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This gadget could turn your M1 Mac into a productivity beast

If you own an M1 or M2 Mac and you’ve been wishing you could add a few extra screens to it, you now can. A new USB-C dock lets you add up to four external displays, which is a lot more than the Apple chip supports by default.

That number of displays comes at a price, though — it may not be optimal for every kind of work or entertainment.

An Apple MacBook with four extra displays added.

By default, the Apple M1 chip can support one to two external displays. In the case of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, only one display can be plugged in via the USB-C port. The Mac mini can handle one monitor through USB-C and one through HDMI. For most users, that would be enough, but for those who need more, Plugable has a fun gadget up for grabs — with a few caveats.

The solution is a USB-to-HDMI adapter that adds support for up to four external displays. It can be plugged into the USB-C port on an M1 Mac. The monitors are then connected directly to the dock. However, forget using any fancy monitors for this — all the displays max out at 1,920 x 1,080 and 60Hz, meaning a standard resolution and a standard refresh rate without any bells and whistles.

At the time of writing, the dock costs $120 and is available on . It’s not much for the chance to turn your Mac into a killer productivity tool, but that’s all the dock is going to be good for.

Plugable's USB-C dock for the M1 Mac.

It’ll excel when combined with the M1 and M2 chips’ ability to multitask, and if you frequently work with spreadsheets or documents, you might enjoy this gadget a lot. On the other hand, if you use your Mac for creative work or for gaming, the quality of the monitors may slow you down depending on your workloads.

This was first spotted by AppleInsider. Plugable says that the new dock can also be used with Windows machines, and if you use two adapters, you can add up to 8 monitors. You’re going to need one beefy computer to seamlessly run all those displays, though. All in all, the gadget is compatible with macOS 11 and above as well as Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
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