Review: Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter

One of the things that you might have noticed in my desk setup article is that I have connected my 16″ MacBook Pro to my Acer monitor and my UPS via a big white adapter. That adapter is the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter from Apple and I’m going to take a closer look at it today so that you can see if it is right for you if you have a MacBook of any description. First, let’s have a look at the adapter:

On one side of the adapter, you get a USB-C connection that is for charging the MacBook. It won’t work for any other purpose besides that. In the centre you get an HDMI connection which supports video and audio output, and to the right of that you get a USB-A connector which supports USB 3 data-transfer speeds up to 5Gbps.

The other end of the adapter which goes into your MacBook is USB-C.

This is what it looks like in action:

Now, why would you want this adapter? Well, what this adapter allows you to do in short is to plug in a monitor, as well as a USB-A device while still charging your MacBook. Although you also need this cable to charge your MacBook if you don’t have one already. So In my use case, I have one cable to plug in to have access to my external monitor, have the MacBook work with the UPS, and charge which is super convenient. If I didn’t have the UPS, then I could use the USB-A port for things like flash drives and external hard drives. I can also see this being of interest to MacBook Air and 13″ MacBook Pro users as they only have two USB-C ports on that notebook. That in my mind makes it a must get for those specific users who want to use their notebooks as desktop computers.

Let’s talk about the HDMI port as that will be of keen interest to many. Apple states that the HDMI port supports audio and does video (with support for HDR video in HDR10 and Dolby Vision) at the following resolutions:

  • 3840×2160 at 60Hz
  • 1080p at 60Hz or UHD (3840 by 2160) at 30Hz

However, in my usage of the product, I was able to get 1080p at up to 240 Hz without an issue on my external monitor. So depending on the MacBook and the monitor that you are using, you may be able to exceed Apple’s specs on that front. I should also note that this adapter is stated to work with the iPad Pro 11-inch and iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later), as well as the iPad Air (4th generation). So users of those devices may find some value in having this in their gear bag.

Do I have any complaints? No. But I will note this one oddity. I have noted that three times since I started using this adapter that the external monitor will go blank for a couple of seconds and come back to life. I’m not sure why that is, and my attempts to troubleshoot the issue haven’t gone anywhere as it happens on an infrequent basis. I’ll post an update if I can figure this out.

Finally, if you’re buying this, ensure that you are getting Model A2119 as Apple has two versions of these floating around and they don’t behave the same based on my research.

The USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter from Apple goes for $89 CDN direct from Apple. But I was able to get it for $20 off on Amazon. Thus I would check there to see if you can save a few bucks. If you have any of the new MacBook Pros or the new MacBook Air, this is a very handy item to get.

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