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I'm thinking of adding an extra monitor to my notebook. The notebook I currently work on is a Vaio BZ series 15" with 1440x900 screen resolution. I want to buy a 19" (no larger) with 1440x900 screen resolution and set it up vertically.

The reason is of course more screen space. Will such setup work easily? Anyone tried it has/had/seen such setup? I'm interested if it's worth it since I am also on a tight budget.

There is an alternative option of buying a bigger monitor and using my notebook as a docking station. Would that be a better solution ? Taking also in account that I will spend a lot more money.

What do you guys suggest ?

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I have used a very similar setup for years, and I think you'll be happy overall with the dual-monitor setup using both your laptop and an external monitor. In my experience, there is very little difference between the connector types, so long as your monitor and laptop have a matching pair.

I would also not worry about matching the resolution of your monitor to the laptop screen's resolution. Depending on your version of Windows, you can generally set the display resolution of each screen independently. This means that you have a few scaling issues when moving from one screen to another, but you can then fully take advantage of the (probably) larger screen and higher resolution from your external monitor.

During the day, my setup utilizes a 22" LCD monitor as my primary display, and my 15" laptop (with similar resolution to yours) as the secondary display off to the side. Its great for keeping extra windows open or for reference material, but I find that 85% of my work is done on the primary (larger) monitor.

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For everything I use a computer for, dual-monitor is far superior. Just make sure to take a look at what ports you have on the laptop (VGA only? HDMI?) and ensure that your new monitor will fit.

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Vertical alignment of horizontal? It has both VGA and HDMI. – Daniel Oct 19 '10 at 15:23
I went with HDMI, and I prefer to extend horizontally. It's just more intuitive to me to move the mouse off to the side vs. up/down. – Kara Marfia Oct 19 '10 at 15:29

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