General Question

XOIIO's avatar

Connect 2 monitors when you only have one port?

Asked by XOIIO (16856 points ) May 19th, 2010

How could I connect 2 monitors to my laptop when I only have one port?

I NEED MOOOOORRREEEE, MOOOORRRREEEE!!!!!!

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22 Answers

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I’m not sure you can do that, but you can run one as an extended desktop to complement your laptop screen.

XOIIO's avatar

I already have a 19” that I picked up for $60, but I would like to have another one. The second one currently holds my itunes and my laptop screen is for everything else. A third one would be great.

aprilsimnel's avatar

How many ports do you have? Are they VGA and DVI? If so, then just get cables that connect to each type of port, hook one each up to your monitor and port and you’re sorted.

Otherwise, get a docking station with DVI or a USB video adapter like this. Make sure you know the capabilities of both your monitor and your graphics card and that they can all handle each other.

Or try one of these these. That site has a ton of splitters.

talljasperman's avatar

Is their such a thing as a video cord splitter?

XOIIO's avatar

I have one DVI port. The USB adaptor was something close to what I was thinking of. I doubt there is a video cord splitter, because it is only sending out one signal.

InspecterJones's avatar

Here ya go…

read the cons, it’s not a perfect solution

Oh, also, check if your specific laptop has a dock for sale. Sometimes they give you extra VGA ports. Most of the time not though, so best advice…buy a desktop.

jerv's avatar

Besides, doesn’t running that much screen area pretty much defeat the purpose of a laptop? I can see plugging in one external display (either a larger monitor or a projector) but more than that and you really are better off with a desktop.

@InspecterJones Agreed; those are some pretty hefty cons, and you won’t find laptops competing with desktops on the graphics front any time soon. I have a desktop graphics card that outweighs my laptop, sucks ten times the wattage, and generates enough heat to cook your huevos. Somehow, I don’t see a laptop’s video setup beating that card’s performance since the trade-offs for those framerates (size, weight, power draw, and heat) are trade-offs no laptop maker will make, at least not to that extent.

InspecterJones's avatar

@jerv well, there are more expensive options out there that have fewer cons, but at that point you might as well just get a desktop

Besides which, I don’t understand why you would need 3 screens* with a laptop, if you’re that much of a power user then you should already have a beefy desktop.

*3 screens cause I count the laptop screen as one, so with an external you already have two usable desktops

XOIIO's avatar

@InspecterJones Neat, I wouldn’t go with that though. I can buy an expansion port 3 that will over doeble my laptops performace and features, such as 6 USB ports, and I believe more monitors. A tad too expensive though.

InspecterJones's avatar

@XOIIO Why are the two screens not enough? Maybe invest in a bigger monitor? I used to HAVE to use two monitors, couldn’t live without them, until I bought a 27” Dell, not really having a use for a second one now.

Don’t get me wrong, if someone offered, I wouldn’t reject a second one :D

XOIIO's avatar

I would like a screen on either side of my laptop. My laptop screen for my main stuff, one side screen for itunes and the other for my email or something I am waiting to update.

InspecterJones's avatar

@XOIIO I think its time to invest in a desktop.

XOIIO's avatar

I just spent $1,500 on this laptop a couple months ago, so I’m not going to buy a desktop. If I want more features I’ll spend $500 on the expansion port.

jrpowell's avatar

What about something like this. I know it isn’t the same but it is free.

InspecterJones's avatar

@XOIIO You could buy a pretty decent desktop for $500…

I know what it’s like, I have a laptop I paid $2200 for, but they aren’t meant to do everything.

XOIIO's avatar

I don’t need a virtual desktop, I was just wondering if there was a simple wat to have a third monitor. I prefer laptops because of the portability, and I don’t need a whole lot in terms of performance because I dont really do gaming or very intensive programs.

jerv's avatar

I only paid $500 for my Core i3 desktop. Then again, I only paid $500 for my laptop as well, so it sounds to me like you either need or want performance since if you didn’t then you would not have spent $1500 on yours.

Umm… how portable are external monitors anyways?

XOIIO's avatar

The majority of the money was some of the features the laptop had, such as a lightscribe drive and touchscree. I did want good performance, but Not a huge amount like some really expensive desktops.

I have my monitor set up at home for when I use my laptop, I don’t carry it around. 19’ monitors arent very portable.

InspecterJones's avatar

@XOIIO I think you need a bigger monitor, that might solve things for you. Get a nice 24”.

XOIIO's avatar

Well I would rather have one on each side, that looks cool and just seems easier, plus I can get another 19” for another $60.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@XOIIO Where do you get $60 19” monitors?? They’re still $180 over here.

XOIIO's avatar

A little friend called Kijiji!

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