USB Type C

The newest type of USB connector breaks all the rules. No longer will you have to constantly flip your USB cable until you get it right to plug it in.

For a full run-down of the different USB connectors, check out CNET's primer on the past and future of USB.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Reversible at last

The standout feature of Type C is that it's reversible. Similar to Apple's proprietary Lightning connector, there is no correct side -- no matter how you plug it in, it will fit. But unlike the Lightning cable, these connectors will be available on all kinds of devices from many brands, including computers, phone cables and storage drives.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Two ends, same plug

Here, both ends of the cable have the USB Type C plug. That design will be common with the new cables.

The plug is smaller than the older USB Type A standard, which plugs into computers and plug adapters.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Faster transfers, more power

Type C isn't the only new development. The new shape comes with USB 3.1, a new version that offers faster data transfer and more power to your devices.

That means hard drives, phones and other devices can get more power from these cables than before. Eventually, you could even charge your laptop using a USB Type C cable, which will help clear up the clutter of cables.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Outlet

The redesigned plug connects to a newly designed outlet. It's a simple port that you'll start to see on new computers in the coming year.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Backward compatible, with accesories

USB Type C cables will be able to work with older USB ports, but they'll need adapters. Older USB ports and plugs will eventually be phased out, going the way of the FireWire cable.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Compatible cable

This is compatible A Type-C USB cable from Aukey. This cable has one Type A connecter and will connect a Type-C device to all existing USB hosts.

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Photo by: Dong Ngo/CNET / Caption by: ,
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