USB-C

Jump to Reviews Articles

'USB-C' Reviews

Review: OWC's 'USB-C Dock' Expands MacBook Connectivity Options With Ten Ports

Since the launch of Apple's Retina MacBook last April, users have been looking for ways to expand the functionality of the single port included on the machine, a USB-C that can support a multitude of functions including power and data. Many third-party companies have begun shipping single-use dongles and small hubs for MacBook fans to be able to get full use out of their ultra-thin 12-inch notebooks. All pictures in the review are of a pre-production unit lacking proper screen printing with port designations OWC's USB-C Dock is one of the first full-featured alternatives for the MacBook. At $159.00, the 8-inch by 3.5-inch dock comes with ten ports for users to take advantage of: four USB Type-A, one USB Type-C, an SD card reader, HDMI with 4K display support, Gigabit Ethernet, an audio headphone jack, and one USB 3.1 Type-C computer link. The first thing that should be noted is that the dock requires two included cables to fully function: an external 80W power source that plugs into an outlet, and the USB-C cable that connects everything to the MacBook. Thankfully, the power adapter also charges the MacBook while it's in use; after that initial setup, most things plugged into the dock work without any added steps.

SanDisk Dual USB Drive Type-C Review: No-Hassle File Transfers for Apple's New MacBook

Known for providing a variety of storage solutions for desktop and mobile devices, SanDisk continues its trend of easy-to-use storage devices supporting multiple connector standards with its new Dual USB Drive Type-C. Taking aim at the growing use of USB-C in the tech industry, the Dual USB Drive includes connectors for both USB-A 3.0 and USB-C that allow users to transfer files between a traditional USB-supporting computer and a machine like Apple's new 12-inch Retina MacBook that uses the new USB-C standard. While similar to the company's iXpand Flash Drive line -- which pairs a USB connector with a Lightning connector for a more mobile-friendly storage solution -- the Dual USB Drive is definitely lighter and slimmer than the iXpand line. The new drive is actually part of the line of SanDisk's "Dual" USB Drives, the other two of which focus on a more Android compatible transfer process. Only coming in a 32GB option, the Dual USB Drive Type-C has plenty of storage for all kinds of files, from music and photos to documents and slideshows. I've spent the past week or so testing the Dual drive, but as with any other basic flash drive, it either works hassle-free or it doesn't. Thankfully, SanDisk's new USB-C supported solution is a breeze when it comes to data storage and transfer. The drive took essentially the entire contents of my new 12-inch MacBook and in a few seconds had successfully pasted copies of the files into its 32GB storage.

'USB-C' Articles

USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 Display Buyer's Guide for New MacBook Pro

Apple's new MacBook Pro models feature between two and four Thunderbolt 3 ports that carry power, USB, DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA over a single cable, creating one standard for connecting most accessories and peripherals. Thunderbolt 3 uses the same connector type as USB-C, also called Type-C, meaning the new MacBook Pros are compatible with a growing lineup of USB-C external displays. USB-C displays can display up to 4K video, transfer data, and charge the new MacBook Pro at up to 60W over a single cable connected between the display and notebook. LG's new UltraFine 5K display, meanwhile, uses Thunderbolt 3 to display 5K video and fully charge the new MacBook Pro at up to 85W. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar can drive dual 5K displays, while the 13-inch model can drive one 5K display. LG launched its UltraFine 4K and 5K displays in partnership with Apple, which exited the standalone display business after discontinuing its Thunderbolt Display earlier this year. The first USB-C displays from other manufacturers were released just this year, so the current selection remains limited. MacRumors has rounded up most of the options available from LG, ASUS, Acer, and Lenovo below. LG 27UD88 Display size: 27-inch Display resolution: Ultra HD (3,840×2,160 pixels) PPI: 163 Display technology: IPS LED Aspect ratio: 16:9 Refresh rate: 60Hz Color gamut: sRGB (over 99%) Brightness: 350 cd/m2 Ports: 1 input USB-C, 2 USB 3.0, 2 HDMI 2.0, 1 DisplayPort 1.2 Cables included: USB-C to USB-C, USB-C to USB, HDMI, DisplayPort Power delivery to MacBook Pro: Up to

