PCWorld (USA)

USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign

For years it’s been obvious this change was needed.

- BY MARK HACHMAN

For years, USB technologi­es have been an alphabet soup of terminolog­y—when really all consumers care about is how fast the USB connection is. But now, finally, a new USB logo scheme solves this problem.

The USB Implemento­rs Forum recently unveiled new logos for laptop ports, chargers, and cables that actually try to communicat­e what each one does. It’s a far cry from the nightmare naming scheme ( fave. co/3rtpgqf) that the USB-IF implemente­d in 2009. It’s worth noting that the names of specificat­ions apparently haven’t changed, but the logos have, and that’s all that matters.

USB-IF executives said the new logos were establishe­d alongside the new 240W USB-C power specificat­ion ( fave.co/3Lu8tbd), which can now charge USB-C powered laptops at the levels required by even some gaming laptops. Now the various USB specificat­ions are defined by their speed.

Charging specificat­ions are defined by their wattage, with logos that actually indicate this.

“With the new higher power capabiliti­es enabled by the USB PD 3.1 Specificat­ion, which unlocks up to 240W over a USB Type-c cable and connector, USB-IF saw an opportunit­y to further strengthen and simplify its Certified Logo Program for the end user,” said Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF President and chief operating officer, in a statement. “With our updated logos, consumers can easily identify the USB4 performanc­e and USB Power Delivery capabiliti­es of Certified USB-C cables, which support an ever-expanding ecosystem of consumer electronic­s from laptops and smartphone­s to displays and chargers.” Check out the new logos, which will be used on packaging, ports, and device power ports.

About the only drawback? There’s no obligation for device makers to actually inscribe the logo on their laptops, which could mean a continuati­on of the confusion around ports.

The new USB cable logos also feature clear communicat­ion of their speed as well as their charging capabiliti­es. The big question is whether these cables will support Thunderbol­t, or Displaypor­t, or USB4 —any of the protocols, that is.

Finally, there are the charging logos, which again state what the device in question is capable of.

If nothing else, this is a huge step forward for clarity, communicat­ing to the consumer what they’re buying. The only real regret is why this wasn’t implemente­d years ago.

 ?? ??
 ?? ?? The new USB logos clearly communicat­e not just the speed of the port, but its capabiliti­es.
The new USB logos clearly communicat­e not just the speed of the port, but its capabiliti­es.
 ?? ?? The USB-IF’S new charger logos.
The USB-IF’S new charger logos.
 ?? ?? The new logos for USB-C cables.
The new logos for USB-C cables.

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