Apple’s new M2 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro still only support one external monitor

Apple’s new M2 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro still only support one external monitor

Yesterday at its WWDC 2022 keynote, Apple did something that it really only does every few years. It introduced new hardware at its biggest software show. The Cupertino firm announced its second-generation Mac silicon, the M2, along with two new PCs that it’s baked into: the MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Unfortunately, the M2 still has a major limitation that the M1 had. It only supports one external monitor. According to Apple’s spec pages for the MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro, they can support one external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz.

To be clear, this isn’t an issue of power. If it was, then you could easily just use multiple 1080p displays instead of one 6K display, but that won’t work.

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There are only a handful of Apple Silicon Macs that support more than one external monitor. Anything with an M1 Pro supports two, and the M1 Max and M1 Ultra support four. An HDMI port adds support for an additional display, so the M1 Mac Mini actually supports two, and the Mac Studio supports five.

But the new MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro support the same amount of external displays as their predecessors: one. Indeed, these are both meant to be somewhat entry-level PCs. Even the 13-inch MacBook Pro isn’t supposed to be the Pro version of the lineup; if you want the real power, you go for the M1 Pro or M1 Max in the 14- or 16-inch models.

There are workarounds for this. You can get a DisplayLink adapter that will allow you to use extra screens, but if you’re going to start shelling out money for workarounds, you might want to think about just getting a MacBook that can support multiple displays. If you want that in a MacBook Air, you might want to wait for the M3.

About author

Rich Woods
Rich Woods

Managing Editor for XDA Computing. I've been covering tech from smartphones to PCs since 2013. If you see me at a trade show, come say hi and let me ask you weird questions about why you use the tech you use.

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