USB-C is now a default standard in USB protocol, which is there in all the latest gadgets including that of Apple. It is also called as Type-C USB, which is a standard 24-pin USB connector which features a reversible connection option too. The latest specification by USB Implementers Forum is version 1.0, which is picking up momentum lately.
MacBook Retina with a 12-inch display and the higher versions of MacBook feature USB-C port; however, in most of the basic versions, there is only a single USB-C port. The higher-end versions like 13-inch MacBook Pro came with two Ports (Thunderbolt 3) and the MacBook Pro of 15-inch which came in the last quarter of 2016 featured two to four USB-C ports. However, it is possible to add USB-C hubs to the lower end versions to enhance connectivity.
You can also connect the AC power adapter also to USB-C port by using a compatible charging cable. The below models of MacBook feature Thunderbolt 3 ports which support the USB 3.1 Generation 2 and also Thunderbolt 3:
- 2017 iMac Pro
- 2017 iMac – Retina 5K, 27 inches
- 2017 iMac – Retina 4K, 21.5 inch
- 2017 iMac, 21.5-inch
- 2016 MacBook Pro
The 2015 as well as later versions of Mac notebooks feature USB-C ports which support USB 3.1 Generation 1. However, you can use the USB-c hub for MacBook Pro with all the Mac models with a suitable adapter.
The second-generation USB 3.1 is capable of data transfer at a speed of 10 GBPS. The latest MacBook models are featuring Thunderbolt 3 ports also support data transfer at this speed.
The previous USB version data transfer speed as below.
- USB 2 features data transfer speed of about 480 Mbps
- USB 1.1 with data transfer speed of up to 12 Mbps.
With this, we know that USB-C is the most admirable next-gen connectivity standard, which doesn’t only help faster charging, but serve various modes of data transfer and video rendering, etc. over a mighty simple connector. The most popular model of MacBook which came out in 2015 (Retina 12 inch) also feature a USB-C port.
Purpose of adding USB-C ports to MacBook
By adding an external USB-C hub to MacBook, you can enjoy additional features like:
- Fast charge a MacBook
- Take power out to charge other connected devices.
- Quick transfer data and files in and out of MacBook.
- Get video out HDMI, VGA, and DisplayPort, etc.
- Connect to Ethernet.
- Add portal external memory drives.
- Add external hard disk.
- Add digital camera and webcam.
- Sync to other Apple devices (iPhone, iPod, iPad, etc.)
To add USB-hub, you should first understand the power particular, video capability, and data transfer protocol of the standard USB-C port and Thunderbolt 3 ports of various MacBook. One should also be aware of the possible hubs to be used and the cable types to be used to get the best experience.