For a few years now we’ve been seeing the USB-A port on laptops disappear to be replaced with USB-C ports instead. Over time it’s likely that we will only see USB-C ports on laptops while desktops will continue to support USB-A as there are no space constraints.
The burning question that many people have is
When will we see a USB-C Unifying Receiver?
The answer is we will likely never see a Unifying USB-C receiver.
In this post we explain reasons why.
How to use a Unifying receiver with a USB-C laptop
The Unifying Receiver is designed for USB-A ports. If you want to use it with a newer laptop with only USB-C ports there are two solutions
Get a USB-C Hub
To use a Logitech wireless keyboard mouse with my laptop, I had to buy a USB-C hub. The main issue I ran into was lag. Sometimes I could not even connect. All in all a frustrating experience.
Use an Adapter
The other option is to use a USB-A to USB-C adapter. Possibly a better solution than a hub. Not very elegant though as the adapter is quite large and sticks out.
Is it possible to make a USB-C Receiver?
Yes, it is technically possible to build a USB-C receiver. In fact this enthusiast has made one that works!
Possible reasons for no Unifying USB-C dongle
A large majority of PCs and laptops still have USB-A ports
The relatively small volume of laptops with USB-C ports doesn’t justify the effort for Logitech to manufacture these dongles in any volume.
Obviously this will change with time for laptops. Desktops are not constrained in dimensions and there’s no real need to move to USB-C.
Logitech’s new Bolt technology
Logitech announced the Bolt receiver product line in 2021.
Bolt does everything a Unifying receiver can do and is more secure. Bolt also does much more than what the nano or non-unifying receiver could do.
The important thing is that Bolt is based on Bluetooth Low Energy and not the older, proprietary 2.4 GHz technology.
Over time it is expected that the popularity of Bolt will grow. Sales of Bolt mouse and keyboards will surpass that of the Nano and Unifying products. We anticipate that Logitech will standardize on Bolt and newer products will support this instead of Unifying receivers. We’re already seeing this trend with the MX Mechanical and MX Master 3S. Both are built with Bolt.
Newer Bluetooth-enabled laptops won’t need a dongle and desktops with no Bluetooth will continue to support USB-A. With fewer and fewer Unifying devices sold relative to Bolt, there won’t be any justification for a USB-C dongle.
When will we see a Logitech USB-C Receiver?
To date, Logitech has made no announcement as to if or when there will be a USB-C version of any of their popular dongles.
When will we see a Unifying USB-C receiver?
Possibly never based on the fact that:
- it’s older technology
- the upgrade doesn’t make sense when you consider that new laptops are equipped with Bluetooth inside
When will we see a Bolt USB-C receiver?
Since Logi Bolt is based on Bluetooth technology and most newer USB-C enabled laptops already have Bluetooth inside, there won’t be a need for a dongle moving forward. Desktops will continue to support USB-A as they don’t have any physical space constraints.
So we will likely never see a Bolt USB-C dongle.
When will we see a USB-C Lightspeed Receiver Dongle?
Lightspeed receivers come with a USB extension cable and an adapter.
This cabled configuration (as opposed to plugging the receiver directly into the laptop) is recommended for lowest latency. So in the case of Lightspeed, a USB-C receiver doesn’t present any advantage over USB-A.
As a result we will not see a USB-C Lightspeed receiver
The future for USB-C Keyboard and Mouse dongles
It’s likely that Logitech will make investments into figuring out how to make Bluetooth peripherals with reliable connectivity and lower latency. And that will be the end of dongles altogether.
Only time will tell!