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MacBook Adapters: Which One Do I Need and What are The Differences?

by peng gui 18 Nov 2022
MacBook Adapter Dockteck

With the minimalist design, the latest version of the Macbook only has two type-c interfaces, which we need more for our daily uses. For example, when we want to connect an HDMI external display to project our presentation on a bigger screen.

Don't worry,this problem can be easily solved using an adapter. MacBook adapters come in all shapes and sizes. Since there are so many options on the market, it takes time to know the difference between them and which you need. 

In this blog, we will mention various types of MacBook adapters available on the market so that you can learn more about them. We will also discuss the difference between them so that you can understand what functionality each one offers and figure out which one is right for you. 

By the end of this post, you will have a better understanding of MacBook adapters and be able to choose the right one for your needs.

What is a MacBook Adapter?

Your MacBook comes with a power adapter and cable specifically designed for your MacBook. The power adapter converts AC power from the wall to DC power, which allows you to charge your Mac computer.

The cable with your MagSafe 2-equipped Mac Computer has a MagSafe 2 connector on one end that attaches to the power adapter and a USB-C connector on the other that plugs into your MacBook.

If you need a replacement adapter or cable, ensure that you get the right one that fits your MacBook. You can use an Apple 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter with any of the following Macs:

  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2015)

You can use an Apple 61W MagSafe Power Adapter with these Macs:

  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Retina, Touch Bar, Mid 2018)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Retina, Touch Bar, Mid 2018)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) 

Or you can use an Apple 87W USB-C Power Adapter with these Macs: 

  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017)

Why do I need an adapter?

If you're new to the Mac world, you might wonder, "Why do I need an adapter?". Here's a breakdown of what adapters are used for and why you might need one:

  • To connect to a display: If you want to connect your MacBook to a monitor, TV, or projector, you also want to connect something else to your Mac. The most common types of adapters for this are HDMI and DVI adapters.
  • To connect to Ethernet: If you want to connect to a wired Ethernet network, you'll need an Ethernet adapter.
  • To connect to USB devices: If you want to connect a USB device (such as a printer, scanner, or external hard drive) to your MacBook, you'll need a USB adapter.
  • To connect to Firewire devices: If you want to connect a Firewire device (such as an external hard drive) to your MacBook, you'll need a Firewire adapter.

The Function of Each Adapter

The MacBook has three main types of adapters: MagSafe, USB-C, and Thunderbolt. Each type of adapter offers different functionalities.

  • MagSafe:The MagSafe power adapter is used to charge the MacBook. A MagSafe to MagSafe 2 Converter
  • USB-C:The USB-C adapter is used for data transfer, PD charging and video output. It connects to the USB-C port on the MacBook and can be used to connect to other devices, such as an external hard drive or a printer. It can also be used to charge the MacBook.
  • Thunderbolt:The Thunderbolt adapter is used for data transfer, PD charging and connecting external displays. You could plug it into the Mac's Thunderbolt port and connect other devices, such as an Apple Thunderbolt display.

Which adapter should I buy?

If you're using a MacBook, you'll need an adapter to connect it to most other peripherals. But with all the different types of adapters out there, which one should you buy?

Here's a quick guide on the different types of adapters available for MacBooks:

  • USB-C Adapters:These adapters allow you to expand the USB-C port on your MacBook, and they're great for connecting to later Type-C phones, tablets, and laptops.
  • Thunderbolt 3/4 Adapters: These adapters allow you to connect Thunderbolt 3/4 devices to your MacBook. They offer faster data transfer speeds and can also be used to charge your MacBook.
  • Mini DisplayPort Adapters:These adapters allow you to connect Mini DisplayPort devices to your MacBook, such as monitors and projectors.
  • DVI Adapters:These adapters allow you to connect DVI devices to your MacBook, such as older monitors and TVs.

So, which adapter should you buy? It depends on what type of device you want to connect to your MacBook. A USB-C adapter is always a good choice if you need more clarification since it will work with most devices.

Conclusion

No matter which MacBook you have, there's an adapter out there that will work for you. This blog has gone over the different types of adapters available and their differences. 

I hope this blog helps you figure out which one you need for your MacBook.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.

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