Tag Archives: laptops

Adapter Cheat Sheet

Plugging your laptop into a projector isn’t always as simple as it sounds. Every device contains different ports, and you might need to use an adapter before connecting a VGA or HDMI cable to your laptop. The UGL loanable tech desk has a wide variety of adapters and cables available for check-out, but with all of the different options it can be tricky to determine which type you’ll need.  We attempt to help you solve this dilemma below:


First, You’ll need to determine the ports that are available on your laptop:

If you are using a Macbook Pro or Macbook Air, your laptop will probably have a Mini Display Port.

Image of a mini display port on a laptop.





Your Macbook Pro or Macbook Air might have an HDMI Port:

HDMI port photo

If you have a Macbook that is not a Pro or Air, you probably have a USB Type-C Port:

USB Type C Port photo

iPads that are 3rd Generation or older and iPhones that are 4th generation or older have a 30-Pin Port:

30pin port photo

iPads that are 4th generation or newer, iPad Minis, iPad Air, and iPhones 5th generation or newer have a Lightning Port:

lightning port photo

PCs usually have a VGA Port or HDMI Port:

pc-hdmi    hdmi port photo

VGA Port                                                                HDMI Port

Second, Determine what cable you will need to use to connect your laptop to the projector. There are two options: a VGA cord or HDMI cord.

  • VGA cords display an image but no sound.
VGA Cable
VGI cable
  • HDMI cords display both an image and sound.

    HDMI cable
    HDMI cable

Now that you’ve determined what kind of port you have and the type of cable you need, you can make an educated decision about what adapter will work best.

Adapters are usually named by the type of port followed by the type of cable. For instance, if you have a Macbook Air with a Mini Display Port and want to use an HDMI cord, you will use a Mini Display to HDMI Adapter.



If you have a PC with a VGA or HDMI Port, you’re in luck! You won’t need to use an adapter when using a VGA or HDMI cable. It will plug right into your computer.


Congratulations, you’re now able to plan ahead for your presentation by determining what type of adapter and cable you need.  Don’t forget to utilize the loanable tech desk for all of your equipment needs!