Skip to Content

Can I Connect a Monitor With USB?

As an owner of a computer, I have often found myself frustrated by the lack of options when it comes to connecting a monitor. I recently had to figure out if I could connect a monitor with USB and, after doing some research and testing, I am here to share my experience and the solutions I discovered. In this blog post, I will explain the different ways to connect a monitor with USB and provide advice for those looking for a quick and easy solution.

If you want to connect your monitor using your computer’s USB port, you can purchase an adapter. On the other hand, there are monitors on the market that can connect to your device using a standard USB cable directly.

Connection MethodProsCons
USB Cable and AdaptersCost-effective, adaptable for existing monitorsRequires compatible drivers, limited frame rate and resolution, potential for higher latency, not suitable for gaming
USB-C MonitorsSleeker workspace, high performance, built-in USB-C hubExpensive, requires quality cables, may still need laptop power source for high-intensity programs or games
Choosing a USB-C Hub MonitorMultiple-screen setup convenience, faster data transfersBudget considerations, not one-size-fits-all, must ensure sufficient wattage, quality cables and monitor specifications needed

Connecting Monitors Using USB Cables and Adapters

If you already own a monitor without a USB port, you can still use other ports like HDMI, DVI, or DisplayPort.

For cases like this, you’ll need to get an adapter so you can plug in your USB cable to whatever port your monitor has. This option can still give you decent output, and it’s a more cost-effective solution, rather than going out and buying a new monitor.

That said, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when connecting your monitor with USB cables:

Drivers Installation

Before purchasing an adapter, make sure it’s compatible with the operating system that you’re using. This is because you’ll need to download and install drivers for this connection to work.

Performance Limitations

Connecting a monitor with a USB can be quite limiting in terms of frame rate and resolution. There’s also a potential for higher latency.

This is why it’s not usually recommended to use a USB cable if you use the setup for gaming, watching in high resolutions, and running performance-intensive programs.

Connecting USB-C Monitors

A USB-C monitor can be very efficient since you can directly plug in your laptop with just a USB-C cable.

Here are some of the connectivity benefits you can look forward to:

Sleeker Workspace

Aside from acting as a second screen, the USB-C hub monitor can be used as a power supply. So if you’re using a laptop, you won’t need to plug it into your power cable anymore.

Adding more monitors will be a simpler task because you can connect them through the USB-C hub monitor instead of having to plug everything into your PC or laptop. You can also connect your wired keyboard and mouse directly to the monitor.

Usually, you would need a separate USB-C hub or dock that takes up more room on your desk. This is why having it built-in to your monitor helps reduce the clutter in your workspace.

High Performance

While there are regular USB monitors, USB-C can be a way better choice.

For one, you can expect faster data transfers that reach up to 10GB per second. Alternatively, you can use a Thunderbolt cable that’s compatible with USB-C to increase the data transfer rate to 40GB per second.

This means your USB-C hub monitor can support QHD or even UHD while maintaining high refresh rates.

What to Look For in a USB-C Hub Monitor

Getting a monitor that’s already fit to be a USB-C hub sounds more convenient for a multiple-screen setup than using adapters to connect regular monitors with USB cables.

However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Mind Your Budget

The USB-C hub monitors can be quite expensive, even for base models. Meanwhile, high-end models can go up to thousands of dollars.

Using a Thunderbolt cable will also maximize the quality of your monitor, but they’re usually more expensive than regular USB-C cables. If you find cheaper options, you’ll need to double-check the quality and test them out first.

It’s Not a One-Size-Fits-All

When checking out different monitors, look for one that will fit your lifestyle best. 

For instance, if you’re planning to use the USB hub monitor as a power source for your laptop, you need one with enough wattage to power it. You can check this by looking into the monitor’s specifications and comparing them with your laptop’s power adapter.

However, if you’re planning to use the monitor for more power-intensive programs and games, you may still need to plug your laptop into its usual power source. This is because USB-C hub monitors are still limited to 100 watts.

Final Thoughts

The USB cable is compatible with many devices. It’s even been improved on with the more universal Type C. This means that connecting your monitor with a USB cable is easier than ever.

There are now monitors that specifically support USB and USB-C connections, making workspaces more streamlined and tidy.

Even if you don’t have a USB monitor yet, you can still make use of adapters to connect your current monitor to the setup using a USB cable. However, you can expect a drop in performance.