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Dual Monitor Setup Guide 2020

Nowadays, laptops have definitely become must have items for the majority of computer users. A laptop has many benefits such as portability and convenience. But on the contrary the user realizes that the current screen is too small to perform their work. Connect laptops to a larger monitor seems to be a great choice.

Essentially, having multiple displays means you do not need to flit between applications on one screen anymore. For example, you can fix your email client to your laptop’s native display and run Photoshop on a bigger external monitor.

In this article, we are going to explain how to get your laptop hooked up to your external monitor, and then how to configure it to work in the way you want. There is also advice on finding the right adapter if your connections do not match.

Connecting your laptop to an external monitor is quite simple and requires just a few steps. Moreover, purchasing a second monitor is now a very affordable option with prices as low as ₹5,000 for a 20″+ monitor.

Before purchasing an extra monitor, it is best to know what your computer is able to connect to. It is advisable to take a look at the back and on the sides in case of a laptop and see the ports that you have. 

Most laptops have at least one port that can be used to connect a monitor, be it HDMI, VGA, DVI, or DisplayPort. However, the newest laptops may have only a USB-C port this is the same physical connector you will find on most new Android phones.

Here is what to look for on both your laptop and monitor:

Different type of connectors - Connect External Monitor to Laptop

This article has been divided into two categories, first section we will take you through different types of adapter which are available currently at market and where you can buy on of them.

Second section we will describe how you can use those adapter to connect your laptop to external monitor or setup a dual monitor.

VGA Adapter

A VGA port is more likely to be found at old day laptops. It has the shape of a trapezoid and contains 15 tiny sticks out. On its sides there are screw holes to plug in. 

VGA utilizes analog signals, which means it is only capable of lower resolutions and lower quality display on screens.

VGA-Adapters-Connect External Monitor to Laptop

DVI Adapter

Some laptops use a DVI connection. It looks nearly exactly a VGA cable, but it contains more sticks with the shape as rectangular and it also has screw holes on each side to plug into. It offer a sharper and better display compared to VGA adapters.

They carry both analog and digital signals. The DVI connector (shown below) may have one of three names depending on the signals it supports: DVI-A (analog only), DVI-D (digital only), or DVI-I (both digital and analog).

DVI Adapter-Connect External Monitor to Laptop

If your display has a DVI connection, but your laptop only has a VGA connection, then you need to use a video converter that converts VGA to DVI.

DVI-to-VGA-Cable-Connect External Monitor to Laptop

If your display has a DVI connection, but your laptop only has a HDMI connection, then you need to use a video converter that converts HDMI to DVI.

HDMI-to-DVI-Cable-Connect External Monitor to Laptop

HDMI Cables

HDMI cable is capable of transmitting standard, enhanced, and high-definition video as well as multiple channel digital audio over a single cable between devices.

The HDMI technology is used with devices such as an HDTV, Projector, computer monitor etc. HDMI cables are classified into three categories and they are Standard, Micro and Mini.

Standard HDMI Cables:

The Standard HDMI cable is designed to handle most applications and connections. It is capable of handle 720p and 1080i signals. They might be able to handle 1080p, but that’s not guaranteed.

Standard-HDMI-Cables-Connect External Monitor to Laptop

Mini HDMI cables:

The Mini HDMI cables has a smaller connector and is easily used for smaller sized ports found on DSLR cameras, high-definition camcorders and standard sized tablets.

Mini HDMI cables-Connect External Monitor to Laptop

Micro HDMI cables:

This format combines video and audio into an interface that is small enough to connect to tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices. They are 50% smaller than the standard HDMI cables.

Micro HDMI cables-Connect External Monitor to Laptop

If your display has a VGA connection, but your laptop only has a HDMI connection, then you need to use a video converter that converts HDMI to VGA.

HDMI to VGA Cable -Connect External Monitor to Laptop

DisplayPort (DP) interface

DisplayPort cables are very similar to high-speed HDMI in terms of bandwidth but can have a much higher refresh rate at peak resolution (60 Hz).

Sunil Pradhan

Developer, Explorer, Learner. My hunger and curiosity drive me forward in directions I want to go.

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Sunil Pradhan

Developer, Explorer, Learner. My hunger and curiosity drive me forward in directions I want to go.