SPOILER: THE CHEAP CABLE HAS SOME LIMITATIONS.
Are all USB-C cables the same? That’s what we wondered when we found two different Amazon Basics models, one priced at about $9 and the other at $19. Is the cheaper USB-C cable just as good, or are we getting something extra with the more expensive one?
To complement our related story on how to buy a USB-C cable (go.pcworld. comh2uc/), we tested the $8.62 Amazon Basics cable as well as the $18.99 upgrade to find out what you get and what you give up. We applied the same rules for the two Amazon Basics cables in charging speed, data transfer speed, and connecting to a display. In the end, we did find reasons why the more expensive cable might be worth it—and a few scenarios where the cheaper cable would be just as good. Keep reading to learn more.
OBVIOUS PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES
There are a few significant physical differences in the cables themselves. The weight and thickness of each cable is hard to see unless you have both, as we do. The $8.62, 6-foot cable weighs just 38 grams, versus 86 grams for the $18.99, 6-foot Amazon Basics cable. Although the sheathing adds to that weight, some of the weight also comes from the additional wires inside, and the thickness (or gauge) of those wires. When they’re coiled up, you can see the difference (image below with the cheap cable on the left, and the expensive one on the right).
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
3 Things We Love in Windows 11 (and 3 Things We Hate)
Windows 11 has some great features, as well as reasons not to upgrade.
How to make Windows 11 look like Windows 10
Windows 11 gives Microsoft’s operating system a bold new look, but you can still make it feel (mostly) familiar.
How to upgrade to Windows 11: Every option explained
Microsoft has several tools to upgrade you from Windows 10 to Windows 11 in a matter of minutes.
How to watch TV on your PC
There are several ways to watch live TV on your PC, some much easier than others. We walk you through your options.
SOME OF THE BEST WINDOWS 11 FEATURES ARE HIDDEN
HERE’S WHERE TO FIND THEM.
Mesh Wi-Fi vs. traditional router: Which one's best for your home?
You can go with the easy answer—or the one that’s actually best for you.
AMD Radeon RX 6600: Finally, a true 1080p graphics card
It’s good, though pricey.
Acer Predator Triton 500 SE: A gaming laptop that's safe for work
The 16:10, 1440p, 165 Hz display is great for more than just gaming.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8: A superior Windows 11 tablet
Microsoft's latest Surface ushers in Windows 11 with an outstanding new Surface tablet.
PNY LX3030 SSD: Incredible durability for twice the price
This PCIe 3 drive sustains long writes with the top performers and is rated for a staggering 27,000TBW per TB of capacity.
THE BEST PRODUCTS OF 2021
You need only one list this holiday season when you’re buying tech gifts. Here’s PCMag’s annual collection of the 101 most exceptional products tested and rated by our experts in the past year.
"You're literally flipping the script"
Riz Ahmed- ACTOR, PRODUCER, MUSICIAN, AND ACTIVIST | It takes some serious organizational skills to make a difference in Hollywood from the inside. Riz Ahmed shows how it’s done.
AI in Streaming Services
The shows you ‘choose’ to watch aren’t entirely your decision.
ITALIAN COMPETITION WATCHDOG FINES APPLE, AMAZON $225M
Italy’s antitrust watchdog has fined Apple and Amazon a total of more than 200 million euros ($225 million) for cooperating to restrict competition in the sale of Apple and Beats branded products in violation of European Union rules.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max: Excellent Media Streamer
Wi-Fi 6 is capable of higher speeds and better performance than the Wi-Fi 5 we’re used to, especially in crowded network environments, and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the first media streamer under $100 we’ve seen to support the standard (the $180 Apple TV 4K also uses it).
What we're raving about this month
Amazon Unpacked A-Z
It doesn’t matter that Jeff Bezos has stepped down: No industry is safe from the company’s relentless ambition. A complete guide to Amazon’s staggeringly large and ever-mutating domain, most of which you can’t even see.
What really happens to all the pants that don’t fit
AMAZON TO ALLOW EMPLOYEES TO WORK REMOTELY INDEFINITELY
Amazon said it will allow many tech and corporate workers to continue working remotely indefinitely, as long as they can commute to the office when necessary.
SPATIAL AUDIO RELATIONS
Ears-on with Apple Music’s new Atmos offerings