Using External Monitor with Laptop

Discussion in 'hardware' started by roark37, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I have some questions about using a monitor with a laptop. My situation is at work I have used a desktop and remoted in to it when working from home but even though I did not want it my company is making me replace it with a new laptop. My first question is my current work desktop has very large icons/text size as I don't see well and prefer it that way. I have the screen set to 1024/768 resolution and medium-125% text size. I will be using dock at work with the same monitor and can all my current settings be duplicated with laptop/dock so it looks the same?

    Similarly at home since the laptop is only 14' which is too small for me I plan to use external monitor also but without dock. Is there a way to have same large icons/text without dock and is there a way to have only external monitor showing and is that the preferred way? The default when I hook up monitor from home with HDMI is to duplicate screen but I was not sure if I should shut off laptop screen and will that make monitor picture better or with more options? Is there also a way to keep laptop running even if lid closed and I wanted to use external keyboard/mouse with it also and the monitor?

    I know these are really basic questions but as is probably obvious I am not familiar with this and have not done it before so would welcome any advice. Thanks.
     
  2. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    Yep, you should be able to set it up just like with the desktop.
    I believe the resolution and scaling settings will persist between monitor changes so it should be fine.
    You can disable the laptop screen with an external monitor plugged, but I would just leave it on in 'extend' mode. More screen realestate is always nice. Disabling the laptop screen will not improve the picture on the monitor or give you more settings.
    Yep. Go to your power options and look for "lid close option".
     
  3. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    Okay thanks. Part of my confusion is the laptop resolution is using the default/highest of 1366/768 but when using the laptop screen only and I go to lower the resolution to 1024/768 I get a warning that all icons may not fit but then the screen picture size seems to get cutoff so I don't seem to get full laptop screen size? So I have left it as default when using laptop screen only and I don't have dock yet but it sounds like that "cutoff" issue will go away once dock/monitor attached? Or does it sound like I am doing something wrong with the settings? Thanks again.
     
  4. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    The screen physically has a dimension of 1366x768 pixels. So when you try to run a lower resolution than that, you'll either get black bars or stretching (I'm assuming you can adjust what happens in the Intel Control Panel, but I've never tried to run a lower resolution). If you use black bars, everything will be correct in terms of proportion but the full screen won't be completely usable as you noticed. The monitor you were using is a 4:3 aspect ratio monitor while your laptop screen is 16:9 which means you're trying to turn your rectangular screen into an (almost) square shape, if that makes sense.

    The reason you get that warning is because the lower resolution contains fewer pixels so if you had say 15 rows worth of vertical space on your desktop, the lower resolution might only allow 10 and so the 5 would get pushed into other available spots.
     
  5. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    Okay thanks as I think I understand it better now. But then does that mean if I connect an external monitor at home without using a dock and then try to lower resolution to 1024/768 the external monitor not likely to have that cutoff screen problem. And does it make any difference at all in that scenario if the laptop screen is also on as well(duplicate) or will it be okay on the external monitor regardless of whether it is cutoff on laptop screen?

    Also, on my current work desktop which I have set to 125% for text size there is also a 150% option but my laptop only goes up to 125% choice. Is that typical or normal?

    Thanks again.
     
  6. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    Having the cutoff problem with an external monitor when lowering the resolution to 1024x768 will come down to whether the monitor is a 4:3 aspect ratio monitor or not. Having the laptop screen on will not effect the external monitor so it could be either on or off. However, if you set the displays to span, you can have different resolutions for different monitors. So you could set the laptop screen to it's native 1366x768 and have the external monitor set to 1024x768 how you like it.

    I've never used any setting other than 100% so I don't know if the 125% and 150% discrepancy is unusual or not.
     
  7. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Crusher is right when he talks about the "aspect ratio" of the monitors used. Even the displays between 16:9 and 16:10 monitors (which are both "wide screen") will look a bit different. Going from 16:9 or 16:10 to 4:3 will look a lot different.

    If your present graphics solution does not support what you want to do, you might want to consider using a multi-monitor utility. These will allow you to select different resolutions for each monitor. I have been a fan of UltraMon for years – not free, but worth it IMO. But see also the free DisplayFusion.
     
  8. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    Well the current monitor I use at work with my desktop is at least 5 years old, and probably older, so would that most likely be 4:3? And that monitor is staying to be used with dock/new laptop so as crusher wrote above there should be no issue getting my current view with new set up right?

    Also, crusher when you write above if I set displays to span I can set one resolution for laptop screen and another for external monitor, how do I set the displays to span?

    Thanks again to you both for your help.
     
  9. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    No. Widescreens have been around for a long time. 4:3 are more square shaped, like the old CRT TVs. 16:9 or 16:10 (widescreens) are much wider than tall. If you plug in the monitor brand and model number into Google, you will learn what it is.

    As for you spanning question, look in Control Panel > Display > Screen Resolution and set the Multiple displays setting to "Extend these displays".
     
