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Please make more USB-C cables like this

Please make more USB-C cables like this

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Elgato has a simple and useful approach to reduce USB and HDMI cable confusion: listing the important information on the connector itself.

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Elgato’s USB-C cable with bandwidth information.
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

Elgato hasn’t just made an excellent teleprompter, it’s also made a great USB-C cable that ships with it. Professional audio engineer Matt “Spike” McWilliams spotted that Elgato’s latest USB-C cable has the bandwidth and USB type imprinted on the connector, and now I wish all manufacturers did this.

I recently spent too many hours sorting my USB-C cables into ones that are high speed, ones that can deliver fast charging, and ones that can do both. None of them had any marker to let me know the speed or type of USB-C cable without me having to test them. It’s a common issue for people switching to USB-C right now, and even a small indicator like Elgato’s can certainly help. The writing on Elgato’s cable tells me it’s USB 3.0 compatible and can support up to 5Gbps in bandwidth.

The USB Implementers Forum has a logo that manufacturers can use on packaging, but that’s often useless later on when you’re searching for a specific USB-C cable in your box of cables. I’ve also purchased plenty of USB-C cables that have claimed, on the box, to deliver a certain bandwidth and failed to do so in reality.

Elgato’s solution is so simple I didn’t even notice it when I unboxed its Prompter hardware recently, but it’s so useful that I wish it was more widespread. “You’ll see spec data on all Elgato USB and HDMI cables going forward,” explains Julian Fest, senior vice president at Elgato, in a post on X (Twitter). “No more guessing if the cable is the culprit of a tech issue.”