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I'm thinking of getting rid of my desktop, and using my (much better) laptop instead. I'm only wondering if I would be able to hook the two screens I have with it, so I'd end up with three screens. I've seen people doing it to desktops, but am not sure the same could be accomplished with a laptop.

My laptop is a Sony Vaio, and it's got both a VGA output, and an HDMI output.

It'd be great is I could simply hook two screens to it, and have three independent screens (not mirrored). on my desktop, I have pretty much the same thing, but with an extra DVI port. I connect the DVI to one screen, and the VGA to an older one. Trying to connect anything to the HDMI simply mirrors whatever is on the DVI (I've tried it a long time ago)

So I was wondering if with the laptop I'd be able to do it, and end up with three independent screens.

I don't know if there's anything else I could be using instead (i.e. any extra hardware), so recommendations are more than welcome.

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migrated from Dec 28 '10 at 19:05

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

up vote 5 down vote accepted

In laptop most likely you can use either VGA or HDMI. Not both at same time. However there are couple of USB adapters allowing you to connect multiple monitors into your current laptop thru USB ports.

There are also some laptops that support dual monitors but they are far more expensive then standard ones.

Edit: seems like a good product too for your needs.

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On some laptops, such as the one I have, you can hook both the VGA and HDMI up at the same time, but the HDMI one will only support a mirrored desktop, not extended. – BBlake Dec 28 '10 at 19:15
Can you recommend any USB adapter? And is the quality acceptable? – Marcos Placona Dec 28 '10 at 19:18
I have never seen a USB video adapter that didn’t look like crap, nor one that didn’t drag the performance of the machine down. If you need dual external screens i suggest getting a laptop that can do it, such as a Dell Latitude with a dock, or sticking with a desktop machine. Or as a simpler solution, selling your two smaller LCDs and buying a single obscenely large screen to replace them. 27” and 30” displays can be had for fairly cheap these days, sporting resolutions >= 2560x1400. – peelman Dec 28 '10 at 19:25
Actually I did some stuff for one company which was producing USB-VGA chips and it looked OK. You won't be able to play games on it but coding and stuff like that should be acceptable. – MadBoy Dec 28 '10 at 19:31
Thanks a lot!!! – Marcos Placona Dec 28 '10 at 19:33

Just an idea but you could also hook your third screen to your desktop but use Synergy to control three screens (and both computers) with your laptop mouse/keyboard.

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