Thunderbolt 3/USB-C Adapters, Cables, and Hubs for New MacBook Pro

In line with the 12-inch MacBook, Apple has removed all ports on the new MacBook Pro beyond two or four Thunderbolt 3 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Thunderbolt 3 carries power, USB, DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA over a single USB-C port, creating one standard for connecting most accessories and peripherals. The issue for now, however, is not all devices are equipped with USB-C ports. Apple's very own iOS devices, for example, use a proprietary Lightning port instead. More USB-C accessories will inevitably be released over the coming months and years, but in the meantime, many new MacBook Pro users will need to purchase at least one dongle or hub to use the notebook with their current setup. Own an iPhone? You need a new cable. Own a Thunderbolt Display? You need an adapter. Below, we have rounded up some of the USB-C adapters and cables available from Apple and third-party accessory makers. Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 1/2 Adapter — $49 This adapter can be used to connect the new MacBook Pro to Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 peripherals. Examples include Apple's discontinued Thunderbolt Display and older Thunderbolt external storage drives. The adapter can also be used to connect the new MacBook Pro to Apple's Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter and Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter. Tip: Belkin sells a direct USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet adapter for $34.95. The adapter is bidirectional, so it can be used reversely to connect new Thunderbolt 3 devices to an older Mac with a Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 port. USB-C Charge Cable — $25 Have

HDMI Announces USB-C to HDMI Cables for 4K Displays and TVs

The licensing group behind the HDMI interface has introduced a new HDMI Alternate Mode that will allow for USB-C devices like the 12-inch MacBook, smartphones, and tablets to connect to HDMI-enabled 4K displays and TVs over a single cable, with no adapters or dongles required. The new specification will lead to the release of simple HDMI to USB-C cables that support the full range of HDMI 1.4b features, including 3D, Ethernet, and CEC. Connecting an HDMI-enabled 4K display or TV to a 12-inch MacBook currently requires using Apple's $79 USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter. Thunderbolt remains the more popular I/O protocol for connecting 4K displays and TVs to Macs, since existing models are unable to drive 4K displays or TVs at 60Hz over HDMI by default. HDMI-enabled 4K displays and TVs connected to a 12-inch MacBook via adapter, for example, only support a 30Hz refresh rate. In addition to the 12-inch MacBook, Apple is rumored to release updated MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models featuring USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 as early as October. Those notebooks would support HDMI to USB-C cables, providing Mac users with another option for connecting 4K displays and

Apple to Release New MacBook Pro and Air as Early as October, AMD iMacs and 5K Display With LG Also in Works

Apple is planning to refresh its Mac lineup, including the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, as early as October, according to Bloomberg. The report also claims Apple is working on a standalone 5K display in partnership with LG Electronics, while it plans to update iMac models with an option for new graphics chips from AMD. The report reiterates that the new MacBook Pro will be thinner and include an OLED-based touchscreen strip along the top of the flatter keyboard, which will present functions that dynamically fit the current task or application, as well as integrate Touch ID to enable users to quickly log in using their fingerprint.For example, if a user is on their desktop, the screen will show a virtual representation of the standard function row, which includes brightness and media controls. When in an application, the virtual row will show options specific to the task at hand, but volume controls and a switch to show the default functions will always be present.Apple has reportedly named the feature "Dynamic Function Row" internally, but its official name may differ when announced. The tweaked MacBook Air models, meanwhile, are said to include multipurpose USB-C ports, which makes the inclusion of Thunderbolt 3 a possibility. No other details were shared about the planned MacBook Air and iMac refreshes. Apple's plans to work with LG on a standalone 5K display surface two months after it discontinued the five-year-old Thunderbolt Display. It remains unclear if the monitor will be based upon the Retina 5K iMac, and it is also unclear if the report's broad late

