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I have a Surface Book 2 (Windows 10) which I want to connect to two external monitors.

In total, I wish to have three screens: 1 x Surface Book screen and 2 x external screens.

I have extended the screens via a USB-C to VGA connector along with a VGA splitter, but this just doubles the external monitor output so that I have a unique screen on the Surface Book 2, and the extension of said screen duplicated across the two external monitors (they both show the same thing).

Which setup (cables, splitters, etc.) do I need to have in order to achieve my desired setup?

I can connect a single VGA monitor to the SB2, but the problem is that there are issues with the resolution in that the monitor's resolution is not 4K-compatible (whereas the SB2's is) and that results in software text rendering much larger than on the SB2's screen, meaning that menu items don't display in full and the software is unusable in that respect.

Naturally, I have attempted numerous resolution/zoom-level combinations, all of which product sub-par results.

Would a USB-C to HDMI converter work when linked up with a HDMI to VGA splitter (so that you can plug 2 x VGAs into it and have them both converted to HDMI simultaneously)?

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The most ideal solution would be to use the Surface Dock (depending on the monitors you're trying to use). It offers 2 mini-DP outputs through the Surface Connect port.

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  • I was thinking that perhaps 1 x UBS-C to HDMI converter and then a VGA to HDMI splitter so that I can link (and convert) two VGAs to one HDMI - would this work? – SnookerFan Mar 13 '18 at 9:34
  • You're looking for the external monitors to be independent, right? That would just give you two of the same output. You'd have to connect both monitors independently to the Surface Book. The only option to do that and use the graphics card in the Book would be the Surface Dock. – plttn Mar 13 '18 at 16:05
  • Yes, that's right - I want three independent monitors in total (1 x SB monitor and 2 x external monitors), which is a shame because I was hoping for a cheaper method. In terms of creating the same resolution between my SB2 and external monitor, would an HDMI connection help achieve that (compared to VGA) or would it produce the same result? I understand that resolution is limited to whatever a monitor can handle, but let's ignore that for a moment - might that work? – SnookerFan Mar 13 '18 at 16:17
  • HDMI would be your best bet, but there's no external monitor that would give you a 3000x2000 3:2 display, so it's a theoretical exercise at best. – plttn Mar 13 '18 at 18:44
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This can be done with multiple USB video adapters (depending on which video standard you would like to use). These devices act as individual graphics adapters (and sound cards), rather than using your laptops built-in graphics processing. You don't mention your Surface Book as including the discrete graphics card in the laptop base - I'd imagine it is possible you could see a noticeable performance hit if this is the case. StarTech manufactures a variety of these devices: https://www.startech.com/AV/USB-Video-Adapters/

To connect multiples of these adapters, simply use a standard USB hub.

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