  10. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    I always get there by right clicking my desktop and clicking "Screen Resolution". Just a bit faster ;)
     
  11. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    Okay I thought I understood this better at first but now I am more confused again. First, and I want to be clear on this part most of all, using the exact same monitor I use now with a desktop at work I should be able duplicate exactly the view/resolution/size with the new laptop/dock? Do I definitely have that right? And I know my desktop settings with my current work monitor are 1024/768 so that will look the same with new laptop/dock correct?

    Now at home I just tried the extend the displays but then my external monitor lost some of the full size of screen? It is now on the default of duplicate with the laptop and the laptop resolution is 1366/768 and I have full screen on external monitor but the picture/clarity not all that great. The monitor is Dell ST2010 which I googled as you suggested and seems to 16:9. Is the external monitor not as clear as it could be because it currently is using only 1366/768 instead of max resolution of 1600/900? And if so I am not clear on how using extend the displays can get me to 1600/900? I figure I must be missing a step as along with extend the displays is there then a way to make external monitor 1600/900. And if I choose the option of only showing screen of external monitor will it then default to it's maximum resolution or does it remain at only 1366/768 regardless of whether laptop screen is on?

    Thanks again for your help with this.
     
  12. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    Yes, you will be able to duplicate the exact settings on your monitor with your laptop.

    That is exactly right. After you set the monitors to extended, you need to set the resolution of the external monitor. You do this in the same window you were in to set them to extended mode. You left click the external monitor, and then drag the resolution slider to the desired resolution. Since you're now in extended mode, the resolution of the external monitor and laptop screen can be different. When you set it to only show the monitor, it should remember the settings used for it so if you un plug it and plug it back in, it will automatically be set to 1600x900 (or whatever you set it to).
     
  13. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    Okay I finally got this to work using extended mode and then it gave me more options to make external monitor 1600x900 so thanks for the help. But even though I got it to work the picture quality on the external monitor is not very good. Am I right in thinking that is just the monitor itself? Meaning if the resolution is set to the recommended 1600x900 resolution it makes no difference which computer is connected to it if using the same monitor with same resolution/text size etc settings is going to look exactly the same with all. Is that reasoning right? Because the home monitor I am using I got off craigslist for only $30 a couple of years ago so I don't think it is a high quality one. By that same reasoning if I did get a new, much better monitor, there is no reason to think it won't look great connected with the laptop as compared to any other computer as again as long as the settings are the same it all comes down to the monitor itself right? I assume so but just wanted to check. Thanks again.
     
  14. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    When you say the picture quality is poor, what specifically is poor about it? I believe you said you're HDMI but just to confirm, use that instead of VGA if you have it. As for color and such, I'd reset the Intel settings to default (in the Intel Control Panel). If that doesn't fix it, reset the monitor to default using it's on screen display. Buying a new monitor could fix the issue, but if it's because your Intel settings are incorrect, you'll have the same problem so you're going to want to make sure those are right first.
     
  15. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    It just seems the picture is not really very sharp and it seems kind of dull. Like with no pop at all if that makes any sense. It is I think a 20' screen and I found reading email and text in general not really crisp.

    But I looked in the control panel and did not find the Intel settings. I would have thought they would be under display in resolution section. Is that something you typically have to go into Advanced Settings to see? But I did notice when looking for it that my power choice on the laptop is set to Balanced which is the default. I only really use this work laptop either with the dock at office or plugged in at home and there is a choice for High Performance below Balanced. Would that have any impact on picture or brightness?

    On the monitor itself there are 4 buttons on the right side but they have no or poor labeling as I am not sure what each of them do but I plan to search the monitor model as I have never really touched them and it sounds as if there could be some settings there that could impact picture I assume? And that must be where I can do the reset of the monitor to default as well?

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  16. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    Right click your desktop and click "Graphics properties".
    No, not on the external monitor at least. But I'd go ahead and put it on high performance anyway. It could speed your pc up a bit.
    Yea, those are how you adjust it. You might just have to press them a few times to figure out what they do. They will most likely map to one being up/right, one down/left, one select, and one back.
     
  17. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    Hello,

    At work they removed my desktop and put in the dock that I am now using with laptop. Monitor is same and was turned off but not unplugged before switch. After laptop put in dock and turned on first time I was surprised(pleasantly) that it looked the same as with desktop and went into resolution and confirmed it was 1024/768 as before with desktop so happy I did not have to do anything. A short while later I got the little notification on bottom task bar that updates have been made and need a reboot, so I did. The windows updates did go in during reboot but then once up again screen changed to 1280/?, so very different. I went into resolution and changed to 1024/768 but now have about 1/2 inch on top & bottom of screen chopped off with black bar. Now I can't say for absolute certainty those bars were not there at first change to dock/turn on but I strongly doubt it as I am sure I would have noticed. This seems bizarre to me but does it make any sense at all and is there a reason for it? Why would it change settings after a reboot? And is there any way to get full screen with 1024/768 as it was with desktop as based on the discussion here I expected it to be exactly the same as before? Thanks again.
     
  18. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    I think I figured this out or at least got rid of the clipped screen by changing the Panel Fit to Full Screen in Graphic Properties. Still not sure why reboot caused it to change but with full screen it now looks the way it did with desktop so I am guessing that was the setting before and I did not even know it. I plan to try this at home later this week and see if it helps my home monitor view as well. Thanks.
     
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