Woz Laments No Headphone Jack on iPhone 7, Sees USB-C as Future of Audio

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has predicted a consumer backlash if Apple drops the headphone jack in the upcoming iPhone 7 in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector for audio output, charging, and accessory connectivity. "If it's missing the 3.5mm earphone jack, that's going to tick off a lot of people," claimed Woz, speaking to The Australian Financial Review. "I would not use Bluetooth – I don't like wireless," he said. "I have cars where you can plug in the music, or go through Bluetooth, and Bluetooth just sounds so flat for the same music." With Apple widely expected to drop the headphone jack in next month's iPhone 7, rumors indicate the company will include Lightning-equipped EarPods in the box, as well as a Lightning-to-jack adapter to allow users like Woz to connect their existing wired earphones to the device. "Mine have custom ear implants, they fit in so comfortably, I can sleep on them and everything. And they only come out with one kind of jack, so I'll have to go through the adapter," he said. Asked what would have to change for him to consider using wireless in the future, Woz added: "If there's a Bluetooth 2 that has higher bandwidth and better quality, that sounds like real music, I would use it. But we'll see." Bluetooth 5, announced in June, is expected to be faster, with longer range and a higher transfer rate, but when the standard will be ready for adoption remains unclear. While the consensus is that Apple will remove the headphone jack in favor of Lightning, Intel continues to position USB-C as the open standard of the

Intel Touts USB-C as Future of Digital Audio as Apple Set to Ditch Headphone Jack

While the consensus is that Apple will remove the 3.5mm headphone jack on new iPhones unveiled next month, in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector for audio output, charging, and accessory connectivity, Intel continues to position USB-C as the open standard of the future for digital audio. At IDF 2016 this week, CNET reports that Intel architect Brad Saunders addressed the USB Type-C Digital Audio specification due this quarter, noting that its improved power management for USB headphones and other new features "will really make USB Type-C the right connector for audio." Apple has adopted USB-C on the 12-inch MacBook, but new iPhones are expected to retain the proprietary Lightning connector in lieu of the open standard. USB-C, meanwhile, continues to see wider adoption in popular Android-based smartphones like Google's Nexus 6P and Samsung's Galaxy Note 7. Apple has equipped its mobile devices with proprietary connectors for over a decade, including the 30-pin dock connector used for iPhone, iPad, and iPod models between 2003 and 2012. Apple's notebooks, beyond the 12-inch MacBook, are also equipped with a proprietary MagSafe connector for charging. For that reason, it is likely that Apple will continue to favor Lightning over USB-C for at least the foreseeable

MacBook Air With USB-C Again Rumored, Launch Timeframe Unclear

Last month, Japanese blog Mac Otakara reported that Apple plans to announce new MacBook Air models featuring USB-C ports based on the Thunderbolt 3 protocol by the end of June, and begin shipping the notebooks to retailers in August. It is now seven weeks later, however, and the rumor has yet to materialize. But if a new report from Taiwanese website DigiTimes is to believed, Apple still has plans to release a new MacBook Air with USB-C ports after all. The report does not provide a launch timeframe for the updated notebooks, but the secondary rumor suggests Mac Otakara may have been off on timing only.Currently, Apple has decided to adopt the USB Type-C interface for its MacBook Air, while Asustek Computer and Hewlett-Packard (HP) are upgrading one of their notebooks' regular USB port to the Type-C. Lenovo, Acer and Dell are still evaluating the option.DigiTimes previously reported that Apple will begin shipping new "ultra-thin" 13-inch and 15-inch MacBooks at the end of the second quarter, which ended in late June. The report said the new MacBooks would "share a design similar to the existing 12-inch MacBook" and be "thinner than [the] existing MacBook Air." DigiTimes also previously reported that Apple plans to release new ultra-thin MacBooks with metal injection molded hinges in the second half of 2016. The website is not always an accurate source of Apple's upcoming product plans, but it has well-connected supply chain sources that have proven reliable at times in the past. Apple's entire Mac lineup, beyond the 2016 12-inch MacBook, has stagnated. Apple has

Kanex Launches GoPower USB-C Battery Pack for MacBook

Kanex has introduced a new GoPower rechargeable 15,000 mAh USB-C battery pack capable of delivering one full charge to the 12-inch Retina MacBook. The slim aluminum battery pack also has a traditional USB port that can provide multiple charges to iPhones, iPads, and other USB devices. USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cables are included for charging the GoPower itself. A four-LED status indicator lets users know the power level of the battery pack based on 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent, and 100 percent intervals. Kanex has also included a built-in circuit protection board with priority charging detection technology that enables pass-through charging to plugged in devices when the battery pack itself is plugged into a power source. The battery pack's USB-C output is 5V at 3 Amps, while its USB output is 5V at 2.4 Amps. GoPower retails for $99.95 on Amazon and Kanex's website.

