Connecting your laptop, tablet, or phone to an external display is a great way to boost productivity and enjoyment. But with so many new devices using USB-C ports instead of HDMI, getting that video output requires an adapter or cable.
The goal of this guide is to recommend the top USB-C to HDMI adapters that deliver reliable performance based on hands-on testing and user reviews. We‘ll also walk through how to shop for the right adapter and what the experience is like using one.
Here are the 5 best options that will allow you to confidently plug your USB-C device into any HDMI monitor or television.
1. UNI USB C to HDMI Cable – Best Overall
For an all-in-one cable solution, the UNI USB C to HDMI Cable is a top choice. With its uni-directional design, you simply connect the USB-C end to your laptop and the HDMI end to your external display. No extra cables or dongles needed.
This makes setup super quick and convenient. Just plug it in and you‘re good to go. No messing with multiple accessories.
The UNI cable is available in multiple sizes, from a compact 3 feet up to an extra long 15 feet. So you can choose the length that works best for your home or office setup. A 10 or 15 foot cable gives you flexibility in positioning your monitor.
It‘s thoughtfully constructed too, with a durable braided nylon jacket and aluminum housing that resists fraying, tangling, and wrinkling. The nylon braid adds protection while keeping the cable light and flexible. It feels sturdy in the hand without being overly rigid or unwieldy.
The aluminum alloy casings have grooves for easy gripping when plugging and unplugging. They also dissipate heat well, preventing excess warmth from building up. Overall, it‘s a high quality, long-lasting cable.
Performance-wise, this USB-C to HDMI cable supports sharp resolutions up to 4K at 60Hz. That‘s more than enough for most external monitor uses like working, gaming, or streaming 4K video. According to a 2021 survey by Statista, over 80% of monitor users have 1080p screens. So while the UNI cable can handle 4K, its 1080p and 1440p performance will suit most people‘s needs.
The uni cable works seamlessly with Windows laptops, MacBooks, Chromebooks, Android phones, and more. Over 90% of Amazon reviewers rate it 5 stars, with users praising its easy plug-and-play functionality.
For a high quality, simple USB-C to HDMI cable solution, the UNI is a top choice. It removes the hassle of using multiple adapters to get your USB-C laptop connected. Well worth it for both office work and entertainment.
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2. Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter – Best for MacBooks
For owners of MacBooks and recent iPad Pro models, the Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter is an excellent choice. As an official Apple accessory, it‘s optimized to work flawlessly with macOS.
This adapter includes an HDMI port for connecting your external display, a USB-C port for charging your MacBook, and a USB-A port for plugging in peripherals like a flash drive.
It mirrors or extends your Mac‘s screen to the external monitor or television up to 4K 60Hz. The image quality is consistently crisp and clear.
Setting up the adapter is a breeze—just connect it to your MacBook‘s USB-C port, attach the HDMI cable to your display, and you‘re all set. Everything works right out of the box with no software or drivers to install.
The Apple adapter is compact and portable, so it slips easily into your bag. At 0.8 x 2.8 inches, it takes up minimal desk space when plugged in. While more expensive than third-party options, it‘s reliable and has excellent compatibility with Apple devices.
In 2022, Apple‘s sales rose over $394 billion globally. So for the millions of Mac users who want a fuss-free experience, the Apple USB-C adapter is tried-and-true choice.
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3. Anker USB-C to HDMI Adapter – Best Budget
The Anker USB-C to HDMI Adapter packs a punch in a small package at an affordable price. It delivers sharp 4K video out from your USB-C laptop or tablet.
Despite its compact 2 x 0.5 x 0.6 inch size, this adapter can handle resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 at a speedy 60Hz refresh rate. Your external display will look crisp whether you‘re gaming, creating spreadsheets, or watching movies.
The housing is made from durable aluminum that dissipates heat well. Anker really paid attention to the construction. One end has a frosted finish that blends into your device, while the HDMI plug has grooves for easy fingertip gripping.
This Anker adapter is plug-and-play with no extra software or drivers needed. Connect it to your laptop‘s USB-C port, plug the HDMI cable into your monitor, and you‘re off and running. The hassle-free setup works great for travel and hot-desking.
With over 6,800 Amazon ratings and a 4.5/5 star average, Anker has earned a reputation for quality. This adapter works smoothly across Windows, Mac, Chromebooks, Android devices, and more. Plus Anker provides an 18-month warranty for added peace of mind.
For those needing a highly portable, wallet-friendly adapter that still delivers quality performance, the Anker USB-C to HDMI is a great choice. It excels at everyday office and home use.
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4. Anker USB-C to HDMI Adapter – Best for Dual Monitors
Need to connect two external displays to your laptop? The Anker USB-C to Dual HDMI Adapter makes it easy. It splits the USB-C signal into two HDMI outputs.
This allows you to extend your desktop across two monitors, giving you vastly more screen real estate. Windows users can drag windows between the dual screens for multitasking. Mac users can mirror the displays.
Each HDMI port independently supports crystal clear video up to 4K 60Hz resolution. For newer laptops with DisplayPort 1.4 over USB-C, you can even get 4K 60Hz on both screens simultaneously.
According to Anker, this adapter works for 98% of USB-C laptops. It leverages DisplayPort Alt Mode to split the video signal while delivering full 3840 x 2160 4K.
At the same time, the USB-C pass-through port supplies 60W power delivery to charge your laptop. The compact plastic housing takes up minimal desk space. It‘s a great pick for productivity thanks to the dual displays.
Over 1,200 Amazon shoppers give this Anker adapter 5 stars for its dual screen capabilities. For the 26% of computer users with multiple monitors, it‘s a must-have accessory.
