: this is not your dad's Microsoft anymore at 07:49
Michael Oehme on Empathy and innovation :: this is not your dad's Microsoft anymore at 07:48
Peter Seidl on Empathy and innovation :: this is not your dad's Microsoft anymore at 07:31

Ceci n'est pas un blog

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

vowe

Contact
Publications
Stuff that works
Amazon Wish List
Frequently Asked Questions

rss feed  twitter  amazon

Local time is 00:32

visitors.gif

buy me coffee

Paypal vowe