It’s been almost a year since we told you how next-gen USB-C cables would nearly double the amount of power they can carry to 240W, enough to let you ditch the proprietary power brick for all gaming laptops, except the strongest. Now, we’re seeing the first signs of life: the first USB-C 2.1 cables have broken through with up to 240W of power and up to 40Gbps of data. They are from a Dutch manufacturer called Club3D (via tom hardware) which doesn’t sell cables on its website, and they don’t seem to be available at retailers yet either.
Not that you necessarily want to buy one yet, of course! There are no devices designed to use 240W of USB-C power yet, nor are there 240W USB-C chargers, so these cables won’t offer you anything new until the chicken-and-egg issue is resolved. .
But that’s not the only caveat you need to be aware of. As we feared last September when the USB Implementers Forum published its USB-C 2.1 branding guidelines, it seems manufacturers still have the freedom to mix and match the capabilities you’ll actually get from a cable.
Club3D not only has a one-meter cable with the holy grail of 8K/60 video, 40Gbps of data, and 240W of power, but it also has a two-meter cable with only half the data speed. And, get this, there’s a third six-foot cable that only carries a measly 480 Mbps of data. (That one is stuck at USB 2.0 speeds for some reason.)
Fortunately, it looks like these cables will be clearly marked so you know what capabilities they actually have. Thanks USB-IF for the tags! Hopefully other cable manufacturers will do the same. And it’s good to know that a 240W cable can stretch to at least six and a half feet long, though hopefully we’ll see even longer cables as well. While 240W may seem like a lot of watts, a typical home AC outlet can produce thousands.