SOUND OFF: Should everything go to USB-C?

I think it’s time for a little revolution. Not a big one, mind you. Just a little one. I think it’s time the USB type A connector goes away.

USB Type A?

Yeah, you know what I mean. It’s this one.

USB Type A has been the default connector on computers for close to 20 years. It replaced a whole bunch of competing connectors that all, frankly, stunk. Honestly though, it’s time for it to go.

I think everything should go to USB-C.

I’m sure that I don’t need to spend any time introducing USB-C. (Besides, I already did that in another article.)  USB-C does everything that any other USB cable can do, and it has a few extra benefits:

  1. It can carry enough power for a laptop or desktop computer.
  2. You don’t have to worry if it’s upside down.
  3. It’s fast enough to run virtually anything including 8k monitors.
  4. It’s small enough to work on phones and tablets. Apple even uses it now.

Once again, Apple has proven that you don’t need anything other than USB-C. Its latest crop of laptops have practically nothing but USB-C ports (some have headphone jacks and that’s about it.) They’ve even done away with their popular MagSafe power adapter just so they can simplify things.

How would a world with nothing but USB-C work?

Well first of all, charging would be much better than it is now. Even though the days of 100 different wall warts are mostly gone, imagine if there was just one power supply. Imagine if everything from your TV to your computer and phone all used the same power supply. You could even have an outlet with four USB-C ports so you wouldn’t need any sort of wall wart at all to power your devices. Why not? Today’s outlets have USB type A in them.

Just imagine how clean your wiring would look without a single wall wart. USB-C is smart enough to pull only the power it needs, meaning that you don’t have to worry about overloading your devices. You can even have power and data through the same cable, meaning that a monitor or TV could truly have one cable period.

USB-C is seriously fast.

A USB-C enabled hard drive, running the USB 3.2 standard, would be one of the fastest solutions you could get for transferring data. It’s not going to be as fast as 10Gig Ethernet, but realistically no one needs that unless they are in a big data center. For backups and transferring information, it’s faster than you could want.

Yeah you would need dongles… for now.

Any time there’s a period of transition, you’re always going to need some way to convert back to the old standard. We’ve seen this over and over again and the move to USB-C is no different. You’ll need something like this 5-in-1 USB hub that gives you three old-school USB type A ports and a spare USB-C port. Not only that it gives you an HDMI output so you can connect your computer to a TV. That’s a lot of value. Other devices add Ethernet to the mix, because there’s just so much available speed, why not?

What do you think?

Would you rather see all your devices go to a single connector? Or are you still fond of your headphone jack, phone plug, wall wart, network cable, and all the rest? Think about it and leave a comment below!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.