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USB Type C

Reversible at last

Two ends, same plug

Faster transfers, more power

Outlet

Backward compatible, with accesories

Compatible cable

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.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Dong Ngo/CNET
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