Intel Wants to Replace 3.5mm Headphone Jack With USB-C Audio

Intel this week announced plans to usher in the adoption of an audio USB Type-C connector that would replace the standard 3.5 millimeter analog jack and eventually be capable of digital audio transmission (via Anandtech). The plans were announced during the Intel Developers Forum (IDF) in Shenzhen, China, where the semiconductor manufacturer set out its project to develop USB Type-C Digital Audio. Intel remained vague about the digital conversion, but set out broad aims to update the USB Audio Device 2.0 protocol specifications to include up-to-date audio features, while simplifying discovery and improving power management, with plans to release the revised specification in the second quarter this year. Intel hopes that the improved USB-C audio specification would eventually amount to a standardized connector replacement and eliminate the traditional audio jack from laptops, smartphones and tablets, eventually ushering in a transition to fully digital audio. From a consumer perspective, this could mean higher-quality audio output, more remote control possibilities on headsets, potential biometric health data tracking (such as in-ear heart-rate monitoring), and supplied power for features like active noise-cancelling without the need for dedicated batteries. The news comes amid iPhone 7 rumors suggesting Apple is also looking to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack on its future mobile devices, however speculation gravitates towards Apple replacing it with a proprietary Lightning port capable of transmitting audio. With no headphone jack, wired headphones would

Griffin’s $40 BreakSafe Power Cable Brings MagSafe to the 12-Inch MacBook Starting April 25

Griffin Technology has announced that its BreakSafe Magnetic USB-C Power Cable for the 12-inch Retina MacBook, including the new Early 2016 model introduced earlier this week, will start shipping on Monday, April 25. BreakSafe is a magnetic breakaway power cable for USB-C laptops such as the 12-inch MacBook which, unlike the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, does not feature Apple's proprietary MagSafe technology first introduced in 2006. The cable, originally announced at CES 2016, has a quick-release magnetic connector that plugs into the 12-inch MacBook's USB-C port and safely disconnects from the rest of the cable when under stress or strain, such as tripping over the power cord. BreakSafe's magnetic connector is 12.8mm deep, while the USB-C cable is six feet (1.8m) long. The cable, compatible with USB Power Delivery and rated up to 60 watts, is for charging power only and does not support data and video. BreakSafe can be ordered now for $39.99 on Griffin's website ahead of April 25

CalDigit Announces New Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Storage Devices

Today at the 2016 NAB Show, CalDigit announced four new storage products utilizing the latest Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Type-C technologies. The first is the CalDigit T8, a Thunderbolt 3 RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, and JBOD storage solution with 8-bays offering capacities up to 48TB with 3.5” HDDs and 8TB with SSDs. The device's dual Thunderbolt 3 ports deliver up to 40Gb/s bandwidth, while dual USB-C ports work with Type-C computers like the 12-inch Retina MacBook. The new T8 features speeds of up to 1440MB/s with SSDs, two fans for cooling and a full-size DisplayPort connector on the back of the unit that enables users to connect a 4K monitor at 60Hz to the storage device. CalDigit has not released pricing for the T8 yet, but it will be available in late 2016. The second is the CalDigit U6, a 6-bay USB 3.1 Type-C RAID 0, 5, 6, 10 and JBOD storage solution that features USB 3.1 for up to 10Gb/s throughput. Like the T8, the U6 has a USB-C connector that is compatible with any PC, Mac, or Chrome computer with Type-C ports. The U6 will start at $1,399 MSRP for the 12TB version in late 2016. Likewise, the CalDigit AV Pro 2 is a new single-drive storage solution featuring USB 3.1 Type-C for connectivity with the 12-inch Retina MacBook and other Type-C computers. The successor to the original AV Pro features capacities up to 6TB and 1TB with SSDs, and speeds of up to 200MB/s with 3.5” HDDs or 430MB/s with SSDs. Meanwhile, the T4 RAID will be upgraded with Thunderbolt 3 later in 2016. Pricing for the AV Pro 2 and T4 RAID has not been announced. Apple is widely

