@tigertrader, are you using one of these laptops? I tried to configure one and it looks like they come with two monitor outputs, ie an HDMI, and either a DisplayPort or Thunderbolt. Additional screens would still need an adapter/hub solution.
Is this how all multiple monitor laptops are set up, or are there any that support multiple outputs natively without adapters?
I wouldn't consider these 4-7 display capable laptops and docks "proven". They use the latest and greatest GPU hardware and drivers and docking connections. I have read that some IT professionals have had issues with some LCD displays being recognized by the dock for multi-display capability, others have no issues. Which means you would have to seek out specific tested displays or go through trial and error and hope you get lucky.
They may be considered more simple in the sense that all you need to do is slide your laptop into the dock, but that also has the potential to break or become damaged. Then you're stuck.
One thing about docks that doesn't appeal to me at all is that the multi-display laptop + dock PC solutions I have come across require the usage of multiple adapter type connections. Meaning, you may have two or so screens connected by DisplayPort, two or so by DVI/HDMI, and two or so connected via VGA (Source: Lenovo W540 documentation). I've yet to come across a laptop 5-7 display solution that allows you to use only one or even two digital connection types. Given I don't know if this also applies to the USB 3.0 solutions, but I doubt it. I suspect the reason the dock solutions do this is to accommodate customers still using VGA displays.
Most multi-display capable laptop PCs (as opposed to certain Macbook Pros) only allow up to two daisy chained mini-DisplayPort conected displays without a dock.
As mentioned above they provide multiple displays using multiple adapter types via the dock: DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, VGA (Source: Lenovo W540 documentation) . The only alternative and the only way to connect a display via multiple mini-DisplayPort connections is to use a dock that provides a PCI slot which you could install a graphics card. These seem pretty rare.
Just to clarify, most PC laptops, docks, and PCI graphics cards do not provide Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt and mini-DisplayPort connection types are compatible, but Thunderbolt allows DisplayPort to traverse the wire, but DisplayPort alone doesn't not allow Thunderbolt to traverse the wire.
Last edited by MrYou; March 24th, 2014 at 07:04 PM.
i have 2 of their desktops and have not purchased a laptop from them, yet. i would imagine you could get a laptop with multiple video cards and hence multiple ports, but i am no techie. give them a call -they are great to work with.
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