The Best USB-C (3.1 Gen 2) Cables of 2019

USB Type-C is becoming the standard port on laptops, smartphones and peripherals. 

Unfortunately, you'll need a USB hub or adapter to use your older gadgets if your computer only has a Type-C port (like Apple's new MacBook). Nevertheless, there are many benefits for USB-C users. Type-C cables can:

  • Fit both ways (i.e. the cable is reversible);

  • Provide up to 100 watts of power;

  • Support data transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps;

  • Transfer data and charge a device at the same time; and

  • Convert HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort signals (with an adapter).

Buyer beware: USB-C is a shape, not a technology.

Lots of companies sell USB-C cables that are wired with old technology. You can buy one for around $3, but these cheap cables can be painfully slow (or even fry your gadgets!).

To get fast data transfer rates, a USB-C cable must support USB 3.1 second-generation. To get 100 watts of power transfer capability, a USB-C cable must support USB-PD. To have some peace of mind that a USB cable won't destroy your gadgets while “fast-charging” them, look for USB-IF certification.

This article focuses on IF-certified USB-C 3.1 Gen. 2 cables with at least 60 watts of charging capability. Here are the best-reviewed USB-C cables that have sold for $20 or less in the last 12 months.

Good Price: $12 | Great Deal: $4

This USB cable is thick and sturdy, according to several Amazon customers. On the downside, many reviewers say the cable is inflexible; others say the plug-end fits loosely.

Good Price: $14 | Great Deal: $12

This well-made USB-C cable is capable of charging a laptop and outputting 4K video, according to several Amazon customers. Many reviewers used this cable to successfully transfer data and charge a device at the same time. Some say that the cable disconnects too easily because the connector fits loosely.

Good Price: $17 | Great Deal: $15

Veckle's braided USB-C cable gets high marks from Benson Leung, a top Amazon reviewer and a Google software engineer. Leung's deducted one star from his rating because this cable doesn't have USB logos on it. The Amazon customers who left poor reviews criticized this cable's build quality and durability.

Good Price: $17 | Great Deal: $15

This "Benson Approved" cable gets a perfect rating from Benson Leung, a Google engineer and "Top 1000" Amazon reviewer. Many Amazon customers describe this cable as "sturdy" or "heavy duty," but some unhappy customers complain that the connector plug is loose (or falls off completely).

Good Price: $20 | Great Deal: $14

Plugable's USB-C cable is fast at transferring data, but slow at charging devices, according to several Amazon customers. This cable is not compatible with Qualcomm's "QC" fast charging standard.

John DeFeo