Over the years, the USB connection has taken on many forms. The rectangular port you’re most familiar is called USB Type-A. The blocky, almost square port used in many large peripherals like printers is USB Type-B. Add micro and mini versions of each of these into the fold and suddenly you’ve got a half dozen connection type and a recipe for confusion.
But now Type-C is here to save the day. USB Type-C is a description of the port connection itself. It’s small, compact, and replaces the standard USB Type-A and B connections as well as the myriad of micro and mini USB ports. Basically, it’s one USB connection type to rule them all. And best of all, it’s reversible, so the days of flipping your USB cable three times before inserting it correctly may finally be numbered. Over the next few years, look for USB Type-C to begin becoming the universal port for all devices including desktop, laptop, and mobile.
What is USB 3.1?
USB 3.1 (aka USB 3.1/gen 2) is the successor to USB 3.0. Identifiable by its bright turquoise port, USB 3.1 doubles the transfer speed of 3.0 to a whopping 10 Gbps. USB Power Delivery 2.0 makes a big step forward as well with up to 100W of power. And like previous versions of USB, it is fully backwards compatible with its predecessors.
When used with the Type-C connection, things get really interesting for 3.1. The 100W of PD v2.0 is enough to power and charge full sized notebooks, which means the proprietary AC port may soon be replaced by this universal alternative. With 4 data lanes, USB 3.1 Type-C can even carry DisplayPort and HDMI video signals, further adding to its ubiquity. Again, one port to rule them all.
So What is the difference between USB 3.1 and Type C? what does this mean?
Type C is just the name of a connector, like TYPE A, TYPE B, MICRO, MINI, and USB 3.1 is a standard for universal serial bus