Home ConsumerClient Accessories In the Lab: Plugable HDMI Adapters Overview

In the Lab: Plugable HDMI Adapters Overview

by Alex Schuchter
Plugable HDMI Adaptors

We’re back taking a look at some more Plugable HDMI adapters, detailing their uses, and offering up potential new additions to keep handy in your tech toolbox. The adapters we are taking a look at are for HDMI connection and include a USB-C to HDMI Adapter, a USB-C to HDMI Cable, and a DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter. Just like the other adapters we recently reviewed these adapters don’t require any additional drivers or external power source. Plugable continues to deliver high-quality and low-cost adapters with these options.

We’re back taking a look at some more Plugable HDMI adapters, detailing their uses, and offering up potential new additions to keep handy in your tech toolbox. The adapters we are taking a look at are for HDMI connection and include a USB-C to HDMI Adapter, a USB-C to HDMI Cable, and a DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter. Just like the other adapters we recently reviewed these adapters don’t require any additional drivers or external power source. Plugable continues to deliver high-quality and low-cost adapters with these options.

Plugable HDMI Adaptors

With the Plugable USBC-HDMI adapter, adding an additional display output is easy and inexpensive on supported systems. This adapter is plug and play and enables an HDMI 2.0 output at resolutions up to 3840×[email protected] (4K/UHD) from systems that support “DisplayPort Alternate Mode” (Alt Mode) via USB-C. “DisplayPort Alternate Mode” is a direct pipeline to your graphics processor via special functionality introduced in USB 3.1, so there is no performance penalty to using the adapter. This means the attached display should be just as responsive and functional as if it were connected to a video port directly attached to your system’s motherboard.

USB-C to HDMI Adapter Specifications

System CompatibilityWindows, Mac, and Linux
Features-Enables an inexpensive additional HDMI port on supported USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 systems
-Supports resolutions up to 3840×[email protected] (4K) when connected using an HDMI 2.0 capable system, cable, and display
-Backward compatible with older HDMI 1.4/1.3 standards to support most popular resolutions and modes including 1920×1080 (1080P), 2560×1440, 3440×1440
-Complies with the VESA “DisplayPort Alternate Mode on USB Type-C Connector” and HDMI 2.0 standards. DisplayPort signal from host device is converted to an HDMI 2.0 interface
-Adapter is fully Plug and Play; no special driver installation required (though please note that system will require functional graphics drivers and USB drivers for Alt Mode to function properly)
Cost$19.95

In addition to offering a USB-C to HDMI Adapter Plugable also offers a USB-C to HDMI Cable. Just like the adapter, this cable is plug and play and utilizes “Display Port Alternate Mode” to connect a USB-C system to an HDMI compatible display. This pretty much offers the same functionality as the adapter above just in cable form.

USB-C to HDMI Cable Specifications 

ChipsetPS176 protocol converter chip
System CompatibilityCompatible with host computers (PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, some tablets and phones) which support USB-C “DisplayPort Alternate Mode”, including many systems based on Intel “Alpine Ridge” and later chipsets.

4K at 60Hz Support Note: The host system must be able to support 3840×[email protected] and the connected monitor must comply with HDMI 2.0 standards in order to display 4K resolutions at a 60Hz refresh rate.

Features-Connect a Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C system which utilizes “DisplayPort Alternate Mode” functionality to an HDMI compatible display using a single cable
-Cable utilizes USB-C and HDMI 2.0 bandwidth to enable resolutions up to 3840×[email protected] ([email protected])
-Compatible with Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows on supported systems
-Cable is fully Plug and Play; no special driver installation or additional power source required (though please note that system will require functional graphics drivers and USB drivers for Alt Mode to function properly)
​-Overall length: 6ft/1.8m
Cost$21.95

Moving on to the Display Port to HDMI Adapter, this adapter enables you to continue to utilize your existing HDMI displays as more and more system manufacturers such as Microsoft, Intel, and Apple include DispalyPort outputs on their systems. The Plugable DP-HDMI active adapter allows you to connect your DisplayPort-enabled computer to virtually any HDMI display. Plugable’s active adapter minimizes potential compatibility issues that can be caused by low-cost, low-quality “passive” adapters.

Display Port to HDMI Adapter Specifications

System CompatibilityThe Plugable active DisplayPort to HDMI adapter should work with virtually any full-sized DisplayPort-enabled host and HDMI display, regardless of which operating system is in use. Though please note that system will require functional graphics drivers as normal.
Features-Active adapter enables you to connect a full-size DisplayPort video output from your laptop, desktop, or tablet PC to HDMI-equipped displays, TVs, and projectors”
-Supports resolutions up to 3840×2160 (4k) [email protected] 1080p displays supported at 120Hz”
-VESA (DisplayPort) certified to ensure maximum compatibility and performance
Compliant with VESA Dual-Mode DisplayPort 1.2, High Bit Rate 2 (HBR2) and HDMI 2.0 standards”
-Compliant with VESA Dual-Mode DisplayPort 1.2, High Bit Rate 2 (HBR2) and HDMI 2.0 standards”
-AMD Eyefinity certified for 3+ displays
-Complies with HDCP content protection
-Requires no driver installation or external power supply
Cost$18.95

Overall, these Plugable HDMI adapters are useful for notebooks or tablets that don’t have HDMI ports built in, which is becoming more common as many vendors look to streamline the look of products and work in slimmer designs leveraging USB-C. DisplayPort is great to have on hand, but to connect to the ever-common HDMI displays in conference rooms or other areas, adapters still need to be used. These Plugable adapters offer convenience first and foremost, working universally with most operating systems. With an attractive price point these adapters are a must have for an IT triage bag or business traveler alike.

Plugable HDMI Adaptors Front

We tested out these Plugable HDMI adapters by connecting a Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 to a HP ProDisplay P240va. While we didn’t necessarily need an adapter as this laptop has an HDMI port already, we still hooked the adapters up anyways. Our personal favorite which could be used on an everyday basis was the USB-C to HDMI Cable. We then tried to chain together a Dell USB-C Mobile Adapter, with the DisplayPort to HDMI, and an HDMI cable however that endeavor did not work out well and was more of office shenanigans than anything. All adapters work well. We also tested out some apple adapters to compare to these. Both work well and the Plugable adapters offer better economic value.

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