Tech

External adapter: simply retrofit interfaces






If you don’t want to screw things up, you can retrofit connections using external adapters. This is how you increase ports and simply keep using devices.

Opening the PC or notebook housing and retrofitting interfaces with a card is not for everyone. With external adapters you save yourself the screwing and still fulfill almost every connection request. Our examples show where adapter solutions are particularly worthwhile.

Convert video signals for VGA monitors / projectors

A current computer usually no longer has a VGA connection (Video Graphics Array) on the graphics card, but transmits video signals digitally via HDMI or Displayport. Nevertheless, there are always good reasons to continue operating a display device with a VGA connection – for example, because you don’t want to replace your projector or you want to use the older VGA display as a second monitor.

The video signals can be converted using a video converter. To choose the right converter, start from the socket on the graphics card. With an HDMI connection, you therefore need an HDMI-to-VGA adapter, which you can get for as little as 5 euros. If it is also to transmit audio signals, make sure that it has a 3.5 millimeter jack plug. This makes the adapter more expensive, as can be seen from the example of the Manhattan 151467, which costs around 17 euros. However, it has another advantage that justifies the surcharge. Thanks to a micro USB connection, it can be connected to an external power supply. However, you must purchase the corresponding power supply separately. Video converters are available in almost all interface combinations at similar prices. You connect the plug side to the interface on the computer, the monitor / projector cable goes into the VGA socket. As soon as the connection is established, you will see an image on the display device.

Even the supposedly outdated VGA projector can still be used thanks to a video converter. The digital HDMI signal then arrives analogously at the VGA display device.

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Even the supposedly outdated VGA projector can still be used thanks to a video converter. The digital HDMI signal then arrives analogously at the VGA display device.

© Manhattan

USB-A-to-A adapter: multiply USB ports

USB (Universal Serial Bus) is the most flexible interface for connecting external devices to the computer. But especially with compact workstation computers or notebooks, the number of available USB-A ports is often limited. You do not want to unplug permanently required devices such as the Bluetooth dongle for the headphones or the webcam for the video calls in order to briefly connect a USB stick.

A practical remedy is provided by USB hubs that provide additional USB-A ports. The prices vary depending on the number of USB interfaces. For hubs with four additional USB-A ports you pay from 15 euros – such as for the Anker Ultra Slim Extra Light 4-Port USB 3.0. At this price, you get USB-A interfaces that correspond to the USB 3.2 Gen1 standard, formerly known as USB 3.0 and have a maximum speed of 5 gigabits per second.

Pay attention to the USB interfaces for bargain offers. There are still hubs with USB 2.0 ports in circulation, which cost just a third with the same number of USB interfaces. However, they only manage a maximum transfer speed of 480 megabits per second. You can visually recognize these USB 2.0 hubs by the black interface color, while USB 3.0 ports are colored blue.

USB Type-C: Retrofit many interfaces using a multiport adapter

Since the trend towards ultra-mobile computers is unbroken, the interface equipment in very flat ultrabooks is now really meager. Connections such as Ethernet LAN or more than one USB-A port are no longer a matter of course. In order to make the computer case as flat as possible, USB Type-C takes its place.

In the ideal case, the type C interface is a true all-rounder: It is designed to prevent it from twisting, so that you can no longer plug the plug into the socket the wrong way round. At the same time, it does not only transfer data, but also electricity (Power Delivery – PD) and video and audio signals via Displayport (DP) old modes. The connection to the computer determines which maximum values ​​are possible for data transfer, charging and image / sound transmission. Therefore, there is no way around studying the technical data for both the PC and the USB-C port in order to avoid a bad buy.

We recommend multiport adapters that precisely describe the performance of the individual connections. Although they are more expensive than supposed port miracles from Asia, they save you from trouble in practice. This means that special requests can also be met. New are, for example, the multiport variants with the addition “Works with Chromebook”. They guarantee smooth operation with any Google mobile computer – such as the Hyperdrive 5-Port USB-C Hub (HDMB2) multiport adapter for around 90 US dollars. For him, the provider Hyper even states that the firmware is automatically updated via the operating system. This increases compatibility and security. But even this multiport adapter cannot meet every interface requirement. The HDMI connection supports 4K resolution at 60 Hertz frame rate, but the two USB-A connections limit the output at 5 Gbit per second, which only corresponds to USB 3.2 Gen1.

Reading tips:

USB Type C – easier, faster, stronger, more flexible

PC tuning via internal adapter – this is how it works

USB-C is supposed to be simple, but in practice it is usually not. The more precisely an adapter is described, the better. The designation

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USB-C is supposed to be simple, but in practice it is usually not. The more precisely an adapter is described, the better. The designation “Works with Chromebook” emphasizes the compatibility with Google mobile computers.

© Hyper

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