How to Connect a Tablet to an External Monitor, Flat-Screen TV or Projector

July 19, 2017 Tripp Lite

A tablet is an incredibly useful device that can boost your productivity, keep you in touch with family and friends or entertain you with movies and games. Although tablets are not a complete replacement for a laptop (yet), they can do more with a little help.

Wouldn’t it be nice to view video on a larger screen, like an external monitor or a flat-screen TV? Or even send video to a projector? Well, you can do all of these things by using the video port on your tablet. But to do so requires a little homework—chances are the video port on your tablet doesn’t match the video input on your monitor, TV or projector.

Take a Closer Look at Your Tablet’s Ports

Newer tablets often have a USB-C (a.k.a. USB Type-C) port in place of a traditional video port. For example, this small, versatile port can be found on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 and Google’s Pixel C. You’ll also find USB 2.0 micro-B ports on some newer tablets, like Lenovo’s Yoga Tab 3 and Amazon’s Fire HD 8. Another popular device, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4, features a mini DisplayPort. On older tablets, you might find an HDMI-enabled video port (micro-HDMI, mini-HDMI or full-size HDMI).

Find the Video Input on Your Monitor, HDTV or Projector

Monitors, HDTVs and projectors typically have standard HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI or VGA (HD15) connections. To send video from your tablet, you’ll most likely have to use an adapter cable or adapter. (Note: Of these technologies, only HDMI and DisplayPort support audio.)

How to Connect a Tablet to an External Monitor, Flat-Screen TV or Projector
Next Steps

Select a Cable or Adapter
If the connections on your tablet don’t match your monitor, HDTV or projector, you have two basic options:

Buy an adapter cable. Choose a commercially available cable with the correct connectors on both ends. Here’s an example: You want to connect a tablet with a USB 2.0 micro-B connector (like Acer’s Iconia Tab 10) to an HDMI monitor. Choose a cable with a micro-B connector (male) on one end and an HDMI connector (male) on the other. USB 3.0 micro-B connectors are backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices.

Buy an adapter. Connect an adapter (male/female) to an A/V cable you already have. For example: You want to connect a tablet with a mini DisplayPort (like the Surface Pro 4) to your monitor’s DVI-D cable. Choose a mini DisplayPort (male) to DVI (female) adapter. The mini DisplayPort end plugs into the tablet; the DVI cable connects to the adapter’s DVI port.

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    From desktop to critical infrastructure, Tripp Lite products and solutions power and connect the computers, networking equipment and electronic devices that form the foundation of our digital world. Headquartered in Chicago since 1922, Tripp Lite has offices and partners worldwide.

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