Your next monitor will be DisplayPort over USB-C

Yes, your next monitor could be driven by DisplayPort over USB-C. Dell has already released a USB-C connected monitor, and other vendors are soon to follow. As more and more laptops follow Apple into the void and become devoid of ports, and consumers hate dongles, monitors are moving to USB-C.

VGA, DVI, DVI-D are dead

It's been with us since the 1980s, and those of you who were alive back then, will recall the wonderous new world of stability, colour, and vivid 320px displays. Anyone who made the mistake over over-tightening the thumb-screws on their blue VGA cable, well, we told you so. Alas, bent pins caused all kinds of dramas, from pink screens, to washed-out colour, to lines, and other defects, but could be resolved with a pair of pliers and slap to the back of the head.

DVI and DVI-D were equally industrious, and hailed as a new era in computer visualisation. Well, it didn't really catch on.

It's 2018. VGA, DVI, and DVI-D are dead.

HDMI is being phased out

HDMI started life as the first major revision to TV component connection in decades. Becoming more popular in the late 2000s, HDMI is now the number one standard for connecting anything to your TV.

It soon made its way over to computers, where modern graphics cards, laptops, and desktop motherboards soon embraced HDMI alongside DVI.

HDMI also made its way in to consoles like the PS3, PS4, and Xbox, as they needed to connect to your TV. Soon, people began connecting their consoles to their PC monitors instead.

HDMI ruled the roost in PC monitors and TVs, and got a slight bump with Apple added HDMI to the Mac Mini, MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro. Apple has now dropped HDMI from its new products, starting in 2016.

Windows PC makers included HDMI on laptops and desktop PCs increasingly since 2010, and graphics card manufacturers embraced HDMI alongside DisplayPort, dropping DVI and DVI-D.

USB-C is the way forward

Since 2016, Apple has manufactured laptops exclusively with the USB-C port, and making them Thunderbolt-capable.

Windows PC manufacturers have been slower to adopt USB-C, only making USB-C available on high-end laptops in late 2017 and early 2018, without Thunderbolt in most cases. Even Microsoft included a USB-C port on the latest 2018 Surface Book, but it's not Thunderbolt-enabled.

As more and more consumers replace their home computers, more consumers are buying laptops instead of desktops.

Laptops from Dell, HP, Acer, ASUS, and Lenovo all sport USB-C ports amongst others.

Dell and HP offer laptops with USB-C ports only, requiring you to use adapters for Ethernet, HDMI, USB-A, and other ports.

However, the hatred for Dongle Life is coming to an end, as covered previously in our review of USB-C peripherals.

More importantly, monitor manufacturers have noticed this trend toward USB-C, and are responding by producing monitors sporting USB-C connections. Dell was one of the first to introduce a USB-C driven monitor, with an integrated hub in the base. Other manufacturers are now following.

LG will be the first with Thunderbolt-enabled monitor connections, building on its debut for the Mac, and now stepping in to Windows territory with Thunderbolt displays.

Don't forget Thunderbolt 4

We previously covered the race toward Thunderbolt 4. Intel, Microsoft, and Apple, are battling behind the scenes, to decide who will be first to reveal Thunderbolt 4.

Thunderbolt began life as Light Peak from Intel. Intel then worked with Apple to develop it for copper and birthed Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt moved through versions 1 and 2, and we now have Thunderbolt 3. Intel took ownership of Thunderbolt, ending its co-development with Apple, making the technology available on Windows computers.

While PC manufacturers have been slow to take up Thunderbolt 3, Microsoft, Intel, and Apple have been driving Thunderbolt marketing for their user groups throughout 2017 and 2018, and we're likely to see rapid adoption of Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 across new PCs and devices from Windows OEMs and from Apple, in late 2018 and early 2019.

Buy your USB-C monitor... soon.

Look out for new USB-C connected monitors from Dell in May 2018, and from other brands soon after.

Look out for Thunderbolt connected monitors from LG in May and June 2018, and from other brands throughout 2018.

Until next time,

Xavier Zymantas


XYZ Media Group

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