Seagate Launches First USB-Powered Desktop Hard Drive

Seagate today announced the launch of the Innov8, which it claims to be the world's first desktop-class external hard drive that does not need to be plugged into a power outlet. The HDD is compatible with the Retina MacBook and other USB-C notebooks. Innov8 is an 8TB hard drive powered by a single USB-C cable, eliminating the need for a dedicated power source or adapter. The achievement was possible through USB 3.1 advancements and Seagate's new Ignition Boost Technology. Seagate was the recipient of a 2016 Red Dot design award for the Innov8, which features an aluminum enclosure that can be placed horizontally or vertically on a desk. Innov8 will be available in April for $349 through Seagate, Amazon, and select resellers. 200GB of free Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage is

Amazon Bans Sale of Potentially Dangerous USB-C Cables

Amazon has tightened restrictions on the sale of USB-C cables and adapters on its online store in an effort to protect customers from risky substandard products (via The Verge). The online retailer added non-compliant USB-C cables to its list of prohibited items, following a flood of potentially damaging third-party cables onto the market. The new note on Amazon's page of undesirables prohibits "any USB-C™ (or USB Type-C™) cable or adapter product that is not compliant with standard specifications issued by 'USB Implementers Forum Inc.'" The update was spotted by Google engineer Benson Leung, who has been testing USB-C cables sold by Amazon in an effort to highlight the risks of non-compliant products. Leung was spurred into action after a USB-C charging cable he bought destroyed a Chromebook Pixel he was working on in compatibility tests. Apple introduced the USB-C standard to its Mac range with the release of the 12-inch Retina MacBook. The new standard allows charging, data transfer, and video over a single connector. As a result, USB-C cables are capable of carrying a lot more power than traditional USB connectors, making faulty units a risk to computers and power supplies, and potentially a fire hazard. Apple states in a support document that the 12-inch MacBook will charge from USB-C power adapters not manufactured by Apple if they adhere to the USB Power Delivery specification. Based on Leung's extensive testing, 30 percent of third-party USB-C cables currently available do not meet USB-IF standards. Apple's USB-C ports are designed to shut down if a

Apple Offers Lightning to USB-C Cable for Fast-Charging 12.9-inch iPad Pro

Apple has introduced a Lightning to USB-C Cable to its online accessory store that lets users connect their iPhone, iPad, or iPod with Lightning connector to a computer’s USB-C port for syncing and charging. Significantly, the cable can be used with an Apple 29W USB-C Power Adapter to take advantage of the fast charging feature on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but not the brand new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which lacks the fast-charge capability. The new adapter will be a welcome option for iPhone and iPad owners who also own a 12-inch MacBook, which uses a 29W USB-C Power Adapter. The cable comes in 1-meter and 2-meter lengths, costing $25 and $35 respectively, and both are shipping immediately. Apple’s 29w USB-C Power Adapter is separately available for $49.

DisplayPort 1.4 to Use 'Lossless' Compression for Higher-Quality 8K Video Over USB-C

