USB-C cables might all look the same and you might think that they’re all interchangeable. It would be easy to think that way, but no, not all USB-C cables are the same. USB-C instead refers to the shape of the connector, which means that a cable you use for data transfer might not necessarily make the cut when it comes to charging a laptop.
So, how do you know which cable to choose? You could go the easy and more expensive route which is to buy an official cable, but if you prefer third-party cables, there could be some good news on that front. The USB Implementers Forum has announced their plans to introduce logos for the different types of USB-C cables.
These logos can be used on the packaging of the cable’s box and on the cable or the actual port itself, kind of like how USB-A 3.0 ports are distinguished from older ports with a blue colored interior. This will let users know the power output supported by the cable and the data transfer speeds, so users can better tell which is a cable designed more for data transfer than charging.
However, since the USB-IF does not actually make these logos mandatory. This means it’s up to the manufacturer of the cable to decide whether or not they want to put these logos on their packaging. Obviously it would be advantageous to have clear and obvious packaging, but since it’s not mandatory, your mileage could vary from brand to brand, but hopefully it’s something we’ll see more companies adopt in the future.