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Four Situations where USB-C can Supercharge Your Work and Entertainment

Faster power, data, audio-video delivery, and more all over one cable means time better spent.

The USB Type-C standard is becoming ubiquitous thanks to its more powerful and varied features compared to USB Type-A connectors.

USB-C is everywhere you turn these days, from mobile devices to laptops and docking stations and it’s here to stay for good reason: USB-C is far more powerful than previous USB types. In fact, it is the emerging standard for transferring data and charging in the elusive quest to find as universal connector as possible. According to a recent report by Future Market Insights, USB-C market share is forecasted to exceed US$127 billion by 2030 at a 29% CAGR, including making major gains in the telecommunication industry.

As more people work and learn from home, USB-C is also going to help boost their productivity and entertainment in a number of ways. In this article we’ll take a look at four situations where the power of USB-C is going to take your connectivity to another level.

1. Using a Sharing Switch

Let’s say you’re a dual-computer user and you want to use your two computers, one Windows laptop and one MacBook, to share your peripheral devices with fast transfer speed. Also, you want power pass-through to charge one of your laptops and your devices as well. A device such as the ATEN 2-Port USB-C Sharing Switch can do all that with up to 10 Gbps of transfer speed and, in the case of this device, 85W of power delivery thanks to USB-C 3.0 power delivery.

USB 3.1, or Superspeed USB+, is the second generation of USB standards and can theoretically deliver up to 10 Gpbs of delivery speeds compared to the USB 3.0 (Superspeed USB) data-transfer standard’s max data speed of 5 Gbps. What’s more, USB-C is backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and 2.0. for greater versatility, and even features a handy reversible design that means you can plug it in right-side up or upside down.

What this means for you is that USB-C allows for greater working flexibility because you can use it to charge a smartphone, a tablet, and even a laptop or portable monitor, as well as transfer data. Instead of having various charging cables to do that, increasingly all you need is one USB-C cable. In a pinch you can use a USB-C and a portable power bank to charge a laptop when you’re on the go.

A USB-C sharing switch such as the ATEN US3342 can charge one of your laptops and your devices while providing 10 Gbps transfer speeds.

2. KVM Productivity

If you use a KVM for work, whether in an office or remotely, you’re already trying to maximize not only your workflow’s speed but also your desktop space-cost efficiency. A KVM allows you to quickly and easily switch between multiple computers with a variety of methods, such as a pushbutton, hotkeys, the mouse, and a remote port selector. What kind of scenario would you use a device like this? Common applications generally include time-critical and data-sensitive operations from government staff, to sales and engineers, as well as healthcare, finance, and graphic design.

Adding a USB-C-enabled KVM switch, such as the ATEN 2-Port USB-C Gen 1 Dock Switch, to your workflow allows for you to dock your USB-C smartphone, iPad Pro, laptop, or two USB-C laptops and use them with a single set of keyboard, monitor, and mouse so you can save desktop space and improve your productivity. On top of that, you get 85W power delivery charging, and with Samsung DeX mode you can use your Android smartphone on a monitor.

A hybrid KVMP switch, such as the 3-Port USB-C DisplayPort Hybrid KVMP Switch, gives you the ability to cut down on bulky cable setups and instead connect two PCs and a USB-C mobile device to one KVMP and easily switch between your computers with up to 4K DCI image quality and HD audio quality. Plus, you get SuperSpeed 5Gbps data access for faster transferring of files so that you spend less time waiting

As the name implies, you also get the power of DisplayPort with this device. Its USB-C channel supports DP Alt Mode, so it can deliver DisplayPort signals and work like a standard DisplayPort connection. For added flexible usage, the 3-Port USB-C DisplayPort Hybrid KVMP Switch can convert signals from DisplayPort to HDMI or DVI with its DisplayPort Dual-Mode technology (DP++). A device such as this can fit right into various work environments, including in finance, graphic design, healthcare, government, engineering or even sales and marketing.

A desktop KVM with USB-C allows you to use a single set of keyboard, monitor, and mouse with a USB-C laptop, iPad Pro, or Android phone connected.

3. Using a Docking Station

Perhaps you do want to use a dock though to unleash your productivity while working from home or in a hybrid office space. With the use of a single USB-C cable you can expand a laptop’s capabilities by connecting numerous devices, such as up to 13 devices with a device like the ATEN USB-C Multiport Dock. Just one USB-C cable would connect your laptop to Ethernet, SD cards, your phone, flash drives, two HDMI monitors, even headphones. Plus it works with Windows, OS X, and even iPad Pro so that you’re not hampered by OS-compatibility limitations.

In addition to the aforementioned connection standards, USB-C also supports Thunderbolt 3, which boasts even more impressive specs than USB-C, including halving the power consumption of Thunderbolt 2 and the ability to drive two 4K displays at 60 Hz, or one 4K display at 120 Hz. Even a mini dock, like the ATEN USB-C Multiport Mini Dock, can pack serious punch in a small form factor thanks to its USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. Plus, with a mini dock like this you can connect a USB-C laptop to a VGA or HDMI monitor, a Wi-Fi router via Ethernet, and even connect a USB Type A device.

A USB-C docking station such as the ATEN UH3237 allows for faster power charging and greater data transfer speeds.

4. Gaming

Want to take your gaming console anywhere and use it with a big screen? The right USB-C mini dock, like the ATEN USB-C 4K Ultra Mini Dock, can do that in addition to giving you connectivity to other USB-C devices, including laptops, smartphones, and iPad Pro. A portable mini dock is easy for you to carry and take with you but also powerful enough to run certain consoles at up to 4K@30Hz on 4K TVs or ultra-wide and gaming monitors.

USB-C allows for plug and play so you can quickly and easily enjoy using your USB-C device on a larger monitor for entertainment and work.

USB-C also allows for plug and play screen extension from a laptop to a larger monitor or to a projector. Using products such as these means you can connect a USB-C port to 4K HDMI or to VGA and start enjoying your games on a bigger screen right away.

One Cable to Rule Them All

Finally, at the core of what makes USB-C the tool that will supercharge your productivity is the fact that USB-C does everything over one cable. Instead of using different cables and AC adapters for charging, sending data, and both video and audio, USB-C does it all. Whether you choose a USB-C docking station to expand your peripheral usage, or pick a USB-C KVM to control multiple computers through a single keyboard, monitor, and mouse, you’ll be harnessing the power of USB-C to do everything over one cable with less clutter and more productivity for you.

ATEN offers a number of products with USB-C, as well as DisplayPort and Thunderbolt support to meet your needs for work, education, and entertainment across a variety of industries and use cases.

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 About ATEN

ATEN International Co., Ltd. (TWSE: 6277), established in 1979, is the leading provider of IT connectivity and management solutions. Offering integrated KVM, Professional Audiovisual, and Intelligent Power solutions, ATEN products connect, manage, and optimize electronics in corporate, government, industrial, educational, and retail environments. ATEN has 500+ issued international patents and a global R&D team that produces a constant stream of innovative solutions, resulting in a comprehensive portfolio of products available worldwide.

Headquartered in Taiwan, ATEN International Co., Ltd. has grown to include subsidiaries in China, Japan, Korea, Belgium, Australia, the U.S., the U.K., Russia and Turkey – with R&D centers in Taiwan, China, and Canada.