Last month, Amazon announced a new top class Kindle oasis. It has a new screen, twice the brightness, and the same MicroUSB port Amazon has been using on Kindles for a decade.
It's time for the MicroUSB port to fail. With USB-C now available and preferred in almost every way, there is no excuse for manufacturers using an old and mostly dead standard. For devices that, like the Kindle Oasis, are regarded as a luxurious flagship for discerning customers who pay top dollar, that's double.
Why is USB-C better?
Ask anyone who has switched from an old MicroUSB port on their Android phone to a newer one with USB-C. The most striking feature, the reversible oval shape of the latter, is still to be emphasized. Like Apple's even smaller Lightning port, it can easily be connected in the dark.
But that's just the beginning. Unlike the much older MicroUSB connector, USB-C can handle power, data, and video at the same time, and the bandwidth for power and data is much larger. This is to be expected with a new standard, but USB-C is also more desirable from a purely physical point of view: Although it is designed for the same 1
The best thing about USB-C is that it is not only flexible in terms of performance (maximum 100 watts, enough for all but the most gigantic laptops), data and video (4K resolution even with the Half of its resolution) tracks for other data), it is ready to replace at the same time the threadbare MicroUSB and the original, rectangular USB-A. Apple has started with the MacBook, but now every new laptop that comes without at least two USB-C ports is considered to be tragically outdated. Yes, I'm looking at the Surface Pro 6 from Microsoft.
So why is MicroUSB liable?
To be honest, it's cheap. Because of its universality, literally billions of MicroUSB packaging products will be used as of 2010, and perhaps hundreds of millions more will be produced each year. Because of the economies of scale and lower USB 2.0 requirements of most of these connections, you can buy tens for a few dollars. And these are end user prices: Manufacturers will probably get MicroUSB connectors and cables for pennies each. But the cheapness alone does not explain that MicroUSB connectors are present on new high-end devices like the Kindle Oasis or the MX Master from Logitech's 2S mouse or the wireless mouse in Razer's Turret (which even has a USB-C charge on the keyboard!). That would be useful if we were to deal with household appliances; Compare Anker's $ 50 Soundcore Liberty Neo (MicroUSB) headset with Samsung's $ 130 Galaxy Buds (USB-C).
No, the reason why new, expensive devices are loading as well Sticking to this older standard is that they're not all new, let's go back to this Razer mouse: It's the equivalent of the wireless version of the Mamba mouse that's now several years old (and one that is itself a handful) If you recharge the turret mouse like the keyboard via USB-C, Razer could not use either the Mamba shell, the circuit board, or the charging caddy l still use most of the hugely expensive manufacturing equipment for this product line. Even with a mouse and keyboard set worth $ 250, it's not worth buying a relatively niche product.
Note that when designing a brand new vertical mouse for the MX cable, Logitech used USB-C to charge while leaving the rest of the cable. The all-new mouse housing and board enable Logitech to justify the extra cost. The same limitations probably prevent Microsoft from installing USB-C ports instead of the cumbersome and more limited USB-A for another product cycle on the Surface Pro. From the consumer's point of view, it is annoying, but you can not fight back.
If it had not been for such a painful transition from MiniUSB to a smaller MicroUSB port about ten years ago … it was not. But that was before a billion Android phones came on the market with MicroUSB, not to mention countless mice, keyboards, Bluetooth headsets, batteries, and tiny plastic fans (among others). As mobile electronics and accessories are basic to most adults on the planet, changing standards is slower and more difficult.
When will USB-C take over?
Coming soon. It's already starting, as you've probably noticed. The Surface series is a positive example here: When Microsoft presented the completely new Surface headphones last year (besides the unfortunately missing Surface Pro 6), they packed a USB-C port for charging. Microsoft designers have taken this step with the latest version of the Xbox Elite controller, the first Microsoft controller to charge via USB-C. Perhaps you can thank the Nintendo Switch, which uses a single USB-C port for charging, data and video, and the C-connectors for accessories such as the Pro Controller and PokeBall Plus for this leap forward. Expect the next Xbox and PlayStation to have plenty of USB C ports.
Even low-cost devices do not have to be left behind. The new version of the Raspberry Pi uses a USB-C charger despite the tiny starting price of $ 35. Cheap phones like Blu are on board, and USB-C headphones are available for under $ 20. The connections are constantly changing.
But it's probably Apple that will throw us off. The company has introduced USB-C for power, data, and video into the mainstream with the 2015 MacBook revision, and recently, for the same reason, replaced the Lightning port on the iPad Pro with USB-C. Supply chain rumors suggest that this year's iPhone update will include USB-C, finally closing the gap between Apple's flagship phone and laptop products, and getting us iOS and Android phones with the same unified coverage Use charging standard.
] For an old Android fan like me, it's hard to admit, but where does Apple go, the industry follows. Wireless charging was a niche feature in 2017, and even the former Google Champion has put it on its pixel line. Until Apple introduced Qi charging for the iPhone X and suddenly brought wireless charging stations to all Walgreens, CVS and mom-and-pop stores around the world.
As soon as Apple has opted for USB-C in the mobile sector, cables and other accessories will be tens of millions less, and the more expensive ports will eventually reach the peak of scale efficiency. It may even be that ports at all budget levels are being transferred to more resilient form factors such as full-size monitors and PCs. We can finally say goodbye to the cumbersome MicroUSB port, with perhaps a few exceptions for cheap plug-in-and-forget-it devices like smart speakers.
But I will not buy any new devices without USB -C charging or new full-size computers without the option of a USB-C connection. Get in, manufacturer, or stay behind.