Apple's $129 Thunderbolt 3 Pro Cable Isn't Completely Nuts

Illustration for article titled Apples $129 Thunderbolt 3 Pro Cable Isnt Completely Nuts
Image: Apple

Let’s face it: anything over $100 is a lot of cash for a braided cable. This is beyond argument, a sort of affront to the gods of Monoprice that have taught us that most cable is barely worth 5 cents an inch. So what does Apple think it’s doing with this new Thunderbolt 3 Pro Cable that clocks in at a cool $130?

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First off, it’s braided. That adds like fifty bucks right there. And second off, it’s really long—about six-and-a-half feet—and is probably the only cable you use to connect your MacBook to a Pro Display XDR monitor or other data-intensive peripheral. According to Apple, it is compatible with DisplayPort and USB 3.1, and the passthrough speed of 40Gb/s vs. the length is quite impressive.

Basically you buy this if you absolutely, positively have to have some solid throughput between your fancy new Mac Pro and your fancy new monitor. If you can survive with a shorter length, Apple’s also got a $39 super-short cable with the same features that you can pop between peripherals.

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Finally, because it’s so long, you can easily and ostentatiously whip it around the office like Indiana Jones, showing everyone that you own a long and deadly strand of pure data.

John Biggs is a writer from Ohio who lives in Brooklyn. He likes books, boardgames, watches, and his dog. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Gizmodo. He also runs TechForReporters.

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DISCUSSION

larsvargas
Lars Vargas was hoping 2020 would be quieter

Thunderbolt 3 cables are all silly expensive. I have a variety of ThinkPads and MacBooks that I attach to Lenovo T-bolt 3 docks and one of them came without a cable. I got sticket shock and paid $45 for a .5 meter Belkin cable. Yes, it’s a “USB-C” connector, but any old USB-C cable won’t work. I have no idea what magical substance makes them so pricey, but they are.

Apple’s$39 super short” cable is a good deal, too. I give Apple lots of crap for overpricing things, but 2 meters of T-bolt 3 at 40 Gb/s is not bad at all.

Sure beats a $999 monitor stand.