3 screens w/laptop, 1 VGA port, use external video card?

My goal is to have a “desktop” of three monitors. The laptop screen would likely be the “left” monitor then two external monitors on the right side. I have a Dell Inspiron N7110 laptop, Win 7 Home Premium; it has just one VGA port for an external monitor. The monitors have VGA ports.

It seems I need an external graphics card to do this, correct? Could you give me specific product recommendations for this (with links, as this will reduced ambiguity), plus any other adapters I would need? Then, some basic instruction on how to set it up.

By the way, I am not a gamer so nothing sexy is needed; I just want to enable three screens. Just basic Internet, Microsoft Office apps, and playing the occasional movie is all that it need to do.

8 answers Last reply
More about screens laptop port external video card
  1. http://www.villageinstruments.com/tiki-index.php?page=ViDock this is the best i could find, though you have to buy a gfx card along with it
  2. Ok, so a ViDock 3 is the best for what I have?

    What would a suitable gfx card be for this? I don't know much about video, so fifth-grader instructions are appreciated. I assume this is all "plug-and-play?
  3. it seems that's what their going for

    you need to keep it under 225 watts though (i think it depends on the version lol)

    ViDock 3 is designed for graphics cards that consume up to 75W of power and get all of their power needs from the PCI Express connector. It can accommodate cards up to 240mm long, which is a bit longer than the PCI Express Standard “half length” cards.

    ViDock 4 is designed for those higher performance graphics cards that require up to 150W of power and use a 6 pin power connector to supplement the power supplied by the PCI Express connector. It will accommodate cards that are up to 316mm long, which is the PCI Express “full length” specification.

    ViDock 4 Plus adds a second 2 x 3 pin power connector to accommodate graphics cards that require up to 225W.

    so the vidock 3 is severly limited, the 4th kind of, and the plus is alright

    i would like to mention im not really into mobile stuff, so you may want to search for a better solution, this is the best one i found though

    since your not gaming, i would go with #3 and this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121442
  4. I appreciate the quick response nna2, but this card seems to be for desktop only. It may work...but I'd probably spill my beer right on the video card assembly since it would be on the table with the laptop itself.

    I'll hold out for some other responses. :)
  5. kk no problem, yeah, it's a stationary dock of sorts for laptops and whatnot :P

    other than that, i find thunderbolt stuff, and alot of post's talking about how horrible external graphics cards are lol
  6. You might try looking into USB-based monitors. I know there are a few on the market now and they are designed specifically for the purpose you are describing.
  7. If you're not gaming, just use this:


    It's only $56 and will let you plug in that 3rd VGA monitor to a USB port.
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