Now that Apple’s USB-C dongles are back to full price, here are some decent alternatives

Apple’s decision to go all-in on USB-C on the 2016 MacBook Pro machines hit significant resistance from those who would need to purchase multiple dongles to connect to their existing accessories. The company responded by offering discounts on a range of USB adapters and cables, first to the end of last year and later extended to the end of March.

Those deals are now gone, however, so here’s a roundup of some decent alternatives …

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Apple offered discounts ranging from $6 to $20 on a total of four adapters and two cables. Below you can find links to good-quality alternatives, with Apple’s current pricing in brackets by way of comparison.

My personal approach has been to swap out cables wherever possible, rather than using adapters. With most USB devices, I was able to replace USB-A cables with USB-C versions. This generally cost around the same price as buying adapters, and made for a much neater and more easily portable solution. I’m therefore also including links to commonly-used cables at the end to avoid the need for an adapter.

USB-C to Lightning 1m ($25) or 2m ($25)

USB-C charge cable ($19)

Note that generic USB-C to USB-C cables may not be suitable for power delivery. The cables listed here are rated for power use, but you need at least 85w for the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

USB-C to USB-A adapter ($19)

A better (if more expensive) solution in most cases is to replace your existing USB-A cable with a USB-C equivalent – see below.

Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter ($49)

USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter ($69)

USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter ($69)

If you want both HDMI and VGA in one adapter, the Cable Matters one listed under both headings supports both ports and throws in Gigabit Ethernet.

If you want to replace your USB cables rather than use an adapter …

USB-C to microUSB

USB-C to miniUSB

For my own part, I have replacement cables for all but one device – the Shuttle Contour video editing jogwheel with a hard-wired USB cable.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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