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

Volker Weber on HiHello :: A super convenient way to exchange business cards at 18:11
Ragnar Schierholz on HiHello :: A super convenient way to exchange business cards at 17:39
Volker Weber on HiHello :: A super convenient way to exchange business cards at 15:46
Ragnar Schierholz on HiHello :: A super convenient way to exchange business cards at 14:45
Volker Weber on Sen.se is kaputt at 11:33
Volker Weber on HiHello :: A super convenient way to exchange business cards at 11:28
Yves Luther on HiHello :: A super convenient way to exchange business cards at 11:16
Viktor Dexheimer on Sen.se is kaputt at 09:45
Jürgen Sting on Configuring Windows 10 Devices to Wake and Update Outside of Class time at 08:43
Klaus Schneider on When you mass delete files from OneDrive at 07:51
Alexander Jäckel on Surface Go oder Surface Pro? at 23:04
Ragnar Schierholz on When you mass delete files from OneDrive at 22:40
Volker Weber on When you mass delete files from OneDrive at 20:05
Bernd Schuster on When you mass delete files from OneDrive at 17:57
Markus Mews on When you mass delete files from OneDrive at 17:50
Samuel Orsenne on When you mass delete files from OneDrive at 16:13
Volker Weber on When you mass delete files from OneDrive at 16:03
Jochen Schug on When you mass delete files from OneDrive at 16:02
Klaus Schneider on When you mass delete files from OneDrive at 15:36
Bernd Schuster on When you mass delete files from OneDrive at 15:04
Volker Weber on When you mass delete files from OneDrive at 14:05
Dragon Cotterill on When you mass delete files from OneDrive at 13:41
Klaus Schneider on When you mass delete files from OneDrive at 13:10
Volker Weber on Backup important folders to OneDrive at 12:33
Chris Lindley on Sen.se is kaputt at 10:14

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 03:15

visitors.gif

buy me coffee