USB Types and Versions – Everything you need to know

The USB Type-C or the USB-C is one of the newest revisions of USB ports that will replace all the older versions of the USB ports. There has been rumors that all the notebooks or laptops would come baring the USB-C and that can be true keeping in mind that the latest MacBook packs the USB-C port.

Starting from the USB Type-A, USB type-B and no the USB type-C, they all come with features and functionalities and a majority of us have no idea about. Although, information about these ports is vital when it comes to their use and their power input and output. Like we have always argued that everything that are released within the newer versions of devices have their pros and cons, that theory still stands valid. Although, the USB-C comes with several improvements and plus points but the contradictory part is also true which we are going to review as follows, but first we are going to go through all the versions of USB Types and the difference between either of them.

Keep in mind that the Type refers to the shape of the USB port, whereas, the version refers to the speed and the functionality.

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USB Type-A

The USB Type – A came with several versions including the USB 1.1, USB 2.0 and the USB 3.0.  These are one of the most commonly shaped USB ports on our laptop computer, desktop computers and they also come with in a list of latest TVs and other connecting devices.

Credits: CNET

Credits: CNET

The USB Type-A does not only come with the standard size but they also had variants with smaller sizes, namely, the USB Mini Type-A and the USB Micro Type-A, but they did not get too much fame based on the fact that they only came with a few devices. Although, the USB 3.0 ports and connectors have a larger amount of pins as compared to the USB 2.0 version to deliver faster speed and higher power output, these pins are organized in a way that doesn’t prevent them from working with older versions physically.

USB Type-B

Credits: CNET

Credits: CNET

The USB Type-B took over when it came to smaller devices and was one of the reasons why the USB Type-A smaller ports did not make their way towards the spotlight. Till date there are 5 designs and sizes of the Type-B.

  1. The Standard-B: This design was used for both the USB 1.1 and USB 2.0. It was majorly used in large devices, such as, printers, scanners etc.


  1. Mini-USB Type-B: Significantly smaller compared to the previous versions of the USBs, the Mini-USB Type-B ports are usually found in older devices, such as, digital cameras and portable devices.


  1. Micro-USB: Slightly smaller than Mini-USB, the Micro-USB Type-B port is currently the most popular USB port design for latest smartphones and tablets.


  1. Micro-USB 3.0: This is the widest design and mostly used for USB 3.0 portable drives. Most of the time, the Type-A end of the cable is blue.


  1. Standard-B USB 3.0: This design is very similar to the Standard-B, however, it’s designed to handle USB 3.0 speed. Most of the time, both ends of the cable are blue.


USB Type-C

Credits: CNET

Credits: CNET

The USB Type-C or the USB-C is the latest version of the USB that came within the MacBook a few days back. The following are the main improvements on the port size and the speed.

  1. Easier to plug in

The USB-C can be connected in either directly, there are no groves or shapes that need to be looked at and aligned before you plug in your USB cable or device. This would mean easier to connect and a lesser probability of wear and tear.

  1. Power Capability and Data Transfer

USB 3.1 Type-C cables offer a transfer rate of 10 Gbps, which is twice the amount that the USB 3.0 offered (5 Gbps). Additionally, these cables will provide 20 volts and 5 amps of power which is 3 times better than the previous version, comparatively offering 5 volts and 1.8 amps. This means faster charging of connected devices as well as faster data transfer.

  1. Ugly Reality

Although, the USB-C does provide a lot of features and functionalities but for now you need to keep a bunch of converter cables or USB dongles for your devices to be supported with the USB-C. The clever thing done by the manufacturers is that the USB-C does provide reverse compatibility, which means you can connect the previous versions of USB but using dongles of course.


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