Connect your Mac directly to an HDMI monitor with this one cable. Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac
You won‘t need a MacBook with an HDMI port if you have Plugable’s USB-C to HDMI cable. Just run the cable between the external display and your Mac or iPad and you have 4K@60Hz. Even better, it’s currently available at a discount that drops the price to less than $17.
I tested this accessory in my home office to be sure it lives up to its promises.
People don’t like dongles. It’s understandable. And Plugable’s USB-C to HDMI cable takes that into account by integrating an HDMI adapter into a USB-C cable.
Effectively, it’s the same as if you had a MacBook with an HDMI port. Without having to put down at least $1,999 for a 2021 MacBook Pro. (The cable also works with iPad Pro and iPad Air models with USB-C.)
Hardware and design
The Plugable USB 3.1 Type-C to HDMI 2.0 Cable measures 6 feet long. That’s plenty to connect your Mac to a monitor on your desk.
The accessory is essentially Plugable’s USB-C to HDMI adapter but with a much longer cable. And that’s a good thing, because the adapter works quite well.
The cable connects your computer to an external display at a maximum resolution of 4K (3840×2160) and a 60Hz refesh rate. That’s what the HDMI 2.0 in its name means.
This is not the latest version of HDMI, but is all you need to watch Netflix, Disney+ or Amazon Prime Video in 4K Ultra HD.
To test Plugable’s USB-C to HDMI cable, I used it connect my iPad Pro to an external monitor and to my home TV. Doing so was quick and easy, and I’m completely satisfied with the results.
Plugable USB 3.1 Type-C to HDMI 2.0 Cable final thoughts
This USB-C to HDMI cable offers the same convenience as having an HDMI port built into your Mac. You won‘t find a simpler solution for connecting your MacBook to a HDMI monitor.
While there are alternatives with more capabilities, like connecting to multiple monitors, these aren‘t as affordable as Plugable’s product.
The regular price for Plugable USB 3.1 Type-C to HDMI 2.0 Cable is $19.95. Which would be a deal all on its own. But it gets better.
Purchase the cable from Amazon and, at the time of this writing, you’ll get $3 off. That lowers your cost to $16.95. (Be sure the check the checkbox for the extra discount.)
Buy from: Amazon
An alternative that’s almost as easy is Plugable’s USB-C to HDMI adapter ($13.95). Just stick it on the end of an HDMI cable and you’re ready.
Plugable provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.