While the USB-C connector type has a lot of advantages and it’s now guaranteed with Intel’s full support at being the dominant peripheral format for the next many years, there’s still a lot of confusion about the difference between USB-C and Thunderbolt 3.

That comes up in an email from Simon Shaw, who can connect his 24-inch Apple Cinema Display to a 12-inch MacBook (2016 release) using a Mini DisplayPort to USB-C, but finds his 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display doesn’t have a solution. It probably seems even more arbitrary when MacBook Air models dating to 2011, including the ones still on sale, can work with both Cinema Displays and Thunderbolt Displays with no problem.

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