Lets do the twist.
February 8, 2008 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Help me achieve 3 monitors (2 external + 1 native) with my laptop, But there is a TWIST (literally).

One of the external monitors must be rotated 90 degrees (to vertical).

For what I do, it makes my life SO much easier if one of my monitors is vertical. Right now I accomplish that with a Radeon dual monitor card in my desktop. Its software allows me to rotate either monitor.

I will be replacing my desktop with an HP Pavilion dv9700z notebook and the HP Docking Station. That will allow me 2 Monitors.

I have 2 Dell LCDs (a 19" and a 22" Widescreen) and would love to use both with my new laptop.

I can make 3 horizontal monitors by using a DualHead2Go converter box, but because of the way it works, that will only be able to give me 3 HORIZONTAL monitors (thanks to CC for that info)

Knowing that here are some questions:

1: Can I use my new laptop while simultaneously using my desktop to drive one or both of the external monitors?

2: Is there a device or software solution to accomplish what I need?

Thanks in advance!

P.S. I dont use my computers for gaming purposes.

bonus Question: If I cant have 2 external monitors, with one being rotated, Can I have my 1 external monitor and rotate it somehow?
posted by sandra_s to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
It is a little tricky to setup, but you could use Synergy so that your mouse and keyboard can control both computers at the same time. Then use the desktop to control the vertical monitor.
posted by meta87 at 11:39 AM on February 8, 2008

You can definitely output from laptop to a SINGLE display and have that rotated. NVidia and ATI offer rotating options like any desktop.

Synergy is useful but it's a keyboard/mouse sharing system so you can drag your mouse from one desktop to another. So you'd have an LCD on your desktop, one on your laptop and use the keyboard and mouse from your laptop as the synergy host to your desktop...

But you won't be able to, say, push an image from your laptop to your desktop to have IT drive anything. You *could* through remote desktop, but I guarantee that's not what you want to do.
posted by disillusioned at 12:51 PM on February 8, 2008

If you are going to keep your desktop, why even bother going for multiple monitors on your notebook? I say keep the 2 on your desktop and use synergy (as stated above) or multiplicity to use one set of keyboard/mouse with both.
posted by mphuie at 1:00 PM on February 8, 2008

Response by poster: Just so we're all clear, i dont want to keep the desktop, i want to eliminate the desktop :-) Using it to drive the externals is only a back-back-back-up plan.

When Im in my office, i want to expand my viewing area as much as possible, and when I leave the office, i want to take the laptop (and all my info) with me.

But when Im in the office I need a vertical monitor.
posted by sandra_s at 1:17 PM on February 8, 2008

Response by poster: to disillusioned:

Does NVidia or ATI have software thatwould do this, since with just the dock, I wouldn't be using their hardware?
posted by sandra_s at 1:24 PM on February 8, 2008

an HP Pavilion dv9700z notebook and the HP Docking Station. That will allow me 2 Monitors.

Are you sure? The docking stations I've used are modal, and plugging them in precludes using the same ports of the laptop.
posted by nomisxid at 1:26 PM on February 8, 2008

I don't think I've ever heard of someone running two external monitors on a laptop. Not familiar with your specific model but the graphics may not support it at all (and that may be resolution dependent) even in the absence of gaming.

But! You should be able to keep your desktop but control it via your laptop, so that it basically acts as an extension to your laptop. That way your laptop is still your "computer" with the desktop doing nothing more than being there to run the extra screen. I don't know what sort of software would be best for this (VNC, perhaps) but it should be doable and hopefully someone else can give you tips, if you are unable to drive both screens with the laptop.
posted by 6550 at 1:48 PM on February 8, 2008

Response by poster: nomisxid:

You are right. Kinda. I just got off the phone with HP.

Last week, when ordering my new laptop (dv9000z series) they told me that it wouldn't have a VGA port, and I would need the docking station to achieve 2 monitors (1 Native + 1 external)

The new sales rep (just now) told me that the new laptop will have a VGA port and that the docking station will connect to that.

So I didn't need the docking station to get the VGA port. I'm a bundle of confused and don't think I can attain my goal of replacing my desktop anymore.

Oh well, I guess I'm stuck in the office for another spring and summer :-)
posted by sandra_s at 1:52 PM on February 8, 2008

Response by poster: Oh, and I know it sounds weird, but i did question the rep when he said the docking station plugged in tot he VGA port, but he did repeat that was indeed the case. Weird.
posted by sandra_s at 2:21 PM on February 8, 2008

My work laptop has a vga port and a docking port. My dock also has a vga port. When my laptop is docked the laptop vga port is inaccesible so I plug into the dock's vga port to run an additional monitor.
posted by sailormouth at 4:30 PM on February 8, 2008

Just came back to this, but I'm pretty sure you can't simultaneously output to the native VGA and the docking port VGA.
posted by disillusioned at 2:30 PM on February 17, 2008

« Older itunes: back to the future   |   Study on the science of PowerPoint comprehension? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.