hey everybody it’s lon seidman it’s time once again for your weekly wrap-up and this week i want to rant a little bit about usb because we’re about to get a bunch of new formats thrown at us and unfortunately one port does not rule them all let’s get to it now what prompted this week’s discussion was a product review that i’ve been working on over the last couple of days trying to figure out the best way to explain this mess to people so the other day we got in a couple of these new sandisk portable ssds from sandisk free of charge in full disclosure and they have two drives available one of course is their extreme portable and they have the extreme portable pro which is this drive here and the difference between the pro and the regular portable is that this pro drive supports the usb 3.2 2×2 standard this is a newer usb standard that allows transfer rates of up to 20 gigabits per second and if you’ve got this thing plugged into the right port you can actually get pretty good speeds out of a usb drive but most people don’t have support for that standard and then when i started digging into the weeds here i found out that many people in the future may not be able to use this drive to its full potential either so let’s dive into what’s going on here so what’s about to happen is we’re going to get two new standards running on usb type-c connectors so thunderbolt which has been running off of usbc connectors since thunderbolt 3 came out a couple of years ago is getting rev to version 4 it’ll still use the same connectors and then usb is introducing their usb 4 format that’s going to take some elements of thunderbolt 3 and integrate them into the usb standard but it’s not going to incorporate things that might be part of thunderbolt 4 yet both of these things are going to use the very same ports that you see on screen here and if you have an older computer it doesn’t get upgraded to the new standard you’re locked in at whatever those standards were when you bought it but rolling forward new computers with thunderbolt 4 or usb4 might be able to take advantage of some of these things so let’s dive into the usb4 standard here and see what it will incorporate the good news is that usb4 like other usb formats before it is backwards compatible and you might recognize some of these standards but they’ve changed the names so let’s start off here with this ss5 logo this you’ve seen before of course and we used to know this as usb 3.0 or usb 3.1 gen1 now they’re calling it usb 3.2 gen one by one it will still have the same logo and this will run at five gigabits per second like usb 3 has been doing now for many many years you may also
recognize the 10 gigabit logo here which is what we used to call usb 3.
1 gen2 now it’s called usb 3.2 gen 2×1 and again this will run at 10 gigabits per second and many premium computers have this 10 gigabit per second standard built into their usb ports but you have to check carefully on your computer’s case we’ll get into that in a minute to know exactly which ports you have that support the faster speed because again the ports all look the same to most consumers and then we’ve got the super speed 20 gigabit per second standard which is what that pro drive supports and it’s called usb 3.2 gen 2×2 but if you look down here at the bottom we’ve got two more things now becoming part of usb4 which of course is usb 420 gigabits per second also known as usb4 gen 2×2 which is different than usb 3.2 gen 2×2 even though they work at the same speed and i believe these two lower numbers and logos here are incorporated from the thunderbolt merger so usb 4 gen 3×2 runs at 40 gigabits per second and is incorporating what thunderbolt 3 has been using for quite some time now this list of specifications and name changes is not confusing enough take a look at what the usb 4 format calls for what is required to be supported versus what is optional on the host device and of course the host device in this case would be the computer you’re looking at so if you go out to the store and say hey this new computer’s got usb4 awesome i’m going to get that and plug all my high speed devices into it be sure to read the fine print and the technical specifications of the computer first because what’s optional here on the host column well 40 gigabit per second transport is optional so you may not have a super fast port that you think you’re buying and you need to make sure again that your technical specifications specifically say
that it supports the 40 gigabit per second transport what also stuck out to me here is that the usb 3.2 gen 2×2 standard is optional for usb 4 equipped computers so while you can get the usb for 20 gigabit per second transport guaranteed on your computer if it is a usb 4 device the 20 gigabits per second on the 2×2 standard is optional and i suspect we may not see all that many computers with support for that which means that down the road we may not see all that much support for this usb 2×2 standard given that there’s also a usb 420 gigabit per second standard that is required so i would caution people on buying some of these two by two devices right now given that we’ve got this new standard on the horizon and given that two by two support on those new computers that are coming out is not guaranteed all very confusing what’s also confusing is the fact that many manufacturers are not even labeling ports properly so of course we’ve got two examples here from apple uh the upper picture is my wife’s macbook pro and those two usb c ports are actually thunderbolt 3 ports and she has the lower cost one so those thunderbolt 3 ports don’t actually run as fast as they do on my macbook pro that’s a whole nother discussion and then the lower image here is my little 12 inch macbook which has a port that looks the same but is in fact a usb type-c port only and is not a thunderbolt port so that’s confusing on the apple side and then even on the pc side i have found some manufacturers do a fairly good job of labeling their ports
