MacBook Air with Dual Monitor SetupThis 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.

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h277HU-appleIf 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.

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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

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