The Video Electronics Standards Association yesterday formally announced its new DisplayPort 1.4 standard, setting the stage for improved video quality and color for external display connections over both DisplayPort and USB-C connectors. Rather than an increase in actual bandwidth, the improvements in DisplayPort 1.4 come due to improved compression, taking advantage of VESA's new Display Stream Compression 1.2 standard to support High Dynamic Range (HDR) video up to either 8K resolution at 60 Hz or 4K resolution at 120 Hz.DSC version 1.2 transport enables up to 3:1 compression ratio and has been deemed, through VESA membership testing, to be visually lossless. Together with other new capabilities, this makes the latest version of DP ideally suited for implementation in high-end electronic products demanding premier sound and image quality. In addition to video-related improvements, DisplayPort 1.4 also expands audio capabilities with support for 32 channels, 1536kHz sample rates, and broader support for "all known" audio formats. The approval of DisplayPort 1.4 comes even though consumers are still awaiting the arrival of devices supporting the previous DisplayPort 1.3 standard. Intel had been expected to support DisplayPort 1.3 in its current Skylake generation of chips, but the company instead opted to offer dual DisplayPort 1.2 support. As we detailed earlier this year, the lack of DisplayPort 1.3 support in Skylake could lead Apple to hold off on releasing a new 5K Thunderbolt Display until next year when chips supporting the standard become available.

CES 2016: Satechi Type-C USB Hub Updated With Pass-Through Charging for Retina MacBook

Today at CES accessory manufacturer Satechi announced a newly updated Type-C Hub for Apple's Retina MacBook lineup, which replaces one of the traditional USB 3.0 ports with a new USB-C alternative to allow users to charge the MacBook while using the dongle. Otherwise, the hub still includes an SD card slot and Micro SD card slot in addition to two USB 3.0 ports. In terms of new products, the company announced the Type-C Card Reader, which will let users access SD and Micro SD cards at the same time using the USB-C dongle. As a cheaper alternative, the Card Reader is smaller than the hub and lacks the USB 3.0 ports of the bigger accessory. Both products are available in space grey, silver, and gold colors to complement Apple's chosen colorways on the 12-inch MacBook line. Satechi hasn't given the Type-C Card Reader any specific launch date besides "early January," but confirmed the accessory will run for $19.99 in its press release, although the site mentions a $24.99 price point. Starting today, those interested can purchase the new Hub for $39.99 from the company's

Acer and Lenovo Debut First USB-C Monitors, Compatible With Retina MacBook

Acer has announced all-new H7 series monitors as the first to support USB Type-C, making them compatible with Apple's newer 12-inch MacBook. The monitors will be able to charge the MacBook, transfer data and display content over one USB-C cable, eliminating the need for multiple cables and adapters. Acer's new 25-inch and 27-inch H7 series USB-C monitors The monitors will be available in 25-inch and 27-inch screen sizes with 2,560×1,440 pixels resolution, Acer TrueHarmony and DTS Sound, HDMI 2.0 ports and 100% sRGB coverage. The H7 series launches in the U.S. and other North American markets in February with prices starting at $499.99. Availability in other regions will follow. Lenovo has also announced the ThinkVision X24 Pro and ThinkVision X1 as its first two USB Type-C monitors, per AnandTech. The bezel-free ThinkVision X24 Pro features a 1,920×1,080 resolution IPS display, USB-C and Mini DisplayPort, an Intel RealSense 3D camera, two 3W speakers and more. The monitor starts at $399 and ships in May. Lenovo ThinkVision X24 Pro, left, and ThinkVision X1 USB-C monitors The 27-inch ThinkVision X1 has an ultra-thin 7.5mm design, 3,840×2,160 resolution, USB-C and DisplayPort 1.2 ports, HDMI 2.0, 99% sRGB coverage and more. Apple's 12-inch MacBook includes support for DisplayPort 1.2 through USB-C, so it will be able to power this Ultra HD monitor at 60 Hz. The ThinkVision X1 will cost

