Essential for thin and light books? Learn about the full-featured USB-C interface?

After watching the science popularization of Thunderbolt 3 last week, I took this interface as one of the necessary parameters for the purchase. It happened to catch up with my last laptop strike, so I bought the Intel NUC8i5 called the "Bean Canyon". The actual price is about 4,000 yuan (USD $571) (the price of a bare metal without storage is about 2300 yuan (USD $329) ). It may be the cheapest thunderbolt currently. 3 equipment.

After spending noon to install the host and system, I began to imagine the convenience and rich scalability that Thunderbolt 3 could bring me.

Many people think of external graphics cards when they talk about Thunderbolt 3, so I went to JD.com and searched for the graphics card docking station, and found the product below.

△ No graphics card inside

Another important feature of Thunderbolt 3 is the data transmission speed of 40Gbps. It can connect external devices such as mobile hard disks and displays at the same time. It can also connect multiple docking stations in series …

The prices of the above products add up to the price of the 2TB solid-state host in my hand, which naturally exceeds my budget.

At this moment, I suddenly remembered that Thunderbolt 3 was compatible with full-featured USB Type-C. Functions such as video output can also be implemented, and related products are relatively cheap, so I started a USB Type-C splitter.

With more and more laptops adding a full-featured USB Type-C interface, I think it can be called the "universal version" of Thunderbolt 3.

At the same time, the following three issues should be more concerned by everyone before starting related products.

Q: What is a full-featured USB Type-C interface?

The USB Type-C interface is an interface appearance standard introduced by the USB organization in 2014. Compared with the previous USB Type-A (that is, the most common interface we use on computers), this standard is not only smaller, more contacts, and supports forward and reverse insertion, and it will not appear to be inserted several times. Case.

In 2015, Intel introduced the third generation Thunderbolt interface (referred to as Thunderbolt 3), which also uses the USB Type-C appearance. The higher bandwidth and the ability to connect external graphics cards and monitors make other products that still use standards such as USB 3.0 very embarrassing, which led to the birth of a full-featured USB Type-C interface.

The full-featured USB Type-C interface adds DP video output and PD charging functions on the basis of the original data transmission standard. In other words, while transmitting data, you can also take into account the functions of the video cable and the charging cable.

In other words, although it is not currently possible to achieve extended graphics and faster file transfers, the full-featured USB Type-C can already achieve most of the functions of Thunderbolt 3 and is cheaper. Generally speaking, the prices of related docking stations and chargers are around 100-200 yuan (USD $14) .

This reminds me of the iPhone 11 that Apple introduced last year. It has similar performance to the 11 Pro, and is slightly worse in terms of display and video. However, due to its lower price and impressive overall performance, and the retention of the ultra-wide-angle focal length, it has become the "National Mobile Phone of the Year" last year.

Then we might as well rate the full-featured USB Type-C as the "Nationwide Edition" Thunderbolt 3 interface.

Q: What can a full-featured USB Type-C interface do?

This design fits the needs of smart phones very well, because they do not require a large number of devices such as external graphics cards. The addition of "full-featured" can complete the connection with the display, keyboard and mouse, external storage and power through a single line.

In the early days, USB Type-C was relatively inefficient in power supply and could only charge products such as smartphones and tablets. With the development of PD charging, at present, a single wire can already achieve a total power output of up to 20V5A and 100W, which can not only meet the power demand of many thin and light notebooks, but also bring mobile phones and other products up to 65W fast charging experience.

This makes more and more notebooks start to add full-featured USB Type-C, gradually replacing other interfaces. Because it takes into account charging, screen and data transmission, it is smaller in size, which can help manufacturers design products thinner.

I, like many others, initially thought that this approach was "in the wrong direction" and would affect users' connection to peripherals.

But after using only a 200 yuan (USD $29) dock to complete the connection of the network cable, monitor, power supply, dock, mouse and SD card and other products, I can only admit that the full-featured USB Type-C is really fragrant. As for going out, just leave a USB Tpye-A for the mouse receiver.

Q: How do I get started with a full-featured USB Type-C?

The last is the Amway link that I love to hear, because after experiencing the convenience of a product, I like to recommend it to others.

At present, many notebooks and smartphones have already used the full-featured USB Type-C interface. For details, please visit the official website of each product. The form provided below is for reference only.

△ Form source: Green Alliance official website

Full-featured USB Type-C generally needs to be used with a docking station. Here I recommend the products of Green Alliance or Philips. The price is generally around 100 to 300 yuan (USD $43) , and you can choose according to your needs.

For example, this time I chose to join the wired network, HDMI, card reader, two USB and charging versions, which can fully meet my peripheral needs as a content editor.

If you want to achieve DP video output, I recommend buying a USB Tpye-C to DP video cable. The price is generally less than 100 yuan (USD $14) , so we won't show it here.

In summary, in addition to products such as mobile phones or tablet computers, if you want to prepare a set of docking stations at home and the company, the cost is about 300-500 yuan (USD $43) . I think this budget is quite reasonable, and I haven't met the threshold of entry for Thunderbolt 3.