If you ask a hundred experienced professionals what they have in their laptop bag we would lay good odds that most have at least one monitor adapter tucked in their somewhere, and many will probably have two. We say two as DisplayPort and HDMI are the two de-facto monitor standards and Mr. Murphy loves to come to your business meeting whenever he can. Whether it is one or two, the reason most experienced users have at least one in their bag is that laptops lack enough monitor ports. With the continuing trend towards thinner and thinner devices this lowly, seemingly innocuous USB device has gotten to the point of being almost a de-facto necessary accessory for professionals. After all, no one wants to lug around a 27-inch based laptop, or find one with a built in projector, but getting serious work done on an itty-bitty screen is difficult to say the least. This is where companies like Phoenix and their USB Type-C to HDMI and USB Type-C to DisplayPort adapters come into play.
For a mere 25 (USB to HDMI) to 30 (USB to DisplayPort) Canadian dollars (or about 19-22 USD) these two inexpensive accessories promise to make life a lot easier for people who use their portable computers for more than playing solitaire or surfing the web. The only possible fly in the ointment is that they are USB 3.1 gen 2 Type-C based devices. Needless to say they are orientated more towards newer systems than older, but today we are going to look at these two options and see if they are indeed worth their asking price… or if the fact that Phoenix is not as well known means you should go for a more expensive, and better known brand.
Considering the fact that Phoenix is making use of a Fresco Logic FL5002 (USB hub duties) plus ITE IT6562 controller in the HDMI adapter, and a Cypress EZ-PD CCG2 in the DisplayPort model we have a sneaking suspicion these may indeed be our favorite type of adapters: those that work just as well as any of the more expensive options… without the premium price tag. After all, these two controllers are used in a lot, and we mean a lot, of adapters… including adapters that have cost upwards of twice of what Phoenix is asking for their version.