Without an HDMI output on the XPS 13 2-in-1 (opens in new tab) you can't just plug it into your TV. Luckily, there's a straightforward solution; you just have to get the right cable.
Products used in this guide
- One cable: Thunderbolt 3 to HDMI cable (opens in new tab) ($16 at Amazon)
- More expansion: Cable Matters Thunderbolt 3 dock (opens in new tab) ($240 at Amazon)
- The other cable: Thunderbolt 3 certified USB-C to USB-C cable (opens in new tab) ($20 at Amazon)
How to connect your XPS 13 2-in-1 to your TV
When connecting specifically to a TV, you're going to need HDMI connectivity, something that the XPS 13 2-in-1 doesn't have built-in. Instead, you'll need to use the Thunderbolt 3 output and turn that into an HDMI connection. Thunderbolt 3 has enough bandwidth to push out video even at 4K if you're using it with a high-resolution TV.
For this you'll need a USB-C Thunderbolt 3 to HDMI cable.
- Connect the USB-C end of the cable to the Thunderbolt 3 port on your laptop.
- Connect the HDMI end of the cable to an empty HDMI input on your TV.
- Turn on the laptop and you'll now see Windows 10 on your TV.
That's all there is to it. Thunderbolt 3 has an incredible amount of bandwidth to deliver video output, and the cable we've recommended here is capable of delivering 4K at 60Hz to your TV.
One affordable cable getting the job done
With no HDMI on the XPS 13 2-in-1 you're instead left relying on the Thunderbolt 3 port, and this cable will make the magic happen.
How to connect your XPS 13 2-in-1 using a dock
A single cable is the cheapest and quickest way to hook up your XPS 13 2-in-1 to your TV, but if you'd like a little extra connectivity as well, a Thunderbolt 3 dock is the answer.
The Cable Matters Thunderbolt 3 dock (opens in new tab) is great choice because not only does it have a raft of USB ports and Ethernet built in, but it also has HDMI output. Note that you need a cable like this Thunderbolt 3 certified USB-C cable (opens in new tab) to connect to the dock.
The process of using it is equally simple.
- Connect the Thunderbolt 3 certified USB-C to USB-C cable to the Thunderbolt 3 port on your laptop.
- Connect the other end to the Thunderbolt 3 input on the dock.
- Connect a regular HDMI cable from your TV to the HDMI output on the dock.
A dock is a great solution if you're going to be connecting your laptop to your TV a lot, and this one can deliver up to 60W of power to keep it charged while connected.
Both of these methods will leave you with only a single cable coming from your laptop and a crisp image on your TV. Which you go for ultimately depends on whether you just want to hook up to a bigger screen or you want to turn your laptop into a mini desktop rig at the same time.
Add more than just an output to your TV
One cable from your laptop can get you a bunch of USB ports, Ethernet, and a HDMI output to your TV.
Thunderbolt 3 needs the right cable
To connect to a dock you need to make sure you get one of these Thunderbolt 3 certified cables.
Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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