MacBook Pro Docking and USB-C Dongles

With Apples move to USB-C only on their laptops you may need some adapters until manufacturers hop on the far superior USB-C standard. The most basic adapter almost everyone probably needs is the USB-C to USB adapter.

USB-C to USB adapters

Apple makes one that looks like this:

apple usb-c to usb adapter

Currently they price the USB-C to USB adapter at $9 but that is only out 2016, after that the price will go up to the original price. You can get it at Amazon.

Another best selling adapter is the nonda USB-C to USB 3.0. Looks like this:

nonda usb-c to usb 3.0

You can get this one at Amazon as well. It currently sits as #1 best seller in the USB adapter category. It is very small and neat, they also sell them in different colors so it matches the color on your apple laptop. If you are planning to use multiple of these make sure they are able to fit side by side. The Apple branded adapter shown above is certainly able to do that.

USB-C to Thunderbolt 2 adapters

When I am at work I use a Belkin Thunderbolt 2 Express HD Dock with my MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013). With that dock I just have to connect one thunderbolt 2 cable and I have everything I need. When the new 2016 model arrives it won’t work. To get it working I don’t have to buy a new docking station. The Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter will get it working again. Looks like this:

Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter

MacBook Pro Docking Stations

As I said above I use the Belkin Thunderbolt 2 Express HD Dock and it has worked very well for me a few years. What I didn’t know was that I could not use all outputs on it at the same time. They state that it works with dual displays but under some conditions, namely this:

“Note about dual displays: At least one display has to be Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 technology-ready. For displays that are not Thunderbolt technology-ready, the Thunderbolt port is backwards compatible with Mini DisplayPort. The dock supports either HDMI or Mini DisplayPort, but not both. The dock supports only one display at 4K cinema resolution.”

I was planning to use one Mini DisplayPort to DVI and one HDMI but that didn’t work with this dock. So make sure you really check the specs and the fine print of the dock you are buying first.

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