Laptops aren’t just wireless, portable desktop computers. With the right setup, you can turn your laptop computer into a multi-tasking workhorse that’ll make you say “Gee, I never thought I could do all that!” For example, did you know that you can hook your laptop up to a desktop monitor and expand your on-screen real estate to two full screens? What’s even cooler is that if you upgrade to an Ultrabook™ with Windows* 8, you can assign a separate viewing mode for both screens. All you need to do is follow the simple instructions below on how to connect a laptop to a monitor. Then you’ll be set.
The Benefits of Connecting Your Laptop to a Monitor
Getting more screen inches isn’t the only reason someone might want to connect a monitor to a laptop. Here are a couple of scenarios that spell out some of the other benefits.
- Multi-tasking: Connecting your laptop to a monitor enables you to go into split screen mode, where you can watch a movie on your PC monitor and tweet about it on your laptop screen. This gives you a cool setup that prevents you from having to keep toggling back and forth between applications.
- More screen real estate: By connecting your laptop to a monitor, you can literally double the size of your available screen space. Functions can be moved from one screen to the other so that you don’t have to shrink windows down or toggle to see two programs at the same time. This type of setup is ideal for a number of scenarios, from leisure activities like video chatting while you’re on Facebook* to updating a work spreadsheet while you’re referencing facts on another platform.
- Extra options in Windows 8: With Windows 8, you can choose between a traditional desktop view or the new metro menu. But when you connect your laptop to a second desktop screen, you can actually have your proverbial cake and eat it too by running both at the same time.
Three Things You’ll Need to Do When Connecting Your Laptop to a Monitor
- Get the right cable. When you connect an external monitor to a laptop computer, you have to run a cable between the two devices. Make sure that you get a monitor cable that matches the sockets on your laptop and monitor.
- Tell your operating system you’re using a second screen. It’s easy to do this in Windows 8 by accessing Devices in your charms bar and setting your computer to project to a second screen. On Macs*, the connection of an external monitor is automatically recognized.
- Set up the orientation of the monitors. In both PCs and Macs, you can opt whether you want the second screen to mirror your laptop screen or to act as an extension of the first. Access the Control Panel on your PC or System Preferences on your Mac.
Learning how to connect your laptop to a monitor is pretty simple and can enhance your experience, even improve your productivity. Imagine not ever having to toggle between open windows and running programs on your laptop. Sounds pretty good, right? Teaching yourself this easy task can make your life simpler and much more productive.
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