Update: Looking for an affordable USB Type-C adapter dongle that’s more about convenience than versatility? Get your quick fix at spot number 3!
What the port Gods giveth, they taketh away – so the saying goes. USB-C is the newest port on the block having found a way into everything from Apple’s 12-inch MacBook to Dell’s XPS 12 and even gaming desktops and smartphones.
It’s a jack of all trades that rolls power, output and connectivity into a single cable; so when you find out that the next version of your favorite laptop now comes with two ports, rather than five, you’ll probably find that USB-C has joined the party.
The new port has been around for a short while now, allowing a number of compatible accessories to creep onto the market. From massive external hard drives to mini storage thumbdrives, portable monitors to hubs, there’s a growing collection of neat accessories that are a perfect fit for your new USB-C machine. Here we round up the best of them.
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article
1. Griffin BreakSafe
MacBook fans were sad to see that Apple’s MagSafe power connector didn’t make it into the 12-inch MacBook. Griffin has set a wrong right with its BreakSafe Magnetic USB-C Power Cable, which safety detaches the power cable when it’s yanked out of the socket. It works by connecting a small 12.8mm plug to the MacBook’s power port, which then magnetically connects to its six-foot cable. With the MacBook being as thin it is, it’s good to know that you won’t smash it to smithereens by accidentally lassooing its power cable around your ankle.
Get it from: Griffin
2. Asus MB169C+
Portable monitors are finally going to get some time in the spotlight thanks to USB-C, which allows them to connect to your computer with a single cable. The 15.6-inch MB169C+ is everything you could want in a model: thin, light, lag-free (thanks to Thunderbolt 3’s speedy 40Gbps transfer rate) and rocking a Full HD display. The idea is that you slip it into your bag when on the road and hook it up to your laptop for extra screen space – a particular Godsend when paired with Apple’s 12-inch MacBook that tops out with a scaled resolution of 1,680 x 1,080. Whether it’s watching a 1080p movie, squeezing in more spreadsheet rows or having a dedicated chat window open, you’ll find a use for it.
3. Satechi USB 3.1 Type-C to USB 3.0 adapter
What it lacks in functionality, the Satechi USB Type-C to Type-A converter more than makes up for in convenience. Predominately designed for the 12-inch MacBook’s silver and gold finish options, the dongle is a quick fix for when you desperately need to connect a standard USB devices with no compatible ports available. Plus, given the price of only $10, you could theoretically get one for every USB device you keep on-hand, alleviating the pain of being an early adopter. Satechi’s adapter, therefore, could make the switch to the 2016 MacBook from, say, a MacBook Air a much easier pill to swallow.
4. Seagate Innov8
USB-C comes in particularly handy when it comes to hooking external hard drives such as the Seagate Innnov8. With just a single cable needed to both power the drive and connect it to your laptop, there’s no need for a bulky mains power adapter. It’s just as well too, because the Innov8 is a monster in terms of both size and capacity. Its massive 8TB of storage makes it a great fit for backing up anything from movies and music to entire Steam game libraries. Transferring files to and from the Innov8 is quick and seameless, with the unit’s sequential read and write speeds reaching up to 203MB/s and 32MB/s respectively during our testing. Great stuff all round then, but you’ll need a large backpack to cart it around and a strong spine to to manage its considerable weigh
5. SanDisk Dual USB Drive Type-C (USB 3.0)
Newer laptops like Apple’s 12-inch MacBook and Dell’s XPS 13 come with USB-C connections, rather than the traditional USB-A type, which means transferring data from your old thumb drives is a no-no. SanDisk’s handy Dual USB Drive Type-C storage drive, which comes with 32GB of storage, has both types of connection allowing you to easily transfer data from one device to another. It will plug into any device with a USB-C connection, from laptops to desktop PCs and even newer smartphones. Android device owners can also take advantage of SanDisk’s data management app.
6. HyperDrive USB Type-C 5-in-1 Hub
The 12-inch MacBook’s single port is either innovative or annoying depending on how you see it. Only being able to connect one peripheral or device is at least a little bit frustrating at the best of times, which is why Hyper launched the Type-C 5-in-1 Hub. It docks into the MacBook’s single USB Type-C port to provide multiple connections, including USB Type-C (with pass-through charging for daisy-chaining USB-C devices), an SDXC slot, micro SDXC and two USB 3.0 Type-A connections for plugging in your older peripherals.