What’s That Small Port On My New Computer?

Laptop showing USB-C port and cable-end for USB-C

Recently, when I’ve sold and delivered a new computer to a customer, I explain to them that their new device has a small port called a USB-C. As you can see in the picture above, the port and cable are rounded unlike the traditional USB which is more rectangular in shape. Also unlike the old style USB, the USB-C cord will fit in the port in either direction. There is no up or down and no more playing to get that right!

But, what is a USB-C and what’s the big deal about it? Unlike many types of connectors which often only work with certain manufacturers or particular models, the USB-C is truly becoming the Universal connector. Here’s why:

  • The USB-C will transfer data about 10Gbps of data – about twice as fast as the USB 3.0 and first generation of USB 3.1. (Those are the USB ports on your computer with the blue insides.)
  • Better speed, however, is not the only difference. You can actually run video out of a USB-C while also using traditional USB devices like a mouse or keyboard or flash drive.
  • If those two factors weren’t enough, with some configurations of USB-C, you can also charge devices like an Android phone or a Mac device.

Even without the video and charging possibilities, with the correct adapter, you can turn that one USB-C port into multiple ports. Just click on the banner or the link below to get started with an adapter that will let you do this:

The Lention USB-C adaptor showing all the plug ins

One note: there’s a lot to say about the USB-C standard and we’ll talk about it more in future blog posts. There’s a lot to learn so I want to keep it simple and let you absorb a little at a time.

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About the Author

John Grubb

I've been working on computers since 1983! I love helping people resolve their computing issues and sharing preventative measures, as well.