Apple recently quietly released its $129 Thunderbolt 3 Pro Cable. Yes, you heard it right. It is $129. So, there is a talk going on about whether this price is actually right or is Apple overpricing it again. In this article, we will discuss on this topic, and also on what other alternatives we have. But, first, let’s talk about the specifications of Apple’s Thunderbolt 3 Pro cable.
Apple Thunderbolt 3 Pro Cable Specifications
The Apple Thunderbolt 3 Pro cable is a cable with a braided design and length of 2 meters. This cable supports Thunderbolt 3 data transfer up to 40 Gb/s and USB 3.1 gen 2 data transfer up to 10 Gb/s. In addition, it also supports DisplayPort video output (HBR3) and also charging up to 100W. The main feature that many users will buy this cable for is the ability to connect a Mac with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 3 devices such as Pro Display XDR, docks, and hard drives.
The Thunderbolt 3 Pro cable is compatible with the following devices:
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation),
- iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation),
- iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation),
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)
- MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2020),
- MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018 – 2019),
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020),
- MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019),
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016 – 2019),
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016 – 2019),
- iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2019 and later),
- iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2019 and later),
- iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2017),
- iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017),
- iMac Pro (2017 and later),
- Mac Pro (2019),
- Mac mini (2018 and later)
Is Apple’s Thunderbolt 3 Pro cable worth the price tag of $129?
First of all, we need to understand that this cable is not targeted for all people in general. So, not all people will agree with the price. However, there are certain group of people who will be willing to pay the amount for the features that it offers. This offer makes more sense to people who are pro users and who really need that 40Gb/s transfer rate, as well as other features. Usually, business users are the target customers. Also, there seems to be no other competitor with the same set of features for a lesser price. In addition, they are quite longer than other cables by Apple as well.
So, is the price justifiable? Absolutely yes. But only for people who actually know what they are buying and know that they actually do need those features.
People who are looking for cheaper alternatives also do have options from Apple. There is a $79.25 Belkin Thunderbolt 3 cable and a $39 non-pro Thunderbolt 3 cable. The Belkin Thunderbolt 3 still has a 2-meter length but it is not braided and doesn’t support DisplayPort or USB 3.1. This means that it is only suitable for cases where every device in the chain has Thunderbolt 3. Now, for the regular non-pro Thunderbolt 3 cable, it does not have the braiding as well as the length. Its length is 0.8 meters.
Buy the Thunderbolt 3 Pro cable here
Buy the Belkin Thunderbolt 3 cable here
Buy the regular non-pro Thunderbolt 3 cable here
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