Even Ajay Bhatt, the inventor of USB, believes that the port's revesibility is the biggest annoyance. Let alone that, the USB standards today will give certainly give you a mild headache if you set out to find a proper cable for your gadgets. There's USB 3.2 Gen 1, USB 3.2 Gen 2, and USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 in the queue. Yes, the names are quite baffling. Even the generations change. USB 3.2 Gen 1 belongs to USB 3.0 generation, while USB 3.2 Gen 2 belongs to USB 3.1 generation. Confusing? Join our club.
We, here in Guiding Tech, thought to remove the confusion and make it a bit easy for you. Here, we have compiled a list of some of the best USB 3.2 Gen 2 (previously, USB 3.1 Gen 2) cables that you can buy.
What Is USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
So, what is USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C standard? The madness started in 2017 when the forum announced changes to the way manufacturers marketed these cables.
For now, there are three different tiers with different speeds.
USB 3.1 Gen 1 is now known as USB 3.2 Gen 1 and can push 5 Gbps of data, while USB 3.1 Gen 2 has now been rechristened USB 3.2 Gen 2 and has a speed of 10 Gbps. Hence, do not be surprised if you see some cables still being marketed as USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2.
And it doesn't end there. There's a new USB specification (aptly and confusingly) named USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, which can carry 20Gbps of data. The x2indicates two-lanes of data that can carry the speed earlier.
USB 3.2 Gen 1
SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps
USB 3.2 Gen 2
SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps
USB 3.2 Gen 2x2
It's the mid-tier USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C cables that we will be focusing on today. These cables can not only charge your devices but can also transfer data at up to 10Gbps - theoretical speeds. And if the situation calls for it, you can hook an HDMI adapter to well, plug it into a monitor, and reap the full advantage of a secondary display.
Now, that we have the confusion regarding the names settled, let's see some of the best USB 3.2 Gen 2 cables out there. But before that,
Looking for a power strip with a USB-PD port? Here are the best power strips out there.
If you don't care much for the cable brand, you can give the AmazonBasics a shot. This one has all the speed specifications of a typical USB 3.2 Gen 2 cable. Yep, you get 10 Gbps of bandwidth to make your transfers as fast as light. Okay, I may have gone a bit overboard. On a serious note, the cable has a solid build. The exterior is covered in a nylon braid, which protects the cable from wear and tear and prevents tangling. Plus, the connectors have elongated reinforced necks to prevent frayings.
It works as advertised and provides the needed speed for transfer. However, when it comes to charging, this one can deliver power up to 5V/3A. While it may be enough to charge your smartphone or tablet, you can't use it charge or power your laptop.
There are four colors and two lengths that you can pick from. If your setup involves considerable usage of cable clips or sleeves, you can opt for the longer length to get the flexibility to route the cable.
Why should you pick it: The extended strain relief and the nylon braiding will prolong the cable's life. Simultaneously, the build is good for the price and will likely last you a long time. A good pick if you are solely looking for transferring data from one place to the other.
The Fasgear cable is designed to charge MacBooks and other USB-C compatible laptops at full speed apart from the capability to deliver 100W of power. It also doubles up as an effective cable to connect to a USB-C monitor and supports 4K display at a refresh rate of 60Hz. Cool, I must say. The extended strain relief is cleverly designed and has nice grips along the body. Naturally, this design makes it easy to plug and unplug the cable.
The cable is nice to look at, all thanks to the stunning red and black combination. Even though the cable is braided, it's smooth and flexible.
Why should you pick it: This cable brings the best of both worlds. You get rapid charging as well as fast data transfer speed. The stunning color combination of red and black makes sure that you do not easily lose sight of the cable.
If you want to go with a trusted brand, the Anker Powerline II makes for a good buy. This USB 3.2 Gen 2 cable carries the same transfer speed specification and has a power output of 100W, making it apt to be used for charging both your MacBook Air (see best USB‑C to HDMI Cables) and your USB-C tablet. Even though the exterior is not braided, you can expect the cable to last you a long time.
The Anker PowerLine II cables are quite popular on Amazon, thanks to the quality they bring to the table and their excellent customer service. The company is quick to replace any cable that isn't up to the mark, and several user reviews on Amazon have backed that claim.
Why should you pick it: Anker is a well-known name in the field of electronic accessories, thanks to its quality and the Anker Powerline II is no exception. It's a well-built cable that is built to last a long time. Plus, Anker cables are USB-IF certified, meaning they are tested for their performance and safety. Do note, that you won't find extra grips on the strain relief, like the Fasgear cable.
Another USB 3.2 Gen 2 cable that will let you charge your devices as easily as it will let you transfer data is the Ugreen USB-C to USB-C cable. It has an unassuming look and doesn't have any fancy features like rubbery plugs or sheathed exterior. However, you can trust it to do its job as advertised. It supports Power Delivery and has a maximum power rating of 60W, which is good enough to sustain laptops like the MacBook Air and USB-C tablets.
If your laptop has the support for DisplayPort AltMode, you can even hook your laptop to a compatible 4K external monitor and stream 4K video at 60Hz.
Many users have praised this cable. At the time of writing, it had an average user rating of 4.6-stars on Amazon, with users speaking highly of its sturdy build and fast transfer speed. Fakespot estimates 90% of the reviews are reliable.
Why should you pick it: Don't let the humble appearance of the Ugreen cable fool you. If you have older Mac such as the MacBook 12'' (2015-2017) or the 2018 Macbook Air, this cable with its 60W PD will be your perfect companion.
Cable Matters offers a sturdy no-frills cable that’s priced midway between expensive and cheap. It can deliver power up to 100W and is apt for charging USB-C laptops and phones, while data sync speed at 10 Gbps will let you transfer data from one device super quick. But if you want real proof of future-proofing, the company claims that this cable can run 8K video at 60Hz. Now, that's something.
The cable is a little on the thicker side, so bending it can be a little problematic. Moreover, the ends are a bit wide, and you might have issues in plugging it to your phone, especially if it has an armored case on.
Why should you pick it: The Cable Matters is a highly-reviewed USB 3.2 Gen 2 cable. It can do them all without breaking a sweat - from transferring data between external drives and your computer to charging it.
You can rely on the Nekteck USB-C cable if you are looking for an affordable USB-C cable. This one measures just 3-feet and costs less than $10. It bundles a frills-free look with no fancy grips or braided design. They’re basic black plastic and support Power Delivery up to 100W. Connect the right wall adapter and you will have your smartphone or your tablet charging at optimum speeds.
The support for DisplayPort Alt Mode means you can stream 4K content at 60Hz. Perhaps the best thing about it is that it is USB-IF certified and you can let go of worries about its safety and performance.
Why should you pick it: Nekteck products, be it their car chargers or their power strips, are popular for their quality and this one is no different. This USB-C cable has around 79% 5-star reviews on Amazon, primarily due to its ease-of-use and durability. Like Anker, Nektech also boasts of great customer service.
The Future Is Here
Gone are the days when you had to buy a bunch of different cables for charging phones and laptops, transferring data, or for connecting to an external display. These new-age cables do them all. All you need to do is check for the compatibility with your laptop or the wall charger and that's about it.
Need to charge your phone on the go? Check out the article below to find out about some nifty car chargers with USB-C Power Delivery.
The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.