Apple's 12-inch MacBook can use third-party USB Type-C cables

Owners of new MacBook will have other options in addition to Apple's cables

If you're buying a new 12-inch MacBook and scrambling to find cables that work with the laptop's new USB Type-C port, you have more options than Apple's pricey cables.

MacBook users can instead buy less expensive USB Type-C cables from third parties. The new MacBook also can work with third-party USB Type-C chargers, a big change from the company's proprietary MagSafe chargers, which are used for other MacBooks.

The MacBook has just one USB Type-C port, and MacBook owners may need to buy a range of cables for charging and connections to monitors or external peripherals.

"Your MacBook will charge from USB-C power adapters not manufactured by Apple if they adhere to the USB Power Delivery specification," Apple said on a support page updated this week.

It will also be possible to use third-party cables to connect the 12-inch MacBook to Ethernet via the USB Type-C port, Apple said on the support page.

The new MacBook was the first laptop introduced with the USB Type-C port. Apple has generally supported third-party USB cables with older Macs, and the Type-C port is based on industry standard specifications as defined by the USB Implementers Forum.

Many USB Type-C peripherals are on their way, including a storage drive from Lacie, and flash drives from Emtec and SanDisk.

Standard USB Type-C cables have the same connector on both ends, which wasn't the case older USB cables. Some cables now being sold allow the MacBook to hook up via the Type-C port to monitors with HDMI and DisplayPort monitors, and to older peripherals with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports.

A number of third-party Type-C cables are available from Monoprice and Belkin. Even cheaper ones are on sale through Amazon.

Apple is selling a US$19 USB Type-C to USB adapter, a $29 two-meter charging cable, a $49 Type-C power adapter, and a $79 USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter with HDMI, USB 3.0 and USB Type-C ports.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Applehardware systemsComponents

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?