The 12-inch Retina MacBook was among the first devices to support USB Type-C when it launched in April 2015, and the availability of accessories and devices based on the new USB specification has been slim in the intervening months. With the start of CES 2016 this week, however, Retina MacBook owners should expect the announcement of a plethora of USB Type-C products to augment their mobile Mac setups, and USB Type-C displays are the first out of the gate.
Acer and Lenovo have each announced new displays with support for USB Type-C, bringing the convenience of a single-cable solution to devices like the aforementioned Retina MacBook and Google's Chromebook Pixel.
Starting with Acer, the Taiwanese company introduced the H7 line of displays in 25- and 27-inch sizes sporting a 2560x1440 resolution. When connected via a USB Type-C cable to a compatible device like the MacBook, the H7 can act as an external monitor while simultaneously charging the device and providing data access to the monitor's on-board USB hub. With built-in speakers and a distinctive gold and white design, the H7 should also fit in nicely with Retina MacBook's color choices.
For those without a USB Type-C device, the H7 also supports more traditional display inputs -- DisplayPort and HDMI -- and the panel offers 100 percent sRGB coverage. Exact pricing and further technical specifications are not yet available, but Acer states that the H7 line will launch in North America in February with a starting price of $499.99.
Not to be outdone, Lenovo unveiled two USB Type-C displays of its own, starting with the 24-inch ThinkVision X24 Pro. Featuring a 1920x1080 IPS panel and integrated speakers, the monitor supports full data and charging support via a USB Type-C connection. It also includes an integrated RealSense 3D camera from Intel, which is compatible with camera-based security platforms like Windows Hello, and two Mini DisplayPort inputs for connecting devices without a USB Type-C port.
Additional accessories for the X24 Pro include an optional wireless charging base for easy charging of compatible smartphones and tablets, and an optional WiGig bar, which offers wireless connectivity support for WiGig-compatible devices.
As a higher end option, Lenovo also introduced the ThinkVision X1, a 27-inch 4K (3840x2160) display with a 10-bit panel and support for HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, and USB Type-C. With thin bezels on the top and sides and a tapered thickness of as little as 7.5mm, the ThinkVision X1 features one of the slimmest monitor designs on the market.
The ThinkVision X24 Pro will launch in May with a starting price of $399 while the ThinkVision X1 will land a bit earlier, in March, for $799.