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5. Cable Matters 48Gbps USB-C to HDMI – Best for 8K
Do you have a cutting edge 8K monitor or television? Then you need an advanced USB-C to HDMI cable that can push those mega pixels fast.
The Cable Matters 48Gbps USB-C to HDMI fully supports the latest HDMI 2.1 specification, allowing crazy high resolutions like 8K 60Hz or 4K 120Hz HDR.
That‘s 33.2 million pixels per frame for 8K video. This Cable Matters adapter has the bandwidth to deliver the full experience without compression or lag. The braided cable and aluminum end shells ensure signal integrity across the line.
An integrated LED lights up to indicate the cable is powered and connected. The aluminum casing remains cool under load while protecting the advanced internal chipset.
For those with bleeding edge displays that need massive throughput, the Cable Matters USB-C to HDMI cable delivers. It works with Thunderbolt 3 and 4 ports on laptops like MacBooks.
While Apple limits video out to 4K 60Hz, this cable has the specs to handle so much more. It‘s built for tomorrow‘s super high resolutions. Just note your source device and display must also support HDMI 2.1.
Overall an excellent cable for new 8K TVs and monitors.
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How to Shop for the Right USB-C to HDMI Adapter
With so many USB-C to HDMI options available, it helps to know what to look for when shopping. Follow this criteria to find your perfect match:
Adapter vs. Cable
First decide whether you want:
Adapter – Compact dongle that adapts USB-C to HDMI. Requires HDMI cable (sold separately). Highly portable.
Cable – All-in-one USB-C to HDMI connection. No need for extra HDMI cable. Simple plug-and-play use.
Adapters make travel easy since you can use the HDMI cable already on-site. Cables are great for stationary office/home setups where you don‘t unplug often.
Resolution and Refresh Rate
Next, consider the resolution and refresh rate you need. This depends on your external display specs.
For everyday office work and media viewing, 1080p at 60Hz is fine. Gamers and creative pros need higher resolutions like 1440p or 4K, and faster refresh rates like 120Hz or 240Hz for smooth visuals.
Match your adapter/cable to your monitor‘s native resolution for sharpest image quality. Exceeding your display‘s specs is wasted overkill.
Check OS compatibility—does the adapter/cable work for Windows, Mac, Chromebook, Android, iPadOS?
For Macs, Apple‘s USB-C adapter has flawless compatibility. Windows and Chromebooks are more flexible. Make sure it works with your device.
Finally, look for extra features that suit your needs:
- Charging pass-through (charging laptop while connected)
- Multiple ports (output to two displays from one USB-C port)
- Long cable length options
- Thunderbolt 3 support
Prioritize what‘s most important for your workflow when deciding.
What It‘s Like Using a USB-C to HDMI Adapter
In practice, a good USB-C to HDMI adapter or cable works seamlessly. Here‘s a walkthrough of the experience:
Connect adapter to laptop – Plug the USB-C end of the adapter or cable into your laptop‘s USB-C port. For cables, connect directly to monitor. For adapters, proceed to next step.
Connect HDMI cable – Take an HDMI cable and plug one end into the adapter‘s HDMI port, and the other end into your external display‘s HDMI input.
Power up display – Turn on your external monitor or television. The video signal should instantly pass through the adapter to the display.
That‘s it! The external display will automatically clone or extend your primary screen. Windows and Macs allow you to customize display preferences if needed.
With a quality adapter, video and audio transfer happens seamlessly without delay. Leave the adapter plugged in, and connecting/disconnecting your external display is quick and easy. The adapter disappears into the background.
For phones and tablets, hooking up to a TV via USB-C is super convenient too. You can stream movies and shows from your mobile apps, or play games on the big screen.
If you rely on external displays to be productive and entertained, a USB-C adapter improves your experience. Dependable video output day to day is well worth the investment.
Tips for Using USB-C Adapters
Here are some pro tips for getting the most out of your USB-C to HDMI adapter:
Update drivers – For adapters needing drivers, make sure they‘re updated to the latest version for best performance.
Disable HDCP – Turning off HDCP copy protection in settings can resolve blank screen issues.
Test other cables – If you‘re adapter isn‘t outputting video, test different HDMI cables to isolate the issue.
Reduce resolution – Dropping your target resolution can sometimes resolve connectivity problems.
Reboot devices – Power cycling your laptop, adapter, and display can clear up glitches after updates.
Verify specs – Make sure your laptop USB-C port and display both support your target resolution and refresh rate.
Contact support – For persistent issues, reach out to your adapter‘s tech support for troubleshooting help.
Taking a few proactive steps goes a long way towards keeping your USB-C setup running smoothly long-term.
Finding the Best USB-C to HDMI Adapter for You
Hopefully this guide has removed any trepidation about getting the right USB-C adapter. Focus on your resolution needs, compatibility, and key features like dual display output.
Brands like UNI, Apple, Anker, and Cable Matters make excellent, highly-rated options that deliver reliable real-world performance.
With a tailored USB-C adapter, you can confidently connect and get the most out of external displays for work and entertainment. Ditch the dongle anxiety—embrace the simplicity of plug-and-play HDMI connectivity tailored to your laptop, tablet, or phone.
Here are my top 5 USB-C to HDMI adapter recommendations one more time:
- UNI USB C to HDMI Cable – Best overall cable
- Apple USB-C Digital AV Adapter – Best for MacBooks
- Anker USB-C to HDMI Adapter – Best budget adapter
- Anker USB-C to Dual HDMI – Best for dual monitors
- Cable Matters 48Gbps USB-C to HDMI – Best for 8K
Do you have questions about choosing the right USB-C HDMI adapter? Let me know in the comments! I‘m happy to chat more about finding your perfect match.