An ultra-portable solution for connectivity.
There are a lot of modern computers, tablets, and smartphones that are being released these days that have limited connectivity through its ports. MacBooks only have USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. The Microsoft Surface Pro Laptop Go only has a single USB-A and a single USB-C port. iPad Pros also connect through USB-C. With this in mind, it’s always good to have a collection of adapters and hubs that can ensure you are able to use external devices like monitors, keyboards, mouses, and hard drives as you need to. I’ve had a lot of experience with different multiport hubs and while they are very useful, sometimes you just want a simple adapter that can connect to one device to serve an immediate need. That’s what the Portable USB-C to HDMI Keychain Adapter from StarTech.com is designed for.
The Portable USB-C to HDMI Keychain Adapter a USB Type C Video converter. It connects with 4K resolution at 30Hz. The built-in flex cable makes it easy to store the cable when it’s not in use and unfold it at a moment’s notice. Performance-wise, the USB-C to HDMI 1.4 adapter supports UHD 4K 30Hz (3840×2160) video and 7.1ch Audio HDCP 2.2/1.4. The portable design is compact and lightweight. It’s equipped with a removable keychain ring that securely attaches to bags. The adapter is compatible with Dell XPS, Precision & Latitude, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon & Extreme, Microsoft Surface Book & Surface Laptop 3, MacBook Pro, TB3 MacBook Air, HP EliteBook, Spectre & ZBook & Chromebook.
|Connector(s)||1 – Connector A: USB-C (24 pin) DisplayPort Alt Mode1 – Connector B: HDMI (19 pin)|
|Environmental||Operating Temperature: 0°C to 70°C (32°F to 158°F)Storage Temperature: -10°C to 70°C (14°F to 158°F)Humidity: 5-90% RH (no condensation)|
|Hardware||Ports: 1AV Input: USB-CAV Output: HDMI – 1.4Audio: YesChipset ID: Realtek RTD2171U|
|Performance||Video Revision: HDMI 1.4Supported Resolutions: 3840×2160 (4K)/30Hz; Additional resolutions and refresh rates may be supportedWide Screen Supported: YesAudio Specifications: HDMI – 7.1 Channel Audio|
|Physical Characteristics||Color: BlackProduct Height: 0.6 in [14 mm] Product Length: 1.3 in [32.0 mm]Weight of Product: 0.6 oz [17 g]Product Width: 1.9 in [48 mm]Material: PlasticCable Length: 0.1 in [3.3 mm]|
|Special Notes/Requirements||System and Cable Requirements: Your USB-C device must support DisplayPort over USB-C (DP Alt Mode) to work with this adapter|
|What’s in the Box||1 – Included in Package: USB-C to HDMI Adapter|
The first thing I noticed about the adapter was that its retail package is only a plastic zipper-style bag. It is branded by StarTech.com, but it’s obvious that these are mass-produced and ready for different products’ labels to be affixed – just like this adapter’s. The adapter itself is super lightweight. I’m always a little bit leery of adding too much to my keychain because I don’t want it to be weighed down. That wasn’t a big concern for me with this device. It’s feather-light and doesn’t get in the way at all.
The keychain attachment is actually quite ingenious. Some keychain adapters I’ve seen don’t leave any room to use it while still attached to the main keychain. This adapter, however, has plenty of room to move around and be useful – even when attached to a larger keychain. The keyring that is used is a little stiff, but not impossible to use. As much as I like the design choices that were made surrounding the keychain attachment, I do worry that the lanyard that actually connects to the adapter may break after repeated use.
I had the opportunity to use the adapter with a 13” inch MacBook Pro, 16” MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and a Microsoft Surface Laptop Go. With each of the aforementioned devices, I plugged the host machine into a 34-inch ultrawide monitor. Each machine connected quickly and easily with the adapter. I didn’t have to wiggle the connector to get it to work or change monitor settings at all. The host machine was automatically detected by the monitor and there were no problems using it.
Sometimes it makes sense to get a larger cable or hub to connect your host machine to an external device, but sometimes it’s great just to have a single handy connector available at a moment’s notice. The Portable USB-C to HDMI Keychain Adapter gets the job done and it’s incredibly convenient. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to others.