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USB-C Is Bad

August 4, 2018

I had only been vaguely aware of USB-C, not being one for following tech trends. I saw someone on fedi mention it, so I decided to look into it, and I’m astonished at how bad it is.

I was under the impression that it was just a new connector type. Most modern USB devices use micro USB type B, a flattish rounded metal connector that clicks neatly into place with a couple metal protrtusions. If you have any non-Apple, you almost certainly use this type of connector every day. For awhile, USB connectors were kind of a crapshoot, and the fact that everyone has settled on one sensible type of connector is a huge boon for cross-compatibility. Devices I charge with this connector include multiple Android phones, feature phones, tablets, ebook readers, game controllers, bluetooth dongles, FM transmitters, wireless headphones, a bluetooth keyboard, and on and on. All of these devices use an identical USB interface, so I know that no matter what USB setup I have, I’ll be able to give power to and/or transmit data between them.

Thus, I wasn’t too thrilled in the first place at USB introducing yet another new connector. This one, people told me, is better, because it’s reversible. You can’t plug it in the wrong way. I will admit that trying to plug a cable in the right way can be a hassle, especially if you can’t see the connector, but I was still annoyed. Everyone had finally settled on one standard type of cable for pretty much everything (printers, microphones and some other type of peripherals use different connectors, but by and large they always stay connected to the computer anyway.) So I rolled my eyes at the idea of USB-C, as if we need yet another connector at this stage.

But it’s even worse than I thought. USB-C isn’t just a new connector, it’s an entirely new interface standard. Computers are coming out that don’t have USB-A ports at all; at first, only Apple computers were dumb enough to try this (they have a long history of removing important features to make their shit computers as microscopically thin as possible) but now other laptop makers are following in their footsteps.

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