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05-11-2012, 03:41 AM   #1
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Any notebook that can support 2 external monitor?

Hi guys,

I am looking to upgrade my desktop as it has been serving me well for over 4 years now. I am looking to replace it with a notebook/laptop.

Mobility is not that important as it is intended to be a desktop replacement and i want at least a 15.6" screen to go with. The bigger 17" is even better if possible. The thing is this....I have 2 dell IPS external monitor, a 22" and a 24". They both support DVI, HDMI and displayport. One is 1920 x 1080 and the other one is 1680 x 1050.

I would like to know if it is possible for a laptop/notebook to support 2 external monitor running at the same time and at their native resolution? If so, can i still activate the notebook screen and that become my 3rd screen?

Thanks for any advice.

Cheers
raider

05-11-2012, 05:21 AM   #2
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You need to double check me on this, but I think Lenovo T-series with discrete graphics and a docking station can do it. The docking station is required.
05-11-2012, 05:22 AM   #3
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Confirmed: Lenovo - Laptops - ThinkPad - T Series - T420 (US)

The mini-dock plus supports 3 monitors plus the laptop screen.
05-11-2012, 06:06 AM   #4
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Thanks L33tGreg. I venture to ask if it is at all possible to do this without the docking station? I have used notebook with docking station in the past but I never quite like it.

05-11-2012, 06:10 AM   #5
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Dells with a docking station. One monitor is HMI with the other off the VGA port.

05-11-2012, 07:02 AM   #6
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Hi, i would think that there is also the option of buying an external usb display port.
05-11-2012, 05:44 PM   #7
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any of you guys using a notebook with a display port + hdmi and connect the display port to one monitor and the hdmi port to the 2nd monitor?

I wonder if this will work....
05-12-2012, 06:42 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by raider Quote
any of you guys using a notebook with a display port + hdmi and connect the display port to one monitor and the hdmi port to the 2nd monitor?

I wonder if this will work....
Pretty sure there's a DP cable floating around somewhere at my office I can try that on Monday with my Dell XPS and 2 x U2312 IPS monitors.

05-12-2012, 06:47 AM   #9
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Thanks Steve. That will be most appreciated. I await eagerly for your results
05-15-2012, 02:17 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Well i did some testing with mixed results. Anyway of course what you can do will be dependant on your machine capabilites anyway.

I have a Dell XPS L502X (i7-2720 8GB with a GeForce GT540M dedicated graphics card)
It has an HDMI output port and a Mini-Display port on the back of it.

Unfortunately the only DisplayPort cable I have at work is not the mini version so I couldn't test my machine out.

this guy has the pretty much the same unit and the way i read it seemed to work out for him when he connected the HDMI and the MiniDP separately.
Dell L502X with two external monitors#

Now I'm tempted to get a MiniDP adapter for 10 bucks on ebay just to try it out.
Not much point as this a work machine so I can't do any photo editing on it anyway.



I tried the same thing on another guys Dell Studio XPS 16 (about 3 y.o.) as he had an HDMI and a normal size display port.
We could only get 2 displays at once to work correctly. A 3rd dispay was recognised but as soon as we tried to extend the desktop onto it or duplicate it, one of the other displays swithced off.



I also tried it with my own personal Toshiba Portege 13.3" R835 (i5-2435 6GB with integrated graphics only).
This machine has only got crappy little 1366x768 display so I use it at home with a Dell U2312HM which is a lot better.

The Toshiba has an HDMI and a 15pin VGA analog output, so I tried connecting both of these at the same time to 2 Dell Displays a U2311H and a U2312HM

I could not get it to display on the two 23" displays plus the Laptop LCD at the same time with any combination of extending or duplicating screens (1 screen of the 3 was always blank).
The 3rd screen was identified and recognised but after trying to display on it, one of the others dropped out.

The best I could do was to have the 23" HDMI as the main display and extending onto the other 23" on VGA . Both runing at 1920 x 1080 resolution. (still, this did look pretty good to me with plenty of "real estate")
05-15-2012, 03:21 AM   #11
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Thanks Steve for your effort! Greatly appreciated.

