I'm looking for a new laptop for my wife (and she's just getting into video gaming, so I want to encourage her). She currently has her work laptop and an old desktop set up through a KVM switch with dual monitors, and wants to preserve the dual monitor setup with the new laptop (which would replace the desktop). The monitors are a pair of 19" Samsung LCDs, which have VGA and DVI inputs but not HDMI. We want something that is decent for gaming (e.g. uses something better than basic onboard graphics), but don't need (and can't afford) an enormous Alienware beast. A 15" screen would be ideal.
And now, the questions:
1. Are there any decent gaming laptops that can support dual (VGA/DVI) external monitors, either natively or through a dedicated docking station? Most of the newer ATI mobile graphics boards support their Eyefinity technology; is this all I need?
2. If I get an HDMI->DVI or HDMI->VGA adapter, can I use dual external monitors from a laptop with both VGA and HDMI outputs?
3. Are there any "generic" docking stations that will enable this sort of thing, and will the performance be adequate? (I've heard that USB connections to some docking stations hinder monitor performance.)
4. I've looked at the Matrox DualHead2Go as a possible solution, but that effectively makes both monitors into one giant screen. This seems impractical for gaming, as the center of vision would be right in the gap between the two monitors. Is it possible to run a game fullscreen on just one of the monitors, and let the other display the desktop or stay blank?
Lenovo, Is the only manufacturer that I have found to support it. But here is the thing, they don't shout about it. It took a while to find this link but it shows what docking station and laptop combo is supported.
Check out the advance mini dock and the ultrabase.
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I have a Lenovo Thinkpad R500 which has a regular VGA port and a DisplayPort connector. I read somewhere on the Thinkpads forum that my R500 version, which has the Intel video chipset, is capable of using the 2 external ports simultaneously, disabling the internal display. However, seems this is not possible with the NVidia chipset.