Thunderbolt Cable Availability Growing, Apple No Longer Exclusive

Thunderbolt cableWhen they were first released, Apple’s Thunderbolt cables were hard to find and you could typically only get them from Apple directly. However, the different options of where you can now buy Thunderbolt cables¬†are growing with many companies announcing longer and competitively priced cables that will not only work with upcoming Macs but also upcoming Windows PCs as well.

StarTech has announced a Thunderbolt cable measuring nearly 10 feet long, which will make it the longest copper cable available. You can get the cable on backorder right now on the company’s website for $90. The very first Thunderbolt ports were introduced in Apple’s Macs last February, though customers were restricted to buying a $49 6.5 foot cable exclusively from Apple. However, that exclusivity broke when a 1.5 foot $59 cable was announced by Elgato back in April.

Kanex announced on Monday that they would start shipping 6.5-foot Thunderbolt cables for $59.95 this week. In addition to Kanex, Sumitomo has already started selling a 6.5-foot cable in Japan for $56. However, Apple’s current Thunderbolt cable still remains cheaper than both Kanex’s and Sumitomo’s.

In case you aren’t familiar with the technology, Thunderbolt is a high-speed connector technology that transfers data between computers and peripherals. The technology was co-developed by Apple and Intel and offers data transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps, which makes it a much faster alternative to USB 3.0.

Both companies claim that an HD movie can be transferred from an external storage device to a laptop in less than 30 seconds. In addition to that, the technology allows daisy-chaining of up to five peripherals, meaning that a longer cable can make it easier to attach more devices to a single Thunderbolt port.

StarTech’s cable is said to carry power as well, which will reduce the need for some peripherals, like storage devices, to connect to power outlets. The 10-foot cable will also transfer data at a full 10 Gbps over the cable.

This branch out in Thunderbolt cable availability should make a lot of people happy, especially considering all the other devices that are coming with Thunderbolt ports. Lenovo, Acer and Asus have already announced laptops with Thunderbolt ports, though they aren’t currently available just yet.

Source: Computer World – Thunderbolt cable options grow for Mac users

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