Apple gets a lot of flack from fans, haters, and everyone in-between for its prices on its cables. But in some instances, you don’t have a choice as is the case with its latest offering, a 3-meter (10-foot) Thunderbolt 4 Pro Cable. It sells for $159/£159–yes, I heard you exclaim, “It sells for WHAT?!” all the way over in my San Francisco office–but it’s the only cable of its kind.
The Pro Cable supports Thunderbolt 3 and 4 as well as USB 4 data transfers at a rate up to 40Gbps, and USB 3.1 Gen 2 rates of 10Gbps. It also does DisplayPort video output (HBR3) and charges up to 100W. It’s a braided cable, which should help its durability and prevent it from catching itself into a tangled mess.
If you’re sitting there reading all this thinking, “WTF? Why do I need the dang thing?” then you likely don’t need the dang thing. Like other Thunderbolt cables, you likely won’t be using this cable to connect a Studio Display (which includes a 1-meter (3-foot) Thunderbolt 3 cable) or a Pro Display XDR (which includes a two-meter Thunderbolt 3 cable) on your desk. The type of user who will need this cable is probably in a production setting and needs to connect to an external device that isn’t close by, such as shared storage.
Apple’s three-meter cable joins the company’s 1.8-meter (6-foot) cable ($129/£129), and two-meter cables that you can find at other retailers, such as OWC ($57), CalDigit ($75/£55), and C2G ($129). As you can see, the prices widely vary, as do the quality and features. (For more options, see Tech Advisor’s roundup of the best Thunderbolt 4 cables.)
Cable Matters has a 10-meter Thunderbolt 3 cable for $320 on Amazon if you really need the length and are willing to give up some of the Thunderbolt 4 advantages. But if you want speed and length, Apple has the market cornered.