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Ask Max: What do I need to connect my Macbook to a projector?

Asked on 10/27/2008:

I purchased a MacBook from PowerMax and when I go to hotels and try to hook up to data projectors, the AV folks tell me I need to have a connector (aka Dongle) and that I need to get my own because they are specific to each type of Mac.

What is it that I need to successfully connect to a Data Projector?


First it's essential you know which type of port is on your computer as well as the type of adapter you will need to plug it into a projector or external monitor. The more recent Macs use the Mini Displayport or Thunderbolt port. Earlier Macs could use FireWire, MicroDVI, or MiniDVI. You can now even mirror with iDevices like your iPhone, iPad, and iPod via the Lightning connector.

There are two types of adapter cables that work for connecting MacBooks to an external monitor. The type of adapter you will need varies depending on what display connector your monitor or projector uses. Many displays use the all-digital signal of a DVI connection or HDMI. Older or less detailed displays use the analog VGA, sometimes even Composite.

There is also a third adapter that allows you to connect your Mac to your Television via Digital TV or HDMI. If you travel often, it may benefit you to buy both monitor cables and the TV cables, so you can always connect your MacBook. 

Here are some choices for you to mix & match according to your needs:

If you don't see what you're looking for here, please search the PowerMax site because we have many, many more.

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