USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 Chargers to Power Your Devices

Cristopher Centers

The Thunderbolt standard is one of the more confusing elements of tech these days. Here’s the short history: Intel created a standard called Thunderbolt to use faster data transferring speeds. Today, though, Thunderbolt 3 looks exactly like USB-C: in fact, any Thunderbolt 3 cable can use a USB-C port. But […]

The Thunderbolt standard is one of the more confusing elements of tech these days. Here’s the short history: Intel created a standard called Thunderbolt to use faster data transferring speeds. Today, though, Thunderbolt 3 looks exactly like USB-C: in fact, any Thunderbolt 3 cable can use a USB-C port. But regular, non-Thunderbolt USB-C cables won’t deliver enough power to charge a Thunderbolt 3 gadget. It’s all very frustrating. Here’s what you need to know about USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 chargers.



When using USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, you need to make sure your charger has the correct power to charge your device.


© Provided by Interesting Things
When using USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, you need to make sure your charger has the correct power to charge your device.



a close up of electronics: This unit can charge two portable computers simultaneously and can quickly rejuvenate battery for compatible devices.


© Provided by Interesting Things
This unit can charge two portable computers simultaneously and can quickly rejuvenate battery for compatible devices.

You can think of Thunderbolt 3 as a supercharged USB-C…which happens to look exactly like USB-C, and is even compatible with it. Thunderbolt 3 can deliver way more data, way faster, than a regular USB-C cable, which makes it great for not just charging, but displaying video, too. It’s both a power cable and a replacement for HDMI.



This unit offers a port each for new and old USB cables. It features a plug that folds in for easy portability.


© Provided by Interesting Things
This unit offers a port each for new and old USB cables. It features a plug that folds in for easy portability.

USB-C comes in more variations than just Thunderbolt 3, though. Many modern computers, smartphones, gaming systems and other gadgets use USB-C, but have varying power requirements. That means you should always look for a high-powered USB-C charger; at worst, you’ll be charging your gadgets a little bit faster than usual. If you skimp out, your charger may not have enough power to charge your gadget at all—even though the cables are all the right size and shape.



a piece of luggage: This item has enough power for a laptop, a tablet, or even a power-hungry Nintendo Switch, provided you get the right cable. It also has built-in safety measures to prevent overcharging and overheating.


© Provided by Interesting Things
This item has enough power for a laptop, a tablet, or even a power-hungry Nintendo Switch, provided you get the right cable. It also has built-in safety measures to prevent overcharging and overheating.

Make sure to use the right port on multi-port chargers. Typically, they’ll have only one high-power port, delivering enough juice to charge your thirsty gadgets like laptops. The other one will work fine for less demanding devices like smartphones, headphones and speakers, but may not be strong enough for the big boys.

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