Should I return this monitor or can I make it work for me?
November 25, 2021 2:46 AM   Subscribe

I recently purchased at Asus ProArt PA278QC monitor for my 2020 13" Macbook Air (2 USB-C ports only). I *meant* to purchase a PA278CV, oops. If I buy a USB-C to USB cable (as shown in the PA278QV port image, halfway down the page), will I be able to A) charge my mac through the monitor, and B) use the USB and other ports available in this monitor?

I don't think I'll be able to return this PA278QV in time for a refund (plus, it's an absolute pain, for reasons), and the PA278CV is more expensive and not available anywhere in the UK right now, afaik. I'd like to make this work. Right now, the ports are useless to me as my Mac doesn't recognise anything plugged into them; I bought this pricier (to me) monitor because I wanted a doc/hub for my mac. And to get rid of the need for a USB-C hub dongle, which seem to repeatedly fail (I also may need to purchase a new one).

What's my best option here? Is there something else I could do that I'm not considering?
posted by iamkimiam to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
 
As far as I can tell you’ll need a hub or at least two adapters here, you need usb-c / DisplayPort (or DVI/hdmi etc) for the display, and usb-c / usb-a for hub connectivity. Sadly IME in-monitor hubs also pass fairly low current, so in your shoes I wouldn’t count on it keeping the machine charged during any kind of extended graphics work, although I assume this is a little better with the ARM macs.

In your shoes I’d just suck it up and spring for a decent hub; you kind of get what you pay for in this domain, as cheap ones tend to burn out.
posted by aspersioncast at 5:36 AM on November 25


Best answer: If you get the right cable, you should be able to make use of the USB hub, but you won’t be able to charge your laptop through that cable. It looks like the monitor your got doesn’t feature “power delivery,” which is what you need for charging to work. And, as aspersioncast says, you’ll need a second cable to connect up video.

Also, it’s not exactly clear from the product page but, from the manual, I think you need a USB-B 3.0 to USB-C cable to connect up the monitor’s USB hub to your laptop.
posted by Betelgeuse at 5:45 AM on November 25


Best answer: If you’re going to use this monitor, you probably want a dock in between. Your Mac has Thunderbolt, and you can use either a Thunderbolt 3/4 dock (faster, more expensive) or a USB-C dock. The difference between a dock and a hub is that a dock breaks out non-USB ports, a hub is just USB. So you could have a single cable to the dock.
posted by adamrice at 6:26 AM on November 25 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Additionally, you can find hubs and docks that will pass power through (PSU goes into the dock and is delivered via the one cable from the dock to the laptop) or even have power supplies built in.

I have a USB power-passthrough dock with an HDMI port on it, and this is the only thing I have to plug into my MacBook to tether it to my desk. A similar technique should work for you. It's no-name and has lasted three years at this point, but if you want the assurance of a known brand then go find something from Anker, they sell this sort of thing.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 1:38 PM on November 25


Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! The answers here were incredibly helpful to me to clarify how the tech works and possible options forward. I'm working to see if I can return the monitor to Ryman (looks doubtful at the moment). In the meantime, yesterday I realised that I truly want the all in one solution and bought the PA278CV with the built-in charging doc. Got one of the few remaining ones in all UK it seems, on a discount price. It magically arrived this morning and it's all hooked up. My fault hub problem is solved (now my Logitech mouse is no longer bouncing around hurrah!) and the Mac is charging through this brilliant monitor. All ports are a go! I even have one USB-C port free on the Mac ha. And the desk is considerably cleaner.

I need to get rid of the other monitor, but that's easier to solve now. At least I'm staring at a beautiful solution for hours on end, rather than an ongoing problem (which is now sitting behind me). #worthit
posted by iamkimiam at 3:07 AM on November 26


Response by poster: Mute point perhaps too — the picture of the ports on the ASUS ProArt PA278QV website doesn't actually match the ports on the actual ASUS ProArt PA278QV, which is odd and was further exacerbating this confusion. The picture shows a single USB Hub, but that actually isn't there! It looks like two USB ports (maybe one downstream and one upstream?)
posted by iamkimiam at 3:09 AM on November 26


Response by poster: Moot, not mute. Argh. I've been doing this sort of typo mishap all day so far!
posted by iamkimiam at 3:44 AM on November 26


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