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  #1  
Old 06-26-2010
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Question on Laptops

My current laptop (which is dying) has the option of running a stand alone or second, monitor. My question is, is this a function of software or hardware? If it's just software, what would I need to have this function on a new laptop that doesn't have the option?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBzeer View Post
My current laptop (which is dying) has the option of running a stand alone or second, monitor. My question is, is this a function of software or hardware?
Both, actually. The graphics adapter (hardware) needs to support it, both to supply the connection and the "physical" signal and the software to drive the adapter and to tell it what to do.

Haven't seen a one of the Dell laptops we've bought for work not have this capability in... quite a while?

Jim
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The external monitor connector is pretty much standard on laptops. It is even on most of the small netbooks, too.
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Spanning monitors is pretty much standard across the board nowadays. The external monitor can work in one of two ways—it can either mirror the laptop's LCD display—where they show the exact same contents; or it can SPAN the display—where it acts as an extension and gives you a larger desktop.

I use this feature a lot when working on large projects, as I can have a dozen applications running and keep most of the windows easily accessible and visible.
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Running up your post count Dawg?

Thanks all for the info. I'm guessing the reason I'm not seeing this on the models I'm looking at is because they are very cheap, $398 for a 15.6 screen Toshiba, and so don't have a high end video card.
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PBzeer,

I've got a project at work that's going to require several wall-mounted flat-screen displays (product stuff). I'm going to use Dell Mini 10 netbooks with solid-state drives. IIRC, they're less than $400/ea., and that's with thesolid-state drives. They're even cheaper with traditional drives. They
have VGA or HDMI outputs.

Jim
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Umm...no...stupid forum chokes, so I have to repost the thing... and then sometimes I get double posts... Like I really need to work on my post count.

Even the most basic video chipset supports this nowadays. It used to require a high-end chipset, but I don't think any chipset I've seen on a laptop doesn't allow spanning/mirroring in the last couple of years, including my POS Dell netbook.

Quote:
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Running up your post count Dawg?

Thanks all for the info. I'm guessing the reason I'm not seeing this on the models I'm looking at is because they are very cheap, $398 for a 15.6 screen Toshiba, and so don't have a high end video card.
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If you really can't attach a monitor using conventional means to your laptop then have a look at one of the USB monitors that have been available over the years from companies like Samsung and ASUS. If you do a Google search for USB Monitor you see these as well as some usb adapters that will output to a monitor. If you have neither a usable monitor connector / drivers nor a USB port then AFAIK you're outa luck.


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