What adapter do I need to connect a 2018 MacBook Air to peripherals?

I use a 2009 Macbook Pro as a desktop 98% of my time. However, I like the versatility of the laptop when traveling. I am looking at the 2018 Air. There are two Thunderbolt 3 ports. However, I have already spent 3+ hrs trying to "just simply" find information about an adapter to connect the 8 year old HDMI monitor; a USB Hub 2.0 or 3.0 with printer, keyboard, mouse dongle, backup HD for the time Machine and a new External to use since the Air I get will most likely only have 512MB of SS space. All of this stuff is connected currently. I found a "Plugable" USB-MD101 which appears to be able to connect the laptop and the power ... it has an hdmi and it has a usb port, shich I would assume I could connect the hub to ... and I'll need something that allows me to connect the TM Backup and the External I will need as I have a limited budget for the internal (128 or 256MB). All work with El Capitan. "It depends" and "maybe" isn't going to help me as I cannot afford to purchase a laptop to "just" find out. And add a macmini or imac for "most of the time." My total budget is $1200-$1300 +/- before the hubs or Applecare :) . My configuration of a laptop as hard drive has been perfectly fine. So, is there such an animal? And is USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 the same thing? And what's with Displaylink? See ... layers of the onion ... And I assume that the laptop will deliver with Mojave ... thanks in advance to anyone who can help.


Rosie Moderator
Staff member
Those new Air models have shed a lot of the ports we have come to rely on. And all the new fangled names does confuse the heck out of people. I found some web sites that I think will help you make the decision on your purchases.

Thunderbolt 3 docks - https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/thunderbolt-docks-macbook/

The difference between Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C - (beware of the cheep knockoffs) - https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/usb-c-thunderbolt-macbook/

From Everymac.com - https://everymac.com/systems/apple/...3-difference-between-thunderbolt-3-usb-c.html
Thanks. Do these appear to you to be "cheap knock offs" or will these also possibly perhaps asterisk footnote it depends work. Are they TB3?

So. Will this work: https://www.amazon.com/Certified-Apple-MacBook-2018-2017/dp/B01N5PX0DH
Or will this work:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076BKF1SM/ref=psdc_3015402011_t3_B077JXPG3G

Most of the ones in the tb3 docks article are way above my budget ...

And did you notice - and this is indictive of APPLE'S OWN SUPPORT on this matter, that the 2018 MacBook Air isn't mentioned in the article about Thunderbolt, differences, beward of cheap knock offs? Apple even makes it difficult to "just simply" choose if the USB-C and the TB3 are identical ... not the 2, not the older versions. Just comparing USB-C in it's latest iteration and TB3. Even this article you attached is called "MACBOOK" with no mention of the Air.

The Everymac article at least defines the two... but again, what will work? Or, does one simply need to also purchase a USB-C to TB3 adapter to go to the TB3 Hub if one purchases a TB3 Hub that really isn't, one that is masquerading as one...
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