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In The Office - External Screens

Desktop real estate is another thing that often puts PC users off the idea of having a notebook as their main machine. Although more and more notebooks are shipping with DVI or HDMI ports, a great many are still stuck with humble D-SUB. And even if you do have a digital video connection, it still means that you're stuck using just a single external screen - doesn't it? Actually no, that's not the case. In fact there are several options out there that will enable you to hook up multiple monitors to even the most basic of notebooks.
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Matrox's TripleHead2Go will let you hook up three monitors to your notebook, creating a huge desktop.

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One solution for multiple monitor support for your notebook is the Matrox Triple Head2Go. This little box of tricks plugs into the D-SUB or DVI port of your notebook and splits the signal out to three 1,280 x 1,024 monitors, and stretches the desktop across all three displays. This gives you a desktop resolution of 3,840 x 1,024, which should be more than enough for most users - of course that's easy for me to say, since I have two 30in 2,560 x 1,600 monitors on my desk at work, but I'd have a tough time driving them from a notebook. The advantage of the Triple Head2Go is also the fact that you can pick up 17in 1,280 x 1,024 screens very cheaply, so you'll effectively be getting a huge amount of display area at a bargain price. The downside is that it's not the most elegant solution and you can't have independent desktops on each screen.

Another, more flexible and more elegant way to use multiple monitors with your notebook, is to take advantage of DisplayLink technology. It's not often that I'm genuinely impressed with new tech, but when I met up with the guys from DisplayLink and Samsung last year, I really was. DisplayLink allows you to connect digitally to a monitor via USB, and it also allows you to daisy chain up to six screens, without ever needing to touch a graphics port of any kind.
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Samsung's 940UX DisplayLink monitors connect via USB and will let you daisy chain up to six displays to your notebook.

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Putting a few Samsung SyncMaster 940UX screens on your office desktop will ensure that you've got a decent amount of desktop real estate to work with. Being that you can hook up these monitors via USB, you're also going to be able to connect up using a digital connection, even if you're notebook only has an analogue video output. By using USB as the connection method, it also means that if you're using a notebook stand like the Ergostation or Alto, you can have your monitors always connected to the stand, and every time you place your notebook on the stand and plug it in, you'll have access to your desktop screens.

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