Chrome OS and USB-C Adaptors

The main focus of this post is on my testing of Chrome OS with USB-C Adaptors

I mentioned before that because my new Asus Chromebook Flip only has USB-C ports I need to use adapters. In fairness, I like the idea of using only the USB-C ports. This Chromebook uses them for everything (there’s a headphone socket but USB-C would do this also). They also make it very aesthetically pleasing. It’s very slim and they’ve put a USB-C on both sides so it looks the same on both sides. This makes charging very convenient also as I can charge it from either side.

The only awkwardness then is when I need to use devices without a USB-C port. It’s not that often but it’s a little bit of a pain and something I’d rather not have to do. In as much as I can be, I’m a minimalist. Having to carry around extra attachments don’t fit with that philosophy. Anyway, here’s my current list:

USB-C to USB-A adapter

I needed one of these just to use any plain old USB device with my Chromebook Flip. The first thing that might spring to mind is a USB thumb drive. I never find myself needing one of those on my Chromebook. There always seems to be a better way. It’s not that I avoid them, I just never need them.

I purchased my first one from a local store because I needed it in a hurry. It was the Apple one. Aside from the size of it, it was perfect for my needs. There are a few inches of cable between the USB-C and the USB-A part. It can be awkward when using the Chromebook on my lap.

Apple USB C to USB Adaptor
Apple USB C to USB Adaptor
Nonda USB-C to USB Adaptor
Nonda USB-C to USB Adaptor

I ordered a new one from Amazon, the Nonda USB-C adapter. It claims to be the world’s smallest USB-C adapter. It probably is, but still is a little big for my needs. I use a Logitech Wireless Trackball (MX Ergo) and it comes with its own mini USB-A receiver device. It’s tiny so I left it plugged in all the time.

Unfortunately, it, along with my Nonda adapter is still too big to be left plugged in. I’d worry that it would break off in my bag. (The MX Ergo does have a Bluetooth connection but I found that on occasion scrolling and moving the mouse would be jumpy via USB).

USB to Ethernet

I wasn’t sure if this would be possible at all. Chromebooks, as far as I’m aware all use Wifi. I don’t know of any with an ethernet port. Recently, I needed one for a job and so purchased the Apple one locally hoping it would work. I used it in conjunction with my Nonda USB-C to USB adapter. That’s a mess I don’t like but I had no choice. I now had Chromebook –> Nonda USB – C –> Apple USB to Ethernet –> Ethernet cable. It worked perfectly. The connection was instantaneous and I was able to do everything I needed to do with it.

Apple USB to Ethernet Adaptor
Apple USB to Ethernet Adaptor

USB-C to HDMI

I needed this because my Chromebook has no HDMI output. It doesn’t have VGA output either but most don’t. This sounds like I keep saying what it doesn’t have but again it is by design. These are all things I only need now and again. I use the HDMI output when connecting a second monitor for dual tasking or for presentations. Mostly I need it for providing remote support to clients. I open their display on my second monitor while using my Chromebook display for research and communication. I purchased the Benfei adaptor from Amazon and again it worked perfectly.

As I said above I don’t like messing around with adapters. The more connections you have the more trouble you’re bringing on yourself. On the other hand, when you need them you need them. Those I mentioned above are all small and handy to keep in my bag. At the times when I need them, I’d be lost without them. Chrome OS is relatively new in ways and so choosing adaptors for your device can be a risk. So far every USB – C adaptor I’ve tested with my device has worked and worked well.

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