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I currently have one monitor connected to my laptop via HDMI.

My laptop only carrys 1 hdmi port, but it also has VGA port.

Can i connect a second monitor to the VGA port?

Will their be any real diferences in image quality?

In case I only want to connect 1 monitor - is it better to do it via HDMI or VGA?

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3 Answers

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Can I connect a second monitor to the VGA port?

Most likely yes. It depends on the design (and the GPU) of your laptop. I never saw a recent (as in build in the last 6 years) laptop with two video outs where only one was usable.

Will their be any real diference in image quality?

Again, it depends. The hardware in your laptop generates a digital image. For VGA it needs to convert this to an analog signal, transfer it over a cable and then let the (LCD) monitor reconvert it to digital information. Usually there will be some loss here.

Having said that, VGA can be decent, even at higher resolutions. But not with an el-cheopo cable. There are lots or marginal or simply poor quality cables out there which means that on average VGA on a modern display will result in poor quality or ghosting.

DVI, HDMI and display port are all digital standards and do not suffer from this extra conversion. They should all result in a better image than via your DB15/VGA connector.

In case I only want to connect 1 monitor - is it better to do it via HDMI or VGA?

HDMI, for the reasons stated above.

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Thanks for the explanation kind sir. Will try this then! –  Duarte TB Oct 28 '12 at 21:11
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This depends largely on the video card in your laptop but usually you can use all outputs for external monitors at once. I had my main monitor via VGA for a very long time (since my laptop didn't support DVI – the aforementioned video card dependency) and while I could see some noise in the image it never was a problem in daily use.

But for only a single monitor – definitely go HDMI as it is digital and therefore without image degradation due to external influences on the cable (e.g. a power cable running next to it).

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My experience has been that laptops with two kind of video output only support one of them at a time — but the other answers seem to say that this is not the normal situation. I suspect that the only way to know for sure is to connect two monitors and see what happens. With modern monitors, this is a safe experiment.

If you need more monitors than your laptop supports, there's alway USB video adapters. Be sure to read reviews by actual users before buying them so you don't get stuck with a cheap POS.

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Or check the manual. Or phone the support line of the manufacturer. (Granted, just testing might be easier than some support lines). :) –  Hennes Oct 28 '12 at 1:55
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