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I have a unibody macbook running OSX 10.8. I wondered how feasible it would be to use an external monitor instead of the built-in display. I am not talking about plugging in a 2nd monitor (this is possible and I do already), but making the Macbook think an external display is the built-in laptop display. So I can maybe have two external screens and not use the built-in small, low-res screen at all.

Is it a case of getting the right adapter and any monitor should work, or is there more to it?

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I'm not sure how to do exactly what you're asking, but if you use clamshell mode ( by waking your laptop while closed (and plugged in, via an external mouse), the laptop display will stay disabled, and I assume both external displays will stay enabled. I've only tested this with one external though.

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