At the “Wonderlust” event, Apple unveiled the iPhone 15 lineup with USB-C, and now the company has overpriced accessories to go with them. There are better options.
Apple pricing is an art form on its own, seemingly completely detached from the rest of the market. Sometimes it’s justified, and other times it’s often worth looking at less expensive options.
In the case of Apple’s new Thunderbolt 4 USB-C cable and the newly-added 240W USB-C Charge Cable, it’s the latter situation. There are multiple reputable third-party accessory makers offering similar cables, usually at a significant discount.
While Apple adds the “pro” title with the Thunderbolt 4 USB-C cable, it doesn’t warrant the designation. It’s a standard Thunderbolt 4 cable, capable of transfer speeds up to 40Gb/s, just like plenty of alternatives.
Meanwhile, the new 240W USB-C Charge Cable is overkill for basically everything Apple — or anybody else — makes in 2023. Worse, it is only capable of USB 2.0 transfer speeds, which top out at 480Mbps. That price is ridiculous for that combo.
The good news for both cables is that they feature a braided design, which reduces tangling. But that hardly calls for the significant price increases attached to these cables.
So, here are some solid brand alternatives to consider, if you’re in the market for either cable:
Insignia Thunderbolt 4 USB-C cable
Insignia’s Thunderbolt 4 USB-C cable features a braided nylon design and has a 3.28ft, or 1m, length. The USB-C to USB-C cable is capable of handling a variety of tasks, including data transfer, charging devices, and connecting to external displays.
With Thunderbolt, the USB-C cable is capable of data transfer speeds up to 40Gb/s. It also supports 240W of power delivery, so it can quickly charge more power-hungry devices, like a MacBook Pro or 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
The cable also supports connecting to one external display at 8K resolution with a 60Hz refresh rate, or 4K at 240Hz. Connecting two displays will top out at 4K at 60Hz.
Insignia’s Thunderbolt 4 USB-C cable is available from Best Buy for $44.99.
Belkin Thunderbolt 4 USB-C cable
The Belkin Thunderbolt 4 USB-C cable is 2.6 feet in length, but it is not a braided cable. It is certified as being fire-resistant.
The cable is capable of high data transfer speeds up to 40Gb/s, and it can connect to multiple external monitors. It is also backwards compatible, with Belkin noting the cable supports USB 3.2, USB 2.0, and Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Belkin’s Thunderbolt 4 USB-C cable is capable of 100W passthrough and Power Delivery. This means the cable can output enough power to charge devices like a MacBook Pro, while also transferring data at high speeds.
The Belkin Thunderbolt 4 USB-C cable is available now from Best Buy for $29.99.
Plugable Thunderbolt 4 240W USB-C cable
The Plugable USB4 240W USB-C cable is fully Thunderbolt-compatible and comes in a 3.3ft length. It can support a maximum of 240W Power Delivery, to keep even the most power-hungry devices charged up.
The Plugable Thunderbolt 4 cable is also backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 3.
Plugable’s cable is also capable of connecting to external monitors, with a single connection offering 8K resolution at 30Hz. The cable also supports a pair of displays up to 4K resolution with a 60Hz resolution.
The Plugable Thunderbolt 4 240W USB-C cable is available from Amazon for $29.95.
And if you want to save a few bucks on a 240W USB-C to USB-C charging cable, here’s an option:
Insignia 240W USB-C cable
The Insignia 240W USB-C to USB-C cable is mostly designed to handle charging. It is technically capable of data transfer, but the speeds are limited.
The cable is capable of delivering 240W of power, which means it can quickly charge many devices. And while it’s overkill for most Apple devices, it can keep the more powerful devices, like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro or 16-inch MacBook Pro, powered up with ease.
This white-gray braided design comes in an 8-foot length. It tops out at USB 2.0 data transfer speeds, which are 480Mbps.
Insignia’s 240W USB-C cable is available now from Best Buy for $19.99.
The post Apple’s new ‘pro’ Thunderbolt 4 and six-foot USB-C cables are bad, and you shouldn’t buy them first appeared on appleinsider.com