lenovo typically does a good job on theirs this is a new ideapad slim 7 we’ll be looking at a little bit later in the week and you can see here on the right hand side it might be a little obscured but this is a thunderbolt 3 equipped usbc port so that was properly labeled but their other port here even though it is a usbc port doesn’t label what that port is capable of other than they’re encouraging you to plug power into it even though you can plug power into this port or the thunderbolt port but i did look it up and this is a usb 3 speed port a 5 gigabit per second port but again they didn’t label it right on there and i have seen a number of other computers come in we saw a bunch of new dells recently that also don’t have their ports labeled so without looking first at your technical specifications you may not know what you got and you might be plugging devices into ports that are not allowing those devices to work at their full potential now understanding what ports your computer has is only part of the battle you also have to understand the cables that you’re plugging into the computer and what those specifications are and not all of these cables are made to the proper usbc specs and here’s an example of one cable that was frying expensive chromebook pixels you can read more about that on the link you see on screen here this will likely continue just because not every manufacturer has to get certified to make usb cables another example are some cables that
don’t support things that you think they might so here you’ve got a nice looking usbc cable it goes out to usba you might use this for your hard drive or something to get a longer more durable cable but check out the fine print here this cable does not run at usb 3 or usb 3.2 two by two standards it only goes at 480 megabits per second so even though it’s got that usbc connector it is essentially a usb 2.0 cable and you wouldn’t know that unless you dug into the fine print of the product specifications here’s one from anchor and in this case they don’t list the data transfer rate but they do mention that it is a usbc 2.0 cable so again this cable will only transfer data at 480 megabits per second top so you really gotta dig into these things and do your research first now this cable’s a little different than the last one we looked at because that last cable did three volts at or three amps at five volts right good for a smartphone but it would not do usb usbc power delivery which is a whole different standard this anchor cable does support power delivery at six at 60 watts so you can plug it into your laptop your macbook air or something like that and get it to charge at full rate but if you were looking to use this as a cable to connect to a docking station again it’s not ideal because it doesn’t support the
faster usb data transfer rates nor does it appear to support video output either so you got to be again really careful here as to what you buy here’s another cable this one looks a little better for docking stations usbc to usbc it’ll support 4k video 100 watts of power delivery you can deliver even more power than that anchor cable we were just looking at but it is limited to five gigabits per second of data transfer usbc 3.1 gen1 which is no longer called that now it’s 3.2 gen 1 by 2 or 2×1 or whatever so just again make sure you do all of your research thankfully here they tell you exactly what the data rate is which is nice to see so at least you know what you’re getting if you take the time to look and then i found this cable which might be the one i would get uh here we’ve got 100 watts of power delivery nice long length 3.1 gen 2 which is now also 3.2 two by one so 10 gigabits per second and this one looks like the total package but again you don’t know if this is usb certified or not and that’s a lot of power to push through a cable that isn’t certified so again just be very careful with where what you’re buying and when you do buy dig into those specifications to take a look i found over the years that the anchor cables have worked very well for me they’re pretty well reviewed they do tend to put a little bit more effort into making sure their cables meet the specifications cable matters i found works pretty well i’ve bought amazon basics before and haven’t had issues but i’d be really careful about brands that you haven’t heard of before especially when you’re pushing this much power over them and on a personal note now that we’re about five or six years into the standard i’ve got a mess on my hands i’ve got these usbc cables all over the place they all support different data rates and different alternate mode standards some support video some
