One of the key features of USB Type-C is support for delivering a lot of data through a USB cable, including video output. That means you should be able to use the same port to plug in a power adapter, connect peripherals like hard drives or gamepads, or hook up a monitor.
And soon you may not need any sort of special adapter for that last bit. The group behind the HDMI standard have announced a new “HDMI Alternate Mode” that allows companies to create cables with a USB Type-C connector on one end and HDMI on the other.
Eventually we may start to see more monitors and TVs with USB-C input. For now, odds are that most of your displays already have HDMI ports. This will let you use them with the growing range of laptops, tablets, and other devices featuring USB Type-C ports.
HDMI Alt Mode supports HDMI 1.4b features including video resolutions up to 4K (at 30 frames per second), 1080p 3D video, and HDMI-CEC.
Of course, the HDMI 1.4b standard is about 5 years old at this point, and doesn’t support some HDMI 2.0 features including the increased bandwidth necessary for 4K video at 60 frames per second.