This is a little off topic as it has very little to do with USB-C, but it’s a common question among MacBook Air users that deserves a bit of time and attention. And we’ll bounce off this post with a similar multi-monitor setup for modern MacBooks with USB-C connectivity in the coming days.
But first, the MacBook Air.
Starting with select 2011 MacBook models, the mini DisplayPort on Apple laptops also doubled as a Thunderbolt port. Thunderbolt is a USB-like connection method that shares the same physical port as mini DisplayPort, much like Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C ports are physically identical. And the 2012 model MacBook Air models introduced Thunderbolt with the ability to connect to two external displays simultaneously, for a total of three (two external monitors plus the onboard display), for the first time.
There are a slew of adapters for the Apple Macbook and MacBook Pro, which convert the USB-C port or ports to standard USB Type A ports so that you can use thumbdrives, printers, external hard drives and more. But perhaps the best aesthetic option among these adapters is the nonda USB-C to USB 3.0 Mini Adapter.
nonda USB-C to USB 3.0 Mini Adapter
If you use your Macbook Nothing (12” model with no fans) or new 2016 MacBook Pro with an external monitor, there are many ways to connect the laptop to a display. But a monitor with a USB-C input can solve many more problems than simply how to connect your Macbook to a monitor.
With USB Type-C connectivity, your monitor also becomes a hub and a charger, albeit a rather slow one if you’re using the Pro rather than the 12-inch MacBook.
Take, for example, the Acer H277HU (Amazon Price), one of the few such monitors on the market today. With the H277HU, you get a USB-C friendly monitor that, with one cable, outputs video to the monitor, charges your MacBook, and gives you a hub with two USB 3.1 ports to connect peripherals such as keyboard/mouse dongles, external hard drives, and just about anything that connects to a laptop via USB-A.
2017 Standard External Hard Drive
Today’s external hard drives mostly ship with standard USB cables. While these cables are perfectly suitable for desktops and legacy laptops, if you have a new 12-inch MacBook, 2016 MacBook Pro, ChromeBook Pixel, etc., you can’t connect your external hard drive to their USB-C ports without a messy dongle adapter.
But there’s another, more elegant solution: simply replace the cable that shipped with your external HDD with a USB-C cable for easy, adapter-free connections.Continue reading
Lenovo Thinkvision P27h
Dell, Lenovo and LG have all announced new USB-C monitors for 2017 at CES, and there’s plenty to be excited about if you’ve been waiting for a better selection of USB-C monitors for your MacBook or MacBook Pro.
The 27-inch Lenovo Thinkvision P27h may be the most appealing to the budget minded, as it will cost only $329 (MSRP) when it arrives in March. The smaller 24-inch P24h will sell for $70 less. These prices make this USB-C monitor more inline with standard LED and LCD monitors than the other two models announced.Continue reading