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Thread: Second monitor off a laptop

  1. #1
    JEMS's Avatar
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    Second monitor off a laptop

    Hi,
    This may sound a bit silly but is it possible to run a second monitor off a laptop! and I mean mains powered. I’ve seen a lot of posts about running two monitors for image editting but general it’s on desktop systems. I spend more and more time lately work on my laptop to edit my image using Photoshop but the screens always the weak point for final appraisal. So I have now set up my spare room as a clean print only room where I can just hook up and go. “Well that the plan! but as we all know its never that straight forward” the use of a better mointor would be the way to go i think!
    Any thoughts

    Regards Jems
    Last edited by JEMS; 9th April 2010 at 03:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Second monitor off a laptop

    Jems,

    Yes you can run a second monitor off a laptop if it has a VGA/External monitor connector.
    Quote Originally Posted by JEMS View Post
    Hi,
    This may sound a bit silly but is it possible to run a second monitor off a laptop! and I mean mains powered. I’ve seen a lot of posts about running two monitors for image editting but general it’s on desktop systems. I spend more and more time lately work on my laptop to edit my image using Photoshop but the screens always the weak point for final appraisal. So I have now set up my spare room as a clean print only room where I can just hook up and go. “Well that the plan! but as we all know its never that straight forward” the use of a better mointor would be the way to go i think!
    Any thoughts

    Regards Jems

  3. #3
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    Re: Second monitor off a laptop

    Can anyone recommend some really good monitors? And what screen size works well if it were to be about 2 feet (600mm) from my eyes?

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    Re: Second monitor off a laptop

    Hi Jems,

    I'm running a laptop with a second monitor attached.
    Before choosing a monitor you should have a clear idea for what purpose you're going to use it.
    For Lightroom (dual monitor mode) I have the image on my monitor 19"" wide screen and the menu's and controls on my laptop.
    So I need to see both, and then 60cm is to far away from the laptop screen.
    You could also deside to have a 23" screen and have all info on just that screen.
    If possible try to borrow a monitor and first find out if you want to go for dual monitor mode,(different info on each monitor) or that you just want a bigger screen to get more distance between you and the screen.

    regards, Jan

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    Re: Second monitor off a laptop

    I'm running a second monitor on my laptop. Primarily because I have no classes to teach until next September. When in class, I have the second monitor turned around for the students to see, with the student whose work is being discussed standing behind me to watch my laptop screen.

    The monitor you use for your second needs to be chosen carefully and then adjusted to display true colors. In my case, I had to give up some color accuracy to get angle-of-view. If you are the only one viewing, this is not important, but, when a dozen students are viewing the screen, some have to be viewing at an angle to the screen. Then, of course, there is the 6'6" basketball star standing behind the 5.0' cheerleader.

    Pops

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    Re: Second monitor off a laptop

    ... It depends on the laptop. Nearly all are capable of outputting to an attached external monitor (even at the same time as the internal) but NOT ALL are capable of using one for an extended desktop. You're PROBABLY safe, but it would pay to check first.

  7. #7
    agaace's Avatar
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    Re: Second monitor off a laptop

    I'm in the same situation, got only laptop and need a screen and I was actually thinking of buying entire separate computer. I'm going to get a 23" screen and I'm not sure how my graphics card in my laptop will handle that and what resolution will it be able to offer (my laptop screen's maximum is 1024 x 768 - yes, it's an old laptop). Also, my laptop only has a VGA output, cause it works with all projectors, and all new monitors use DVI or whatever it's called the digital signal standard, which means a converter. Normally you don't see the difference, but for colors and crispiness of an image I think it's better to stay with digital signal (I think). But for the start, I'll get just a screen and see how it works. If I decide my laptop works well with it, I might abandon the idea of getting a separate desktop computer.

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    Re: Second monitor off a laptop

    another handy tool is to get a 'docking station' so all the peripherals, monitor card reader, speakers etc etc stay hooked into that - the laptop can then just slot in and out of that - no unplugging of power cable or anything.
    Mine also has a U-shape flat top - that the monitor sits on.
    veryhandy if you need to take your laptop to work etc.
    My handy husband sourced the model required & picked 1 up though ebay - cleaned the dust off & it's perfect.
    A wireless 'big' keyboard & mouse are also fairly inexpensive.
    I know this doesn't help with 2nd monitor ? - but thought it might save you heaps of time in other ways.
    We just went for the 1 bigger monitor 23 inch with the best 'dynamic contrast' specs, which in itself has been a great improvement over trying to edit/assess on little laptop screen.

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    Re: Second monitor off a laptop

    there is also a monitor, I believe that it about 19" in height, 25" in width that can be rotated so that the height is 25" and the image on the monitor can be rotated with the push of a key.

  10. #10

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    Re: Second monitor off a laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    there is also a monitor, I believe that it about 19" in height, 25" in width that can be rotated so that the height is 25" and the image on the monitor can be rotated with the push of a key.
    Good point. My primary PP screen is a 24" wide-screen and being able to pivot it makes a HUGE difference when working on vertical images.

  11. #11
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    Re: Second monitor off a laptop

    Hi All,
    Lots of points to consider that never crossed my mind at the start, I especially like the idea of rotating the second monitor to a portrait format and I never considered the may be a graphics card issue !
    ThankYou
    Jems

  12. #12
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    Re: Second monitor off a laptop

    I’ve been using a second monitor (+ keyboard & mouse) on a Siemens Fujitsu laptop for nearly two years now. Just before the first year was up, the graphics card failed; fortunately it was replaced under guarantee. Can’t help wondering if driving two screens all the time contributed to the failure...

  13. #13
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    Re: Second monitor off a laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by timo2 View Post
    Can’t help wondering if driving two screens all the time contributed to the failure...
    I don't think so. If it was supposed to fail, it would have failed anyway, sooner or later.

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