In its latest effort to reduce USB-C standards, USB-IF Group has unveiled a new set of logos for companies to install their certified USB4 and 240W cables. And while we’re glad to see USB-C cables more recognizable, these logos are a bit … oh, they’re not very intuitive.
Let’s start with some compliments. These logos clearly indicate whether the USB-C cable supports high-speed data transfer, high-speed charging, or both. With these features, cable search users can look at the packaging of a product, find the big red logo and say, “OK, that’s what I’m looking for.”
I am also pleased that USB-IF is encouraging manufacturers to apply these labels to their USB-C cables, not just to the packaging. This makes it easier to identify high quality cables when they are inserted into drawers or stuck to the ground with a group of carpier cables.
But these logos do not provide much context. The average consumer may not realize that an expensive 240-watt cable is a hundred times faster than their smartphone needs, so they can pay more in the name of speed. And since charging and data transfer standards aren’t tied together, consumers won’t realize that their “certified USB 240 watt” cable can’t transfer data at USB4 speeds.
Also, manufacturers sell USB-C cables with all kinds of different charging and data transfer speeds. However, these logos only appear if a cable meets 40Gbps, 20Gbps, 240 watts, or 60 watts. There is a part of me that supports this decision because it is good and easy, but forces manufacturers to print the charging and data transfer speeds of their cables in large red letters. No matter what standards they meet. There seems to be a solution that at least gives buyers some context.
Although I’m not entirely satisfied with the new USB-IF logo, they’re still a nice addition that could help some users navigate the confusing world of USB-C. We should take this as a victory because, let’s be honest, USB-C is so broken and tangled that even experts seem a little confused as to how it works.
Source: Via USB-IF.