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I have 1 VGA socket on my laptop, and currently have that in use by a large screen. At some point in the future I would like to get another one of these screens and use both screens in dual screen mode but not use my laptop display (to be honest my laptop display is pretty rubbish as its like 2/3s the size of my screen - even if I had the choice to use all 3 I probably wouldn't want to). Is it possible to achieve this? If so, what do I need by way of hardware / software, and how much do you reckon it should cost me?

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Do you only have that one VGA output? Or do you have an additional DVI, HDMI or maybe Display Port? – Martin Jan 8 '11 at 12:38
I just had another look and, at a glance, missed the HDMI port (thinking it was a USB port lol). So I have VGA and HDMI. Can I run both alongside each other then? – ClarkeyBoy Jan 8 '11 at 12:40

It depends on the capabilities of your laptop. While some laptops do indeed provide multiple video outputs (VGA, DVI, HDMI, S-Video, etc) they may either let you use more than one at once in a multiple monitor setup, or it might allow you to use multiple outputs, but the non-VGA outputs only clone what the the VGA output sends out, or they may only allow you to use one output at a time. Those are the three possibilities for built in capabilities.

The other options are external hardware. The quickest and easiest is to get a USB based display output such as this one. Beyond that there are other possibilities ranging up into the thousands of dollars depending on how fancy you want to get and what kinds of features you want.

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Thanks for your answer BBlake. Much appreciated. So how do I find out which possibility it is for my laptop, besides getting a monitor and hoping or contacting the manufacturer? I mean my laptop was one of 20 REALLY decent laptops that they manufactured to be sold on really cheap - Acer do that from time to time. The product code for mine now refers to a far worse laptop, so I really don't trust them to give me an answer specific to the 20 special ones - hence I don't want to contact them. Its kinda confusing, I know, but thats the way I understand it from what they told me. – ClarkeyBoy Jan 8 '11 at 13:27
Without having accurate specifications to refer to, your best bet would be to just try it and see what happens. If you don't have an extra monitor or HDTV lying around that you can try the HDMI port on, see if you can borrow one. As for the USB adapter, that should work regardless of how the other outputs in your laptop are configured. – BBlake Jan 8 '11 at 13:35
ok thanks for the help. I am about to get a job so buying another shouldn't be a problem - at least then I would have a spare one for when my current one stops working, even if it didn't work. Will look into the USB adapter first, I think. – ClarkeyBoy Jan 8 '11 at 13:44

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