Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 11th Jun 2018 23:03 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems

USB Type-C was billed as the solution for all our future cable needs, unifying power and data delivery with display and audio connectivity, and ushering in an age of the one-size-fits-all cable. Unfortunately for those already invested in the USB Type-C ecosystem, which is anyone who has bought a flagship phone in the past couple of years, the standard has probably failed to live up to the promises.

Other than my Nintendo Switch, my back-up phone (a Galaxy S8), and my old Nexus 6P in storage somewhere, I don't use USB-C at all, so I've been able to avoid all of its problems so far. It seems like a real mess.

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Comment by FlyingJester
by FlyingJester on Mon 11th Jun 2018 23:38 UTC
FlyingJester
Member since:
2016-05-11

I fully expect a chorus of people to tell me I'm wrong, but based on two machines and three hubs, I've found both the cables and sockets for USB C to be very fragile. All the hubs were different brands and different price points, and the the machines are unrelated manufacturers.

It's possible that I'm just having bad luck, but so far I've had a USB C hub connector break with less than 10 uses, and one that broke after two weeks of use.

After about a month of use, my laptop's USB C socket is so loose the plug just falls out (and the intermittent connection can cause bluescreens with DRIVER_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL asserts on Windows 10 if you jiggle it, lots of fun).

My desktop's USB C socket worked for about a week, and then the center post broke off while just unplugging a hub.

So my review of USB C so far is, it saves like 2 seconds of looking at a USB cable before plugging it in, but the hardware is so fragile it breaks after less than a month of use. Would not buy again.

Edited 2018-06-11 23:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by FlyingJester
by grat on Tue 12th Jun 2018 14:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by FlyingJester"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

Over a an 18 month period, between 2 phones and 2 motherboards with type-C connectors, I have yet to break either a cable, or a socket.

Then again, most of the cables have nice, long barrels around the connector, and I'm fairly careful inserting and removing the cables, so your mileage may vary.

Reply Score: 3

xkcd: standards
by sukru on Tue 12th Jun 2018 00:47 UTC
sukru
Member since:
2006-11-19

https://xkcd.com/927/

The fault is mostly with manufacturers trying to implement their own standards.

For example QC (non-)standard is incompatible with type-C. This is by design, however Qualcomm and phone manufacturers still push to merge the two:
https://www.androidcentral.com/qualcomm-addresses-usb-type-c-and-qui...

This causes all kind of strange issues with my car, wall, and converter based chargers. Some phones / tablets will not work with some chargers. This is broken, but manufacturers will continue to sell these "flagship" phones still (looking at you LG and OnePlus).

There is a PD standard that can handle up to 100W and in theory all should move towards that. In practice they implement older USB2 based solutions over the new cable breaking things left and right.

That being said, I got best results with the Apple type-C laptop charger. It worked with all kind of devices (including phones, tablets, and other laptops). However it is quite expensive, and cannot justify having multiple of them lying around.

Reply Score: 2

Expectations
by areilly on Tue 12th Jun 2018 04:01 UTC
areilly
Member since:
2015-04-07

Perspective probably depends on individual circumstances and expectations, as much as the cables themselves. Personally I think that USB-C works great, and (more by luck than good management) I don't have a micro-USB-2 connector in use any more, and that's a good thing, IMO. Apple is still holding out with their lightning iphone plug, but my Android phone and tablet, wife's macbook and most other gizmos are all -C now. The only legacy A connectors are on the ends that plug into (older) desktops.

The article spends a deal of time whinging about variable support for fast charging, but the old alternatives didn't give you that at all (or at least not to the same level). The number of times I've actually cared about fast charging have been small, but at least it works, with the original plug and cable.

I did have an issue with the socket on my phone not making a good connection, until I discovered how to dig out compacted pocket lint, which does seem to be a bit of a problem.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by agentj
by agentj on Tue 12th Jun 2018 07:17 UTC
agentj
Member since:
2005-08-19

I don't see any benefit to switch to USB C at the moment. This is not as big as change from LPT to USB and USB 2 to 3 with regard to transfer speed and hotplug concept. If you use usb flash drive or hard disk you can hardly saturate USB 3 link and USB 3 can accept all old USB devices. It's like spending money on 10GBit/s fiber LAN at home - extra cost to change every other hardware doesn't justify the benefits, which are hardly relevant in consumer space. Being able to copy 10TB of porn/tv series/etc. in few hours less is not worth it.
If I visit Tesco, Media Markt or any other consumer electronics market I don't see anything using USB 3, except maybe crapple and few products nobody seems to buy.

Edited 2018-06-12 07:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by agentj
by Fergy on Tue 12th Jun 2018 14:01 UTC in reply to "Comment by agentj"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

I don't see any benefit to switch to USB C at the moment.

So a bit like ps2. Where you can use a cheap converter between usb and ps2. You buy a device that has USB-C there is no problem.
This is not as big as change from LPT to USB and USB 2 to 3 with regard to transfer speed and hotplug concept. If you use usb flash drive or hard disk you can hardly saturate USB 3 link and USB 3 can accept all old USB devices.

Because USB-C is just a connector that you can convert to USB-A/B/miniB/microB with a cheap converter.
It's like spending money on 10GBit/s fiber LAN at home - extra cost to change every other hardware doesn't justify the benefits, which are hardly relevant in consumer space. Being able to copy 10TB of porn/tv series/etc. in few hours less is not worth it.

It's like pretending to have to buy a new printer because your new computer has USB ports now so you HAVE to switch.

If I visit Tesco, Media Markt or any other consumer electronics market I don't see anything using USB 3, except maybe crapple and few products nobody seems to buy.

With USB 3 you mean USB-C? I think half of the products in Media Markt use USB 3. USB-C can carry USB2, USB3, USB PD, Displayport, HDMI.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by agentj
by FlyingJester on Tue 12th Jun 2018 17:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by agentj"
FlyingJester Member since:
2016-05-11

I agree. So far, my only use of USB C has been for USB hubs, to give me more USB A connectors, which everything else I own uses.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Tue 12th Jun 2018 19:08 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

You shouldn't need a damn cross-reference chart to determine if cable A from manufacturer B will work with device C for purpose D.

As far as I'm concerned, .. USB-C who? Let me know when the insane asylum is back under control.

Reply Score: 2

Limited insanity
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 12th Jun 2018 20:14 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Its insane, yes. But basically for most people they only have one or two devices with usb c that need to be connected. So a little trouble shooting, and that's it. Maybe a few returns before the right cable is found. Its frustrating sure, but on the level of ikea furniture build frustration. It only lasts while you're suffering through it. Then there is a large period of time where you're just using it and things work as expected.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Limited insanity
by ssokolow on Wed 13th Jun 2018 02:11 UTC in reply to "Limited insanity"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Assuming you live in an area where that's reasonable. I'm glad I don't have any USB Type-C stuff yet, because I live in the countryside, half an hour from the nearest city which might have a suitable store, and I'm used to researching and then ordering my parts online.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Limited insanity
by ilovebeer on Wed 13th Jun 2018 04:26 UTC in reply to "Limited insanity"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Someone has to be the guinea pig but it won't be me. Until usb-c `just works`, count me out. A usb cable just isn't something you should have to research or wrestle with in my opinion.

Reply Score: 3