You seem to be able to get your Toshiba to connect to 2 LCD screens and run 1920 x 1080 so I guess even If the notebook's LCD screen is maxed out at 1366 x 768 (as in most 13" screen nowadays), that does not imply that the internal display port/HDMI/VGA port output is limited to 1366 x 768 does it? i.e. chances are pretty good that you can easily connect a 24" LCD screen to the display port/HDMI/VGA port and display the full glorious 1920 x 1080 onto it? I guess the governing factor is the display chipset's capability and not the notebook's LCD screen? Am I taking this correctly?

If this is so, then I guess I am no longer limited to finding a notebook that can display native 1920 x 1080 on its LCD screen and I have a lot more choices then.
05-15-2012, 03:24 AM   #12
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There aren't too many laptops out there that will let you drive 2 external monitors at once without a dock... I say that though without knowing of any laptops that actually do.

But, for example, the business high-end Dell Precision mobile workstations.. based on the video below, while the laptop has both a DP and HDMI connector, it can only drive 2 external monitors through the E-Port Plus docking station.

05-15-2012, 03:41 AM   #13
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That is a very impressive notebook and selling at an even impressive price too.
05-15-2012, 04:07 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by raider Quote
That is a very impressive notebook and selling at an even impressive price too.
Oh no doubt. It's a real mobile workstation. The fact you can stick 32GB's in is mighty impressive. You could happily do some work on a hundred layer Photoshop file and not feel any sluggishness
05-15-2012, 08:44 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by raider Quote
Thanks Steve for your effort! Greatly appreciated.

You seem to be able to get your Toshiba to connect to 2 LCD screens and run 1920 x 1080 so I guess even If the notebook's LCD screen is maxed out at 1366 x 768 (as in most 13" screen nowadays), that does not imply that the internal display port/HDMI/VGA port output is limited to 1366 x 768 does it? i.e. chances are pretty good that you can easily connect a 24" LCD screen to the display port/HDMI/VGA port and display the full glorious 1920 x 1080 onto it? I guess the governing factor is the display chipset's capability and not the notebook's LCD screen? Am I taking this correctly?

If this is so, then I guess I am no longer limited to finding a notebook that can display native 1920 x 1080 on its LCD screen and I have a lot more choices then.
@raider
.... no worries mate ... anytime

Both the external monitors where indentified correctly and displayed at their native 1920 x 1080 so yes, the chipset /or graphics card / ports can handle that.

Usually at home I set up my external monitor 1920x1080 as the "main display" and just extend the desktop onto the laptop's 1366 x768 display. Everything displays correctly on the larger 1920 x 1080 display and the background picture is cropped on the 1366x768 display.
If i drag a large window off from the large display it sometimes goes off the edges of the smaller display of course which sometimes is a tiny inconvenience compared to having the external monitor and the laptop screen at the same resolution.

If bought a normal size 15 or 16" laptop for myself i would definitely get one with full HD resolution. Its really good on my(work) Dell.
For personal use i wanted a small laptop not too expensive so 1366x768 it was. (or a very expensive Sony Z-series)


I dont know if 1080 is the limit or not for the graphics card. Many 24" displays are 1920 x 1200. If it could successfully do one monitor that resolution, i guess it could do 2 external (without the laptop as a 3rd)





QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
There aren't too many laptops out there that will let you drive 2 external monitors at once without a dock... I say that though without knowing of any laptops that actually do.

But, for example, the business high-end Dell Precision mobile workstations.. based on the video below, while the laptop has both a DP and HDMI connector, it can only drive 2 external monitors through the E-Port Plus docking station.

[Dell Precision M6500 Mobile Workstation Powers Three Monitors[]

I actually saw that clip too in my searching yesterday but note they are using a docking station. And did you get a look at that graphics card!
We have a couple of these Dell Precisions at work ("only" 16GB model though so they are just only $6000 worth). They weigh a ton too!


I might try to test one of those tomorrow. I'm not sure on the ports in the laptop itself but I know the docking stations we use only have 1 each DVI, DP and VGA so will see if we can get 2 or all three of those to work.
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