One video adapter to rule them all.
When you have a modern laptop, adapters are the name of the game. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been saved by adapters and hubs in the 4 years since I switched to a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 only laptop. The trick is finding the right adapter for your needs. One of my favorite companies for cables is quickly becoming one of my favorite companies for adapters, too — StarTech.com. I recently got my hands on their 4-in-1 USB-C Video Adapter with USB Power Delivery and I’m eager to show it off.
As mentioned above, the adapter is a 4-in-1 device. It allows users the option to connect their USB-C driven laptop to external displays using one of four video ports: mDP, DVI, VGA, or HDMI. The adapter is Thunderbolt 3 compatible and provides up to 95W of passthrough power delivery. Users do have to use a USB-C power adapter for charging purposes. The device was designed with travel in mind. Users can carry this one adapter with them instead of four different ones. With it, users can connect to any type of display. The adapter features an aluminum enclosure with a magnetic retainer to secure the breakout cable when it’s not in use. The HDMI and mDP outputs support UHD 4K resolutions in addition to supporting high-definition resolutions (1920 x 1200). The VGA and DVI outputs only support HD resolutions. Even though the adapter is compatible with any USB-C laptop, its Space Gray trim indicates that it’s designed to match the MacBook series laptops as a companion adapter.
NOTE: Only one video output is supported on the video adapter at a time, if multiple connections are made, only one of the outputs will function.
Your laptop may have specific requirements for charging. This USB-C multiport adapter supports USB Power Delivery 3.0, up to 95W. When using your laptop’s USB-C power adapter, the multiport adapter powers both the adapter and your laptop – with up to 85W charging available for laptop charging. For more information on your laptop’s charging requirements, refer to the manufacturer of your laptop.
|Connector(s)||Connector-A: USB-C (24 pin) DisplayPort Alt Mode|
Connector-B: Mini-DisplayPort (20 pin), VGA (15 pin, High Density D-Sub), DVI-I (29 pin), HDMI (19 pin), USB-C (24 pin) USB Power Delivery only
|Active or Passive Adapter||Active|
|Adapter Style||DVI-I (Digital Only) – Single Link HDMI – 1.4 VGA Mini DisplayPort – 1.2|
|Audio Specifications||HDMI – 7.1 Channel Audio Mini DisplayPort – 5.1 Channel Audio|
|Video Revision||HDMI 2.0|
|Maximum Cable Distance to Display||49.9 ft|
|Maximum Analog Resolutions||1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz|
|Maximum Digital Resolutions||4096 X 2160 @ 24Hz or 3840 X 2160 @ 60Hz (HDMI) |
4096 X 2160 @ 60Hz (mDP)
|Supported Resolutions||Maximum HDMI output: 4096 X 2160 @ 24Hz or 3840 X 2160 @ 60Hz |
Maximum mDP output: 4096 X 2160 @ 60Hz
Maximum DVI and VGA output: 1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz
Lower resolutions and refresh rates may also be supported
|Power Source||USB Powered|
|Laptop Charging via Power Delivery||85W|
|Power Consumption (in watts)||10W|
The adapter comes in a StarTech.com branded box. The box measures 6.9 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches. The device is actually much smaller than these measurements and personally, I’d like to see the packaging reduced for environmental purposes. There is no paperwork included with the adapter so there is no reason the box has to be that much larger than the device itself. Additionally, I would love to see StarTech.com simply the writing that’s on the box. There is a lot of text that seems to clutter up the box and makes it harder to find the important information.
The adapter itself is really nice. It weighs 4.5 ounces, which isn’t much, but it feels very solid when you hold it. I like the layout of the ports on the adapter. The VGA, mDP, and DVI ports are on the side while the HDMI port is on the reverse side of where the USB-C PD port is. The breakout cable might be my favorite part of the adapter because it folds out easily for use and folds in just as easily when it’s time to store it. I was surprised to find the magnetized storage area for the cable. It was a welcome surprise that I think any adapter that is designed like this should take advantage of.
As far as performance goes, I plugged my 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro into a 34-inch QHD monitor by Viotek using the HDMI port. It worked flawlessly. The signal looked very clear and there was no issue with any flicker. I also tried the PD feature by plugging in my power adapter to the wall and connecting the Video Adapter using a USB-C cable. My laptop was powered and gained a charge. While I’ve noted it above in the DETAILS section, I do want to point out that you can only use the video adapter with one video output option at a time. This is not a switcher – it’s just a connection device.
I love the fact that this adapter makes it possible to leave multiple display adapters at home and only carry this one with me. For years, I’ve struggled to keep my USB-C/Video adapters from getting lost, but now, I have this wonderful adapter that is hub-like in shape and size so it’s much easier to keep track of. In my opinion, this is a great accessory for any USB-C laptop user to invest in.