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External monitor for Notebook - worth it??

ElikalElikal Member UncommonPosts: 7,912

Ok I am mostly using my Acer Aspire V3 with a 17" HD monitor. I have to say, since it is a notebook, I am sitting a bit closer to the screen, of course. Still, it's 17".... but the monitor attached to said notebook is really superior, IMVPO.

But... I think of getting an attached monitor, maybe 24" (not larger), but I am not sure if that is worth it. I can't spent a fortune, so a 200-250 Euro Monitor must suffice.


Any advise/ experience /opinions pls?

People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert


  • miagisanmiagisan Member Posts: 5,156
    What kind of video card does your laptop have? Only reason i ask is that with a bigger monitor, comes larger resolutions. This will make your card work harder since it needs to process more information


  • GruntyGrunty Member EpicPosts: 8,657

    I visit dozens of offices every month. Other than a few on the edge, there are are 2 trends. Cheap small form factor desktop PCs that work ok. Mid-range portables attached to docking stations with 1 to 3 16:9 monitors hooked up. I am talking business use here, not gaming.

    With that said there should be no discernable differences in responsiveness between the attached monitor and an external monitor.  You'll still be dealing with what a VGA output can do versus DVI, Displayport or HDMI output.

    Edit: And yes, you may be able to increase the resolution but at the cost of other performance factors. The good thing is you can put that monitor further away at the same resolution.

    Check the maximum resolution output of the GPU and don't get a monitor with a natural resolution larger than that. Running a monitor at any resolution other than it's native resolution will produce a poorer image.


    "I used to think the worst thing in life was to be all alone.  It's not.  The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone."  Robin Williams
  • ElikalElikal Member UncommonPosts: 7,912
    Originally posted by miagisan
    What kind of video card does your laptop have? Only reason i ask is that with a bigger monitor, comes larger resolutions. This will make your card work harder since it needs to process more information

    Nah in my price range it will have the same resolution Full HD 1080. That's no variable. I would take a 24" only, 27 looks WAY too big and smaller isn't enough of a progress.

    People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,652

    A couple more options that you might want to consider if you haven't already:

    1)  Set your laptop on top of a box or books or some such to put it where it makes sense for a monitor to be, and plug in a separate keyboard and mouse so that you can also put those where you want them to be.  If you're not already doing this, I think it makes laptop monitors a lot more usable, since you don't have to push it into a stupid place to make it so that you can reach the keyboard.

    2)  Buy a second monitor and plug it in as you were planning, but continue using the laptop monitor as a second monitor.  Again, you'd have to get a separate keyboard and mouse so that you could still type and so forth with the laptop itself off to the side.


    But a lot of what you should do depends on your usage model.  If you have a laptop that you're using like a desktop, then buying the laptop was a mistake.  If 95% of the time that you use the laptop is away from home where setting up an external monitor would be too much of a hassle to bother, then there's little point in buying a monitor that you won't use.  I'm not saying that either of those are your situation; I am saying that what you should buy depends on what you do with your laptop.

  • Righteous_RockRighteous_Rock Member RarePosts: 1,234

    I have had some issues in the past with running dual monitors on laptops and plugging in external keyboards and mouse all at the same time. If you going to game on that monitor and use your laptop as a second monitor and have an external mouse and keyboard plugged in too, your really going to tax your machine, pushing video to that larger monitor from your laptop graphics is really going to be taxing.

    I know you want the larger monitor, but I am afraid for performance and shortening the lifespan of your system. Have you considered a tablet instead of connecting so many peripherals to your laptop?

    I have a book holder next to my monitor with the tablet on it, just something to consider. There is no mousing over, I just reach over with my left hand and flip to whatever page I would be interested in. There are also ventrillo, skype,..... apps you can use too 

    Good luck!!!

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,143

    I don't know of many laptops where plugging in too many peripherals really taxes it to the point that it's dangerous.

    Yes, monitors can be higher resolution than the native display, and that's a tradeoff, but you can always adjust the resolution if needed.

    For the second monitor - I use one frequently with my notebook (15"). It works fine, I usually use it as a second monitor for throwing big spreadsheets on, although for presentations I just mirror the display or use the external as the primary monitor.

    There are no issues at all with plugging in keyboard/mouse/other USB peripherals. In our office we have one fellow, he has a 17" Macbook, with a 24" external. He runs a Windows VM on the 24" and keeps OS X on the native 17". He has keyboard, mouse, printer, 2 USB hard drives, and God knows how many thumb drives all plugged into various USB hubs or the monitor, so he just plugs in the Displayport cable, the USB Hub cable, and a power cord into his laptop and it's essentially a big docking station for him. He's been doing this with the same laptop and monitor for more than 4 years now, so I seriously doubt it's affected the lifespan of that laptop.

    It really just depends on how you want to use it. A Keyboard/mouse will be a lot cheaper than a second monitor if all your looking for is to move the monitor back a bit.

  • MalviousMalvious Member UncommonPosts: 218
    Get a decent pc instead, laptops are shit for gaming.

    Fine, we'll compromise. I'll get my way & you'll find a way to be okay with that.

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