USB-C Cable Rundown

| Words by Bryson

The USB-C standard has been gaining popularity for years, with Apple increasing the number of products using the USB-C standard each year, from MacBooks to the iPad Pro. Apple has also adopted the USB-C standard for its Lightning cables, furthering the integration of USB-C into the Apple Ecosystem.

If all these changes leave you scratching your head, wondering why cable connectors and tips seem to change all the time, you are not alone. However, when it comes to USB-C, we think that the universal switch to this standard can't happen soon enough. Below we will explore some of the benefits of the USB-C standard and take a look at different USB-C cables on the market.

USB-C Lightning to 3m

USB-C has many different advantages over previous USB Standards, perhaps the most obvious is its slimmer profile when compared to USB-A connectors. The thinner profile has helped make device profiles slimmer and slimmer; this is apparent in the form factor of the current Macbook Pro. Under the hood, USB-C can support rapid transfer and charge speeds, depending on the protocol adopted by the device. MacBook Pros, for example, use Thunderbolt 3 ports, which support up to 40Gbps connection with a proper USB-C cable. Using the proper USB-C Thunderbolt specced cable allows rapid data transfer to and from devices and your MacBook Pro.

The benefits of the USB-C standard don't stop at data transfer. USB-C allows rapid power delivery to both mobile devices and laptops. On top of that, you can use USB-C ports and cables for display functions, replacing HDMI cables. USB-C can also be used for display functions like connecting your laptop to a monitor. So with one port on your computer and the proper USB-C, you can charge your laptop, connect to a display, and transfer files at rapid speeds. Contrast this with earlier iterations of cable connectivity where you might have needed a Micro USB cable with a USB-A connector for transferring files off a hard drive or camera, an HDMI cable for connecting to a display port and a separate charger for your laptop.

USB-C Cable Comparison

NomadAppleNative UnionAnkerAmazon Basics
ProductUSB- C Cable with Kevlar®Thunderbolt 3 (USB‑C)BELT Cable USB-C to USB-CAnker Powerline USB-CAmazon Basics USB-C to C
Length3.0 meters0.83 meters2.4 meters3.0 meters2.0 meters
MaterialsKevlar, AluminumN/ATPE, NylonPlastic, TPEPlastic, TPE

In the table above we compared USB-C cables from leading brands like Anker, Native Union, Apple, and of course Nomad to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each cable. We looked at a variety of relevant specs, from length to power & materials. Overall, we think that if data transfer is your number one priority from a USB-C to C cable, then the Apple Thunderbolt 3 is your best bet. The downsides to this cable is that it's short length (0.83m) makes charging on the go a challenge.

The other cables that we tested each have different strength and weaknesses. The Belt cable from Native Union is a great cable for charging an Android phone or other USB-C enabled device, however with only 60W of power it is not a great cable for charging your laptop. The Anker Powerline has good data transfer rates at 5 Gbps, but is not powerful enough to quickly charge a laptop. This cable is great for charging a phone and transferring smaller files like images taken on mobile.

Nomad USB-C 3m C to C Cable

If you are looking for the ultimate Macbook charging cable, then we humbly suggest going with the 3m Nomad C to C Kevlar® cable. We offer one of the only three-meter, 100W wires on the market. This cable is built with dual braided Kevlar® and also has a Kevlar® core. Aluminum molding over the cable tips ensures durability no matter what. If used in conjunction with the charging brick included with your Macbook Pro, our 100W 3m cable will quickly charge your computer. At almost ten feet long, the Nomad 3m C-C cable will make those hard to reach outlets firmly within your grasp. We believe this cable is ideal for charging your Macbook Pro anywhere and everywhere.

USB-C Quick Charge for iPhone

Perhaps one of the best aspects of the USB-C to Lightning Cable is that Apple has made these cables work to fast charge iPhones. Fast charge is a truly impressive feature because with any iPhone, from the iPhone 8 or later, you can charge your phone to 50% battery in around 30 minutes. All you need to fast charge your iPhone is an 18W (or bigger) USB-C PD adapter and a USB-C to Lightning cable like the Nomad USB-C to Lightning Cable, and you can fast-charge your iPhone. The video above shows the speed at which you can charge with fast charge over a regular USB-A to Lightning cable and standard power brick.

We hope you enjoyed this article about all the benefits of USB-C. If you'd like to learn more about our Kevlar® cables, check out this post from the team at the Nomadic!

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