Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If I would like to attach a second monitor to my MacBook air is my only option the Thunderbolt Display? Everything I've found online points me there, but those are a cool grand, so I'm wondering if there are other options out there that I just don't know about.

share|improve this question
To clarify, do you mean you want two external displays attached to the Air? If you just want one, you can use pretty much anything, given an adapter. – Dan J Oct 6 '12 at 4:37
Just one for now. So would I just need a Thunderbolt to "X" addapter? – Abe Miessler Oct 6 '12 at 4:42
In fact, you just need a mini-DisplayPort to "X" adapter, as Thunderbolt is backwards-compatible with mDP (per robmathers's answer). – Dan J Oct 7 '12 at 23:03

The Thunderbolt ports are also mini-Displayport compatible. So you can hook up pretty much any display (Displayport, HDMI, DVI, VGA) with the proper adapter.

For high-resolution panels (greater than 1920x1200), you should try to go with Displayport if possible, as the mini-Displaylink to dual-link DVI adapters have been problematic for many people (this isn't an issue for single-link DVI displays, which comprise all but the largest DVI displays around).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.