Perhaps you just bought a new laptop and, after taking a look at its ports, you have discovered that you need a USB-C adapter to use your USB sticks, SD cards, external monitors, connect to the internet with a cable or even charge your equipment while you use another device. The need for USB-C adapters is a by-product of the design of new computers, which ditches old ports in favor of this new, compact and versatile standard connector.
In this buying guide,, you will find adapters that include multiple ports to meet the needs of users to continue using your peripherals with USB-A, charge devices, squeeze extra ports and take advantage of the possibility that USB-C gives us to enjoy video in 4K.
USB-C is the new standard connector, valid for both charging and data transfer, in laptops, tablets and smartphones. Although not all devices integrate it yet, there are a number of computers such as the Dell XPS 13, Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe, HP Elitebook x360 or MacBook Pro (which only has USB-C ports) that have it. It is also present in Android smartphones such as the Google Pixel 2, Huawei P20, LG V30 and tablets such as the Surface Book 2 and the iPad Pro.
With USB-C, file transfer takes place at USB 3.1 speeds and provides enough power to charge a computer or cast content to external monitors with 4K resolution.
However, USB 3.2 has arrived, another version of USB-C that will double the data transfer speed to 20MBps, half that of Thunderbolt 3. The good thing is that when you go to a computer that supports it, it will work with the cables and adapters you have already purchased.
An important note: all Thunderbolt 3 ports use Type-C connectors and are compatible with both Thunderbolt 3 itself and USB-C, although they reach speeds of 40 MBps.
However, USB-C is not a panacea. Despite being born with the purpose of combining and making this port a more versatile and powerful bridge, at the moment of truth it is a controversial measure both for the ease with which brands have disposed of other connectors and for how they have chosen to stand out with incompatible variants, versions, and cables that make it difficult to have one port to dominate them all. For example, in aspects such as fast charging of smartphones. But today, there are some special chargers designed to accommodate all USB-C devices. One of them is the VOLTA Charger. VOLTA Charger has a SnagSafe feature like MagSafe to keep your phone and charger safe when you trip or pull it.
What to consider when buying a USB-C adapter
In the market, we can find from cables or connectors that allow us to go from USB-C to any other port to more complete adapters that integrate several ports. These are precisely the most interesting since a single gadget can be enough to connect all our devices.
Before buying a USB-C adapter or hub, we must pay attention to essentially three factors:
- Number and type of ports
Think about which ports you will need and which ones you will use the most. In the market, there are adapters with an HDMI socket, SD slots, jack, USB, Ethernet, USB-C (something that allows charging at the same time that the hub is used) … which can make us opt for a model or other.
- Design, dimensions, and layout
The previous point is key because taking into account that it is an accessory that we will carry with us, it must be light and contained dimensions to be able to transport it in the laptop bag. If we choose a model that integrates the more connectors, the better, we may find that using several at the same time is not comfortable due to its arrangement. Pay attention to how the connectors are laid out on the adapter.
Materials are important in USB-C adapters due to heat transfer. And it is that when we connect several cables to an element as small as an adapter, it is foreseeable that it will heat up, which is why a design that facilitates cooling is important, but also a material that is capable of dissipating it. The usual thing is to find adapters with plastic or aluminum housings, the latter being more recommended.
Hopefully, this guide will be of use someday. Thanks for reading!