Can I connect 2 external Dell HDMI monitors to my Inspiron 14 5000 using the HDMI port and a USB-C to HDMI cable? Will both of the monitors work at the same time with different outputs on each one like when it is set to extend displays? The graphics card is an Intel UHD Graphics 620 which should be able to support up to three external displays at a time.
Inspiron 14 5000 is not a specific model. It’s a series that has included several models introduced over several years, like BMW 3 Series. The reason it matters is that not all USB-C ports support video output, and without knowing the specific model you have, that’s impossible to check. But assuming your system’s USB-C port does support that, here is your answer:
First, it’s important to clarify that the Intel GPU supports three TOTAL independent displays, no matter how they’re connected — not necessarily three external displays. So for example, while you can indeed use 3 external displays with the right cabling as long as you didn’t run into other limitations (like display connection bandwidth), you’d have to disable the built-in display in that situation. But yes, you can connect one display via HDMI and another via USB-C to HDMI while still having your built-in display active, and you’ll be able to set things up so each display is independent rather than any display mirroring another. However, if one of your displays has a DisplayPort or Mini-DisplayPort input, you might prefer to get a USB-C to DP or USB-C to mDP cable instead. They’ll likely be cheaper since a USB-C port provides a native DisplayPort signal anyway, so USB-C to HDMI cables have the extra cost and complexity of a built-in converter chip. And if you want to run 4K, you’d need a USB-C to HDMI 2.0 cable, which is typically more expensive and not as common. By comparison, any USB-C to DP/mDP cable will do 4K, and since you already have a built-in HDMI output, that cable gives you more flexibility/versatility. DisplayPort also allows you to take advantage of DisplayPort daisy-chaining if you have or might ever get displays that support that. I use that feature to run dual 1440p displays from a single USB-C connection to my laptop.