Plug an HDMI-only laptop into a VGA-only projector?
June 5, 2014 8:34 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking at new laptops, and the one at the top of my list has everything I need ... Except that the only video-out port is HDMI. The problem is that a big part of my job involves presenting, so I need to be able to plug in to projectors that only have VGA ports. What are my options?
posted by robhuddles to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
One simple option would be a USB->VGA adapter. They work fine in my experience.
posted by ftm at 8:37 AM on June 5, 2014

Something like this should work:

In fact, whoever you're getting your laptop from will probably offer you one of these during the purchase process. I recently got an HP Spectre and they did (and I bought it).
posted by kindall at 8:52 AM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, just get a HDMI to VGA dongle adapter.

The one kindall links should be perfect.

I really like the ones from, but whatever.

I can speak from experience - these are cheap and they work very well. We put one in every single conference room I manage (along with a couple other digital to VGA adapters) so that when people show up they can present without needing to hunt down the appropriate thing, and the work great.

Do not under any circumstances get a USB -> VGA adapter. It may work, but the latency involved in the USB connection is problematic.
posted by kbanas at 9:00 AM on June 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

+1 HDMI to VGA dongle
+1 USB graphics dongles are a bad idea
posted by katrielalex at 9:13 AM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

We use these StarTech USB-to-VGA adapters at work for people who want to have second monitors on their desks. The adapters work well for typical office applications (email, word processing, etc.), though I'm sure that they wouldn't be suitable for stuff like gaming or video editing.

(Note that this may not be the best solution for the OP -- just saying that I've had decent results with these types of adapters.)
posted by alex1965 at 9:18 AM on June 5, 2014

My boss, with his fancy pants ultra-portable laptop, has this exact problem. He uses this Startech product, it works fine.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:07 AM on June 5, 2014

Word of caution: If you plan on doing a lot of traveling and the cord's on the go, video cable adapters can be flaky- working in a school, and I've seen plenty of adapters "die" just from daily plugging & unplugging. I'd have an extra on hand just in case.
posted by jmd82 at 10:11 AM on June 5, 2014

Thanks, all. My local mega electronics store didn't have anything and the ... uh ... let's call them undertrained "help" staff didn't know anything (shocker).
posted by robhuddles at 11:00 AM on June 5, 2014

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