Adaptors for regular office use

AndyR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 9, 2005
906
30
Auckland, New Zealand
So my 5yr old windows work laptop finally died last week, and my boss has given me approval to purchase a new 13” tb mbp this week. Being my first experience with a USB type C only laptop, what would you recommend as a decent set of dongles etc to start with.

I take my laptop home each night as I’m on-call (system admin/architect ) so I will get a spare charger and cable at minimum plus a gigabit adaptor for the office.

But at work I currently have 2x 24” DisplayPort monitors. I don’t see an easy way to do this with the MBP so any thoughts here?

Also do you recommend getting the Apple keyboard and Magic Mouse or stick with USB regular windows keyboard(althougt that’s 2 USB ports consumed then).
 

Farrgazer

macrumors member
Sep 25, 2017
90
18
So my 5yr old windows work laptop finally died last week, and my boss has given me approval to purchase a new 13” tb mbp this week. Being my first experience with a USB type C only laptop, what would you recommend as a decent set of dongles etc to start with.

I take my laptop home each night as I’m on-call (system admin/architect ) so I will get a spare charger and cable at minimum plus a gigabit adaptor for the office.

But at work I currently have 2x 24” DisplayPort monitors. I don’t see an easy way to do this with the MBP so any thoughts here?

Also do you recommend getting the Apple keyboard and Magic Mouse or stick with USB regular windows keyboard(althougt that’s 2 USB ports consumed then).

How about this dock: https://www.owcdigital.com/products/thunderbolt-3-dock
 

mroy16

macrumors regular
May 28, 2017
149
71
If you want a dock, I would caution against the OWC dock. I've had trouble with mine, and looking into reviews, it seems to be pretty common for the dock to fail and OWC to be slow in dealing with it. I ended up with the Pluggable dock, and there are several other brands that have solid reviews, depending on the exact combination of ports that you want.

If you connect to a dock at work and don't need (m)any peripherals at home, you can simply leave the included power cable at home and use the dock at the office.
 

mroy16

macrumors regular
May 28, 2017
149
71
Are your displayport monitors running 4K@60Hz? If so, you definitely want to consider the bandwidth of any accessories you use. Many dongles are only capable of USB 3.0 5 Gbps, which is insufficient to drive one 4K@60Hz, let alone two. TB3 has bandwidth enough for two such displays, with room left over for external storage and other peripherals. Of course, TB3 dongles and docks are noticeably more expensive than USB-C devices.
 

AndyR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 9, 2005
906
30
Auckland, New Zealand
Thanks. No they are regular old 1080p displays.

I found a couple of DP to USB-C cables locally which I think will do the job actually. That coupled with maybe a Saetech USB dock with Ethernet and my power brick makes all 4 ports used.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
2,421
722
I found a couple of USB C-to-A adapters handy to have. You can get a couple of them for well under $10, and they don't take up any room.
Also, I found a "dual-headed" USB key (drive) to also be very handy. I keep my small assortment in a zip-lock baggie in my backpack.
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,757
3,610
But at work I currently have 2x 24” DisplayPort monitors. I don’t see an easy way to do this with the MBP so any thoughts here?

Option 1:
2 x USB-C to DisplayPort cables + TB3 to Ethernet adapter + Apple TB3 Ethernet adapter + Apple Charger

Option 2:
"USB-C" dock (e.g. http://caldigit.com/usb-3-1-usb-c-dock/) + DisplayPort-to-DisplayPort cable: drives 1 display + ethernet + charges laptop. Need a USB-C to DisplayPort cable direct to the computer for second screen (only 1 display per USB-C on Mac) - but not if you fancy a 4k display (works but clobbers your Ethernet and USB speed).

Option 3:
"Thunderbolt 3" dock (e.g. http://www.caldigit.com/thunderbolt-3-dock/thunderbolt-station-3-plus/) + 1x DisplayPort-to-DisplayPort cable + 1xUSB-C to DisplayPort cable from the dock to the display. Looks similar to (2) but its Thunderbolt and can drive 2 displays, including 4k if you upgrade.

...and, yes, its expensive if you want to duplicate the experience at both home and work. Probably worth biting the bullet and going for Option 3. Note - getting a desktop dock that can charge your computer costs, but means you probably don't need a second Apple power supply.

NB: can't vouch personally for either of those products, but there are threads elsewhere.

I do have a Plugable USB-C to Displayport - which I'd recommend. https://plugable.com/products/usbc-dp/

NBB: Be careful about USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 devices offering dual display connections - the Mac doesn't fully support DisplayPort "multistream" daisy-chaining (you just get mirrored displays) so you can't have dual independent displays over USB-C. Thunderbolt 3 devices can offer two independent display outputs but double-check that they advertise dual independent displays on Mac. You'll usually have to use 1x Displayport-Displayport cable and 1xUSB-C to Displayport cable (connected to the Thunderbolt out).
 

UnlikelyLass

macrumors newbie
Mar 28, 2016
17
9
I have a star tech thunderbolt 3 -> dual display port out dongle that works perfectly. Paired with a simple USB hub which has USB-A, USB-C Power Delivery, Ethernet, and a couple USB A ports, and my non-touch bar 13” MBP is pretty happy. Two cables, but it all works. YMMV.
 
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