Connecting a pen display with a 3-in-1 cable

A 3-in-one cable is a special kind of connection cable used for pen displays to connect to a computer.

More here on the different ways a pen display can be connected to a computer: Connecting a pen display to a computer

A 3-in-1 cable typically looks like this:

The power end can work in different ways depending on which 3-in-1 cable you have

Older 3-in-1 cables may have a proprietary connection to the tablet instead of a regular USB-C connection.

Benefits of a 3-in-1 cable

  • Simplifies the physical design of the tablet. It minimizes the number of physical ports on the tablet. Instead of having an HDMI port, power port, and USB-A data port, the tablet can just have 1 USB-C port.

  • It also makes it easier to keep track of cables. You just have to have 3-in-1 cable instead of three separate cables.

  • Ideally you would connect your table to the computer with a single USB-C able. But this is not always possible.

    • USB-C ports on your computer may not supply enough power

    • USB-C ports on your computer may not support sending a display signal (aka DP alt mode)

    • Your computer may not have a USB-C port at all

    • So a 3-in-1 cable allows you to use older ports that many computers do have such as HDMI and USB-A and way to get enough power to the tablert.

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