The M1 MacBooks have changed things massively for Apple computers. The power draw to performance ratio is among the best in the industry and the new architecture has dramatically boosted speeds across the board. Being a first-generation product there are some minor hiccups in compatibility. One of the more noticeable limitations is that the MacBooks only support one external monitor. There are some workarounds to get two 4K monitors though.
Coming from Plugable is a walkthrough of what types of accessories you need to get two 4K monitors running off your new M1 MacBook Pro. It has the potential to change your experience when working off the computer at home.
Apple does not say that the M1 MacBooks will support two monitors and it just won’t work through conventional means. The workaround is to use a DisplayLink docking station or adapter since those can support two 4K 60Hz monitors.
Plugable’s example is an advanced dock with dual 4K support plus 6 USB Type-A ports, audio in/out, and Gigabit Ethernet. It won’t charge your laptop, but this is a lot of features.
The dock is powered so you will need some AC power. Plug it into the computer via USB. Then you can just plug in one monitor to the HDMI port and one to the DisplayPort output. It’s actually that simple.
You can still use clamshell mode with the MacBook, but you need the power supply connected and the M1 MacBook running Big Sur 11.1. You can’t do this on Intel-based Macs. If you want to use your one laptop for both home and travel this is a good way to do it.
If you don’t need 4K, there are a couple other options, such as one that’ll support two Full HD monitors.
It’s a simple but very effective option for sure.
- Apple 13.3” MacBook Pro w/ M1 Chip (B&H, Amazon)
- Plugable UD-3900Z Dual Display Docking Station (B&H, Amazon)
- Plugable UD-6950Z Dual 4K Display Docking Station (B&H, Amazon)
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