Top 5 USB-C adapters for the new MacBook Pro (Late 2016)

January 30, 2017

USB Type-C dongles and adapters are a necessity for everybody who's recently purchased a MacBook or a MacBook Pro. Now that I have preordered my new MacBook Pro "13 inch without TouchBar, I am also looking to snag some USB-C dongles and adapters, as well as other accessories, such as an external drive or pen drive. I researched the web and this is my list of all the USB-C accessories that I would recommend to anybody, who's living the future today.

1. USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter | by Apple


This dongle is my top choice, and I have preordered one for my new MacBook Pro. It's a USB-C to USB-C/HDMI/USB-A adapter, designed in typical Apple white minimalism, which appeals to me a lot. Apple says this adapter draws power from your MacBook even when the Mac is asleep. If your computer isn't connected to AC power, be sure to unplug the adapter to avoid draining your battery.

This adapter allows you to simultaneously:

- Charge your Mac.
- Connect to other standard USB-A devices or hubs.
- Connect to external HDMI video devices such as a TV, projector, or display.

Specifications:

HDMI (1.4b)
Support: 720p and 1080p HDTVs, projectors, and displays at up to 1920 x 1200 resolution, 4K Ultra-HD TVs and displays with resolutions (3840 x 2160 at 30Hz, 4096 x 2160 at 24Hz).

USB-A (USB 3.1 Gen 1)
Support: Data transfer at up to 5 Gbps.

USB-C
Support: Charges your computer, but it doesn't transfer data. You need to use the USB-C Power Adapter and USB-C Charge Cable to charge your Mac.

Price of the adapter: $49.00 | Link to Apple.com

2. USB-C to USB Adapter | by Apple


This is the USB-C to USB-A adapter, it's most basic dongle that is needed to connect the new MacBook Pro to all legacy USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices, that come with the USB-A connector. Apple says this adapter requires no power to operate. However, devices that you plug into it might draw power from your Mac, so you should disconnect it when you're not using it.

This adapter allows you to:

- Connect your Mac to any standard USB (USB-A) device for charging.
- Connect your Mac to any standard USB (USB-A) device for data transfer.
- Connect Lightning to USB Cable for charging and syncing your iPhone or iPad.

Specifications:

USB-A (USB 3.1 Gen 1)
Support: Data transfer at up to 5 Gbps.

Price of the adapter: $9.00 | Link to Apple.com

3. USB-C to Lightning Cable | by Apple
The Apple USB-C to Lightning Cable lets you connect any iOS device with a Lightning connector to your Mac. If you're heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem, then you'll need this one for sure. It provides data transfer and power to iOS devices. Apple says this cable requires no power to operate. However, devices that you plug into it might draw power from your Mac, so you should disconnect it when you're not using it. The cable is 1m long, they also sell a more expensive 2m long version.

This cable allows you to:

- Connect your Mac to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch for synching.
- Connect your Mac to Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2.
- Charge all these devices by plugging it into the cable USB-C power adapter.

Specifications:

Lightning
Support: The USB-C to Lightning Cable supports data transfer at up to USB 2.0 (480 Mbps) speeds.

Price of the cable: $19.00 | Link to Apple.com

4. USB-C to Micro USB Charge Cable | by Belkin
This USB-C to Micro USB-B cable is very useful for transferring data from digital cameras (DSLRs and Mirrorless) to the new MacBook Pro. The only bad thing about this cable is it's length, The cable is 1.8m long. I wish they had shorter versions available.

This cable allows you to:

- Connect your Mac to digital camera for data transfer
- Charge certain digital cameras (usually Mirrorless)

Specifications:

Micro USB-B
Support: Data transfer at up to 480 MBps (USB 2.0 speeds).

Price of the cable: $19.99 | Link to Belkin.com


5. USB-C to Micro USB Charge Cable | by Belkin
This USB-C to Micro USB-B (SuperSpeed) cable is very useful for transferring data from external hard drives (such as the Seagate BackUp Plus which I use) to the new MacBook Pro. It has very fast data transfers, which is excellent. The cable is 90cm long.

This cable allows you to:

- Connect your Mac to external hard drives for data transfer
- Connect your Mac to smartphone for data synch or charging

Specifications:

Micro USB-B (SuperSpeed)
Support: Data transfer at up to 10 GBps (USB 3.1 speeds).

Price of the cable: $29.99 | Link to Belkin.com

In Conclusion

Out of these 5 cables, I will most likely buy just these 3: The USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter, the USB-C to Lightning cable, and the USB-C to Micro USB SuperSpeed charge cable. I think the basic and cheap USB-C to USB Adapter is not necessary, since I already have the same one in the Multiport Adapter, and the USB-C to Micro USB Charge Cable for connecting my camera may not be as convenient as an USB-C SD card reader, so I might opt for that one instead. Generally, from what I've heard, it's advisable to buy good quality USB-C adapters, preferably native ones by Apple or by one of their certified partners that are sold in the Apple store, such as above mentioned Belkin, or Griffin and Anker, as well as these brands J5 Create, Kanex, Targus, which were tested by an Google Pixel laptop engineer named Benson Leung, who created a list of trust-worthy USB-C cables (I suggest you to check the list here). You can also check his Amazon review list for more information. There were reports that cheaply made USB-C cables have caused issues with devices, such as from not delivering the power or performance to actually harming the device, rendering it unusable. Bottom line: Don't save money when it comes to USB-C adapters, it can cost you more in the end.