CalDigit Announces Two New USB-C Docks, USB-C Adapters and More

Today at Inter BEE 2015 in Japan, CalDigit announced two new lines of USB Type-C docks, two new USB-C adapters and more. The new accessories give owners of USB-C computers like the new MacBook more flexibility in how they use their device. CalDigit USB-C Dock The USB-C Dock comes in five colors and features a silicon cover that CalDigit says adds a layer of protection to the dock's aluminum case. The dock includes 2 USB-C ports, 2 USB-A ports, an HDMI port, a Display Port, an Ethernet port, Audio in and out and AC power. The dock allows users to charge their computer while connecting all a user's devices at the same time. The smaller USB-C mini Dock has 2 USB-C ports, 2 USB-A ports, an HDMI port, a VGA port and a Gigabit Ethernet port. Unlike the larger dock, the more portable version does not charge the computer at the same time. Instead, it draws power from the computer. CalDigit also announced the FASTA-6GU3 Plus, a dual interface PCIe card that adds 1 USB-C, 1 USB-A and 2 eSATA ports to any Mac desktop computer. Finally, the company also announced USB-C to HDMI and USB-C to VGA adapters. CalDigit USB-C mini Dock All the new products are available for pre-order on CalDigit's website. The USB-C Dock has a special pre-order price of $149.99, but will retail for $159.99 and ship in February 2016. The mini Dock has a special pre-order price of $89.99, but will retail for $99.99 and ship in late January 2016. The FASTA-6Gu3 Plus also ships in January 2016 and will retail for $169.99. Both adapters will ship in December 2015, with the HDMI adapter retailing for

New USB-C Batteries to Charge Retina MacBooks at Full Speed

Apple's Retina MacBook uses a brand new USB-C connector for power, which means that it's able to be charged by external USB battery packs much like an iPhone or an iPad. But because of its higher 29 watt power requirements, there aren't any current battery packs that pump out enough power to charge the MacBook at full speed. Instead, most USB battery packs used with the MacBook today just keep the battery steady, without adding additional power. That's set to change, however, as companies are starting to debut accessories and battery packs that will let the Retina MacBook charge at its full 29 watt rate. As of today, Hyper, known for its line of external battery packs designed for Apple's notebooks, is launching a Indiegogo project for the HyperJuice Magic Box. Available in two varieties, the Magic Box is an adapter that allows the 12-inch Retina MacBook to be charged at a full 29W speed using HyperJuice battery packs, or up to 12W using regular USB battery packs. The 29W Magic Box adapter cable, which converts the DC output of a HyperJuice battery pack to a USB-C connection, uses a smart IC to enable "fast and safe" 29W charging, refilling the MacBook's battery just as its 29W Power Adapter would. The 12W Magic Box is a USB to USB-C adapter that will let any existing USB battery pack work with the new MacBook, but it won't be as powerful as a HyperJuice battery pack paired with the 29W adapter.If you need faster charging at the same 29W speed as the original Apple USB-C Power Adapter, use Magic Box 29W adapter together with HyperJuice batteries. Only HyperJuice

Intel Announces Thunderbolt 3 With USB-C, Single-Cable Support for Dual 4K Displays at 60Hz

Intel today at Computex 2015 unveiled Thunderbolt 3 with a USB Type-C connector, instead of Mini DisplayPort, and support for USB 3.1, DisplayPort 1.2 and PCI Express 3.0, as outlined by Ars Technica. The new spec's Thunderbolt transport layer provides up to 40Gbps throughput, double the max bandwidth of Thunderbolt 2, alongside an optional 100 watts of power for charging devices in accordance with the USB Power Delivery spec, or 15 watts of power without USB PD."Thunderbolt 3 is backed by Intel's new Alpine Ridge controller. USB 3.1 support is provided by integrating a USB 3.1 host controller into Alpine Ridge. There will be two flavours of the controller, one that uses four PCIe 3.0 lanes to drive two Thunderbolt ports, and another version that only uses two PCIe lanes connected to a single Thunderbolt port." Thunderbolt 3 is capable of driving up to two 4K external displays at 60Hz or a single 5K display at 60Hz running off a single cable. Dell and other manufacturers currently use a dual-cable solution for most 4K and 5K external displays, since the current DisplayPort/Thunderbolt spec does not provide enough bandwidth to drive the high-resolution monitors. Thunderbolt 3 also supports more protocols than any other I/O controller, making it compatible with virtually any dock, device or display. Intel expects initial products with Thunderbolt 3 to start shipping before the end of this year, and ramp up in 2016. Thunderbolt 3 is rumored to launch alongside Intel's next-generation Skylake chips, succeeding the Broadwell line, later this year, and the new spec could