Apple has started selling a 10-foot Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable, complete with a stunning price of $159. That might seem like a lot of money for a USB cable, but there’s a little more to unpack here.
Three meters is approximately 9.8 feet. At the moment this is the longest Thunderbolt 4 cable on the market. Others, like OWC, Belkin, and Plugable tend to sell up to two meters (about 6.6 feet). That’s the length Intel and its partners publish to the standard.
However, these are a mix of active and passive cables. Teardowns for Apple’s 6-foot Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable revealed that it is an active cable, meaning there are chips and retimers inside to boost the signal over a longer length. These chips can add cost and be technically beyond specification. Despite the fact that it’s, well, a cable something Technology was in this thing.
This cable is also braided, which is just a nice touch. Apple’s latest Magsafe cables for its MacBook Pros are braided, albeit with a white jacket, and they feel nice and durable. This jacket also sometimes helps prevent tangling, which can be helpful when stretching a 9.8-foot cable across a room.
That’s all to say that – despite the initial shock of the price tag – this cable isn’t necessarily overpriced. Expensive, yes, but there are some extra tech and other niceties. Apple is the only game in town right now, but other providers will eventually catch up with cheaper options. We cannot say the same for a Polishing cloth 19€.
Despite exceeding the spec in length, Apple’s other claims are consistent with what you’d expect flash 4, including a bandwidth of 40 Gbit/s. (Like Cake, Apple is betting on distance as well as speed.) This cable also supports up to 100 watts of power, meaning it can charge a MacBook or iPad Pro, as well as DisplayPort video output capabilities for connecting to a monitor (such as a monitor). Apple’s own studio ad or Pro Display XDR).
As of this writing, the 10-foot Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable is available in some stores and will ship between May 13th and May 20th with free standard shipping.
For those who don’t need a cable that long, Apple’s 1.8-meter option costs $129, while other vendors typically sell even cheaper. For example, a seven-foot Belkin active cable costs $69.99.
But if you need to run a cable through or around a room, Apple is the only place for a cable that long. That’s the price of really expanding.