don’t some support power delivery others don’t some run at usb 3.0 speeds others run at 3.2 gen 2 speeds it’s a mess and i don’t know what cable supports what unless i actually put a little label around it so that i can know what it is next time i pick it up and i’m going to have to spend the winter now just organizing my cables because they all look the same but they all have very different capabilities and it’s just a mess and that’s something i have to work out here on my own let’s dive into briefly thunderbolt 4 and see what’s on the horizon there intel is responsible for thunderbolt 4 and they are going to continue using the usb type-c connector but they’re going to have different features and what they’re trying to do is make things simpler for consumers by saying that if you have a computer with a thunderbolt 4 port it’ll support all of this stuff although this here the 2×2 standard might be optional i’ll get to that in a second the one thing though that bugs me is that the thunderbolt 4 logo looks the same as the thunderbolt 3 logo and i can tell you in testing this usb 2×2 drive that none of my thunderbolt 3 computers could use this at 20 gigabits per second so i wish they did something to differentiate this logo on version 4 from 3 and who knows maybe we’ll see some manufacturers do that otherwise you’re going to have to dive into your computer specifications to be certain about that they do say though that the thunderbolt 4 cable to my last point about cable organization should support all of the usb modes and all of the thunderbolt modes that are out there so it might make sense to buy some thunderbolt cables and you’ll know everything will just work but of course these cables cost a lot more than their usb equivalents but if you have
problems like i do maybe it’s worth it just to save yourself the time of organization now intel did put together a helpful chart here to better understand what the requirements are for thunderbolt 4 at a minimum and a few things stand out here the first is that its minimum is its maximum it has to support 40 gigabits per second in order for it to be thunderbolt 4 compliant and usb 4 of course can run at half that speed and still be a compliant usb 4 device another point of note here is that a thunderbolt 4 equipped pc has to support at least two 4k displays out of its port uh whereas usb4 only requires one display with no resolution minimum but the thing that stands out for me here is the fact that the usb 3.2 minimum is still only 10 gigabits per second here so if we were to take out a usb 2×2 device which should run at 20 gigabits per second it’s not required to be fully supported on thunderbolt 4 although if this was usb 420 compliant it would work fine and again that’s where the confusion points are definitely going to be on this new sandisk product for sure and you can see some of the other items here that thunderbolt 4 is supporting that some of the other standards do not so the bottom line here is that if you were hoping for the big merger of everything and to have that port just work the same on every computer you buy moving forward it’s not going to happen we’re still going to have a lot of ambiguities here a lot of different types of cables a lot of different types of devices and a lot of consumer confusion to come and unfortunately that’s just going to be our reality here because we have one port to rule them all but there are some cool things that i’m looking forward to on thunderbolt 4.
this is a dock that other world computing sent me a press release about the other day and what’s neat is now you’re going to be able to use thunderbolt kind of like you would usb and that you can buy a one-to-many dock now granted they’re all sharing the same 40 gigabits per second of bandwidth but you could have multiple thunderbolt devices here plugged into this dock through a single port and this is the kind of stuff that i’m looking forward to with the new thunderbolt 4 standard so it looks like for me at least i’ll have continued job security as i’ll have to keep explaining this stuff to consumers but it was a very challenging review here to put this together because i was confused and if i do this for a living and get confused i can’t even imagine what consumers out there are going to be facing as we get more and more different types of usb standards hoisted upon us over the next couple of years so buckle up we’ll be talking about this a lot more in the future now this week’s wrap-up is being brought to you by all of you we had two super chatters this week during our live streams uh they included grayson petty and toys r for boys thank you very much for your support we also have new supporters here on the channel who made membership contributions we have i’m the one who knocks and mark roberts who contributed via the youtube membership program pete silva signed up via patreon and we also have alberto farfan and mark smith who contributed via donorbox we also just went on floatplane this week and five people signed up on there but unfortunately i don’t have your names yet so as soon as i’m able to get access to subscriber data i’ll be happy to give you a shout out as well i want to thank everyone for their support this week and everyone who’s been contributing on an ongoing basis and all of you who watch on a regular basis too because all of those things equal channel growth and if you want to support the channel you can you can go to lond.tv support and make a monthly or a one-time contribution you can also become a member through the youtube membership program just by clicking the join button down below and of course we’re now on floatplane 2.
so let’s take a look at the week in review we had two live streams involving those sandisk portable ssds because i did one stream the hour-long one there doing some initial testing and another thing that i noticed in the course of testing the drives was that the the thunderbolt 3 port on my gaming laptop is not as fast as for usb devices as my gaming pc is upstairs and i went and ran the tests again on the computer got different numbers and then i came down and shot the review which was the two hour and 39 minute live stream there and you’ll see me really struggling as to how to explain this two-by-two standard to people and i still have some things i might amend on that video before it gets uploaded to better explain how usb4 is not a guarantee that this drive is going to work properly it’s just a mess and we’ll have to explain it to folks it’s not sandisk’s fault per se i mean they’re trying to get the best performance they can out of it but i think they would have been better off making this a thunderbolt drive and differentiating it that way from the usb one but it is what it is as they say we also had a fun one it was almost a four hour live stream putting together the retro flag nespi case that we reviewed this week and one of the fun things about the live streams is that you’re able to see the struggles that i go through putting content together because you have to keep in mind like what’s going to keep the viewers attention how to understand what the viewers will be looking for understanding that most of my viewers are casual tech users and not super techies so we struggled with a lot of that this week on the live streams and it’s fun to see that i have to say it was very helpful having people in the chat giving feedback in real time and i think that’s been helping my reviews get better because i’m able to make
adjustments before it gets uploaded and i really appreciate everyone who gave so much of their time to help out with the channel this week on the extras channel we had a bunch of unboxings it’s so much easier and faster for me to upload now so i’m more motivated to get stuff up quicker so we unbox the pixel 5 the new phone from google we’re going to have a review of that coming up soon i’ve got it right here i can’t show you more than this yet because i’m under embargo but this is what it looks like a very nice attractive phone that i am excited to dig into a little bit we unboxed a new minis forum mini pc with a thunderbolt 3 port we also took a look at the lenovo ideapad slim 7 that we’re reviewing this week and then we unbox the google tv that we reviewed here on the main channel along with that nest pi case so we consolidated that four hour live stream to 22 minutes how about that and then of course we looked at the lenovo thinkpad l14 which is the entry point into the thinkpad line so all sorts of good stuff this week you can check out in the master playlist down below now this week i’ve got a lot of stuff going on we’re going to be doing some live streaming for prime day i got in an acer laptop that’s on sale for prime day so we’re going to set it up and test it while prime day is going on so you can get the deal and we’ll have some other stuff i’m sure we’ll be doing so set your notifications and what i would love for you to do is go to my amazon page that you can see on screen there and follow me there because when i live stream on youtube i’m also simulcasting on amazon’s shopping channel and that’s a great way to help the channel too so if you don’t mind just do a
follow there and you’ll get notified in both places we’re going to have a review of the sandisk drives for sure so to be on the lookout for that i might get to the apple watch this week and shadow but there’s some more stuff coming out i’m expecting to get the oculus quest 2 in the next day or two and i’m also getting in that new microsoft surface go laptop that i know some of you were interested in too so whatever comes in i’m just going to get to it and we’ll see what happens this is the busy season where all the new stuff comes out so i am working really hard to get as much of the name brand stuff that’s heavily out there up quickly so be on the lookout lots of stuff to come and if you want to get notified anytime we do anything on this channel you can click the bell and when we go live or upload a video you will get a notification pushed down to you via your mobile app or email or whatever your preferences are we also of course have other channels that includes the amazon shop i just talked about so follow me on there and we’re also now on floatplane so if you happen to be watching videos there i am now part of that platform as well again because it’s so quick and easy for me now to upload to many places my upload speeds have gone from an hour to a minute and i am loving it you can check out last week’s wrap-up for a full review of my fancy new internet connection we have some great ways to engage with the channel including my email list at london tv email that is a very infrequent thing we have a very active facebook group you can find at lawn dot tv slash facebook group and we’ve got the store at lawn dot tv store where i sell previously used items that we reviewed here on the channel and i’ve got a pile of stuff here that i’m going to be getting rid of soon including the ipad we reviewed a few weeks ago i’ve got the oculus
quest 1 that i’ll probably be selling now the new one is coming in so be on the lookout we’re going to have a bunch of stuff coming up on the store and if you want to be notified when we do list items on the store you can go to lawn dot tv store alert and you’ll get push down a notification via email the old-fashioned way anytime we add something to the store or change anything significant so be sure to sign up for that and that is going to do it for this week’s weekly wrap-up again a lot of stuff on the horizon i’m going to be super busy over the next couple of weeks getting all this stuff reviewed and unboxed and everything so stay tuned thank you all for your continued support and viewership i will see you on the next video until next time this is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by theland.tv supporters including gold level supporters tom albrecht chris allegretta mike patterson and bill pomerantz if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe
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