Review: PowerLine II USB-C to USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 Cable

There’s a lot of confusion around the USB-C standards, and it does take a while to figure out which product you need. Between the different headers, speed ratings, power delivery capacities and adding Thunderbolt 3 into the mix, it’s definitely easy to get drowned in all of the options out there.

To Anker’s credit, they’ve managed to put out products satisfying every possible use-case, and this one is fairly niche: this Powerline II cable carries two USB type C headers, and is rated for full USB 3.1 speeds, as well as USB-PD (Power Delivery). This means that unlike most other USB-C cables out in the market, you can get 10Gbps data transfer speeds (only bottlenecked by the storage device itself), as well as 100W (5A) of charging power out of this cable. If you’re charging, say a Nintendo Switch, this cable might be overkill, but the use-case for this cable would primarily be owners of higher-end Android phones as well as Macbook (or other Windows laptops supporting the spec) users.

The product is packaged in standard Anker fare. You get the usual, no-frills Anker packaging and the little Velcro tie that you’d expect from their cables, which I happen to really like. The cable itself is sturdy and much like other Powerline II cables I own (Lightning, USB-C to USB-A), comes coated in a really nifty, tangle-free rubberized coating. I happen to like this treatment a little better than the Powerline+ series, which seems far more bulletproof (well, literally; that one’s covered in Kevlar) for my purposes. I happen to take good care of my cables! At any rate, the cable’s terminals taper off with a nice curvature and have a little LED light on both sides to let you know that, yes, this thing is doing hard work.

In my tests, I noticed the cable provides enough throughput to either charge my Macbook Pro 15” (at full speed) or supply a 4K video signal to a Thunderbolt 3-equipped monitor; it cannot do both. This was a surprise to me; I did look it up and Anker does offer a different product that is rated for full Thunderbolt 3.0 specifications (which costs $10 more), and can charge and supply a video signal. I would have gotten that cable instead had I known but will stick with this one for the time being; it does seem slimmer and will probably be better for traveling.

As far as other, less-hardcore purposes go, this cable works amazingly well. Paired with my Powerport Speed PD 30, I can get full-speed PD charging off my wife’s Pixel 2 XL. It also worked flawlessly for charging a Nintendo Switch and a Surface Go, but as I said devices like this can make do with less-intense cables.

Overall, this is yet another quality offering from Anker, and it’s an unsurprisingly easy recommendation. I would trust their cables far more than any other OEM-supplied cables. The ones that come with the Pixel 2 XL for example, seem way less durable than this one.


Nice review and pics, thanks 4 sharing!

Nice review and great pics. I’ve been thinking about getting one of these cables to link my Glyph Black Box Pro portable Drive. This cable looks better than the nice cables that it comes with it.


Nice review, nice photos.

Thanks for sharing this thorough review. Awesome job! :grin:

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Good review & photos @ssrr :thumbsup: