USB-C

Lenovo’s ThinkPad CES 2017 line-up: What you need to know

Lenovo’s ThinkPad CES 2017 line-up: What you need to know

CES 2017 is still a week away, but Lenovo hasn't been able to contain its ThinkPad excitement, revealing a fresh batch of laptops and accessories ahead of the show. As always, the Lenovo ThinkPad range is of particular interest to business users, but that doesn't stop regular consumers eyeing them up too. This time around, there are some particularly intriguing accessories like USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 docks, which might even coax some MacBook Pro owners into opening their wallets.

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Lenovo ThinkPad USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 docks unveiled

Lenovo ThinkPad USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 docks unveiled

Serious work requires a serious workspace, and what better way to set up that workspace than Lenovo's new ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C docks? The Thunderbolt 3 Dock is, obviously, powered by Intel Thunderbolt 3 tech, and it offers an extensive array of connectivity options. The USB-C dock is largely similar, featuring a USB-C port as well as USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 options. The USB-C Dock launches first next month for $199.99 USD, while the Thunderbolt 3 Dock launches in February for $279.99 USD.

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MagNeo magnetic USB-C adapter looks like something Apple would build

MagNeo magnetic USB-C adapter looks like something Apple would build

One of the things that I always thought Apple was smart for building was the MagSafe connector. Having tripped on a power cord before and broke a notebook, having a magnetic adapter that comes apart to prevent that sort of damage is a big deal. A new power adapter that is similar to MagSafe has landed on Kickstarter and it is called MagNeo.

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DART-C is the tiniest USB-C laptop charger around

DART-C is the tiniest USB-C laptop charger around

If you have a notebook computer that is able to charge via a USB-C port, you might want a charger that is smaller than what came with your computer. FINsix has a new USB-C charger called the DART-C that it claims is the smallest charger of its type in the entire world. The tiny laptop charger produces 65W of power and is four times smaller than a traditional AC adapter.

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Apple’s 5K display of choice starts shipping as USB-C discount extended

Apple’s 5K display of choice starts shipping as USB-C discount extended

Apple has begun sales of LG's 5K Thunderbolt 3 display, at the same time extending its promotional discount on USB Type-C accessories for several months. The LG UltraFine 5K Display was announced alongside the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar earlier this year as one of the few monitors to support Thunderbolt 3 natively. However, while it appeared - alongside its 4K sibling - on Apple's online store, it was not actually shipping.

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Line Dock USB-C notebook charging device packs power and storage

Line Dock USB-C notebook charging device packs power and storage

Notebook users with machines that have a USB-C port that need more power for life on the road might want to pay attention to the Line Dock. This device claims to be the first USB-C device in the world that integrates a battery to keep your notebook running longer, connectivity, active cooling, and an SSD for storage. Line Cooler packs all that stuff into a 9mm chassis making it very portable.

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The 5 best power packs for the new MacBook Pro (right now)

The 5 best power packs for the new MacBook Pro (right now)

The new MacBook Pro has a very cool trick you may not be aware of. In addition to those USB-C ports being the future of connectivity, they can also charge your computer. That means you now have four different ports to charge from! And maybe the best part: you don’t need to plug in. Those ports also accept charges from battery packs, which makes your new MacBook Pro the ultimate in portability. Here are a few packs you should consider slipping in your bag.

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USB-C Fast Chargers: what to buy and what to avoid

USB-C Fast Chargers: what to buy and what to avoid

USB-C is the new darling of both mobile and computing industry because of how it can be (almost) everything for any need. And you won’t have to learn how to plug it in right to boot! But as with any new technology, there is some teething pains to be experienced with USB-C, especially considering how both device and accessory manufacturers seem to be in a hurry to push the standard forward. It gets even more complicated when you factor in fast charging technologies, which could spell disaster for your device if used incorrectly. This list will hopefully find the best, not to mention safest, one.

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Apple’s reality distortion field made USB-C cool

Apple’s reality distortion field made USB-C cool

Remember when USB-C was a bad word? It wasn’t long after the original 12-inch MacBook landed that we began our love-hate relationship with USB-C. It was universal, which is great, but without the lineup of our favorite ports on the MacBook, many started to consider life a dongled hell. With the new MacBooks Pro, Apple did its best to change all of that, and its famed reality distortion field helped assuage much of our contempt for USB-C.

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Google might ban USB-C Quick Charge et. al from Android

Google might ban USB-C Quick Charge et. al from Android

As removable batteries become a thing of the past, consumers, and even manufacturers, are left with a few fixes to address battery anxiety, from larger batteries in fatter phones, to power banks, to fast charging technologies. That last one, however, might soon be a rather complicated matter on Android. In the updated Android Compatibility Definition Document, Google is discouraging the use of non-standard third-party quick charging technologies for USB Type-C devices, even suggesting that, in the future, those might be completely banned from the platform.

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In defense of dongles on MacBooks

In defense of dongles on MacBooks

It’s pretty fashionable to hate dongles the past year or so. Since Apple introduced its USB-C reliant MacBook (you know, the 12-inch model), people have been lamenting the existence of cable add-ons. It’s a fair criticism, considering we’d gone so long with the spoils of ports donning the side of our MacBooks Pro and Air, but it’s time to turn the corner. In many ways, dongles are better than ports. No, really.

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USB-C could kill Lightning, but Apple can’t afford it

USB-C could kill Lightning, but Apple can’t afford it

Apple could technically kill off Lightning on the iPhone and still maintain an iron-fisted grip over its MFi program, but the outcry over a switch to USB-C might prove too costly for it to happen today. With the arrival of the new MacBook Pro there’s been no shortage of commentary about the ports you’ll find on your Apple smartphone versus those you now get on your Apple notebook, and a fair amount of that has not been flattering. The “Made For iPhone/iPod/iPad” MFi program has been blamed by many for that disparity, but it may not be quite the culprit it's accused of being.

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