When you worked In the office you had a lot of space for several monitors. But now that you are working from home, the company’s laptop screen leaves a lot to be desired. Fortunately, adding more screen space to most laptops is easy, even without a built-in display output.
There are a few different ways to expand your laptop’s screen and we’re going to look at ways you can buy the least amount of additional hardware. If you already have an extra monitor (or even an iPad!) In place, you can potentially get more screen real estate with very little extra work.
Use the external display ports on your laptop
Many laptops have a port for attaching a second integrated monitor. In some cases, these might look like the typical ports you̵
For example, Macbooks and some Windows laptops use Thunderbolt, Mini DisplayPort, or Mini-DVI connectors to connect to external monitors. You need an adapter or cable that can go from the connector on your laptop to the connector on your display. So take a look at what specific cables you need. For example, my original Surface Book has a small Mini DisplayPort, but I was able to purchase an adapter that turns it into a regular HDMI port that I can plug into almost any TV or monitor with a typical HDMI cable. Regardless of which ports you need to convert between, you can likely find an adapter or cable that you need on sites like Monoprice or Amazon.
Connect a USB port
If your laptop doesn’t have a dedicated display port, you can sometimes use a USB connection. USB-C, in particular, can be used just as easily to connect to monitors as it is to connect to portable hard drives or your phone. Often they only need a cable that leads from the connector to your monitor.
If your laptop doesn’t have USB-C ports, the old USB ports can also be used. Not only can external hubs add additional USB ports to your computer, but you can also connect displays via HDMI and even add an Ethernet connection. This is a particularly useful method when you’ve already needed extra ports to attach all of the peripherals you’re used to in the office. Only some laptops can support video output over USB-C, and only a few external dongles can add video support to a device that doesn’t already have it. For more information about your device, see the manual on your manufacturer’s website.
Reuse a tablet as a second monitor
If you have a tablet lying around, you can use it as a second, smaller monitor instead of buying a completely separate display. Apple’s Sidecar is integrated directly into the Mac operating system and enables iPads to be connected via USB-C or Lightning cables to expand your desktop.
If you’re not exclusively using Apple products, third-party apps can help you achieve the same thing. DuetDisplay allows you to connect Android or iOS tablets to Mac or Windows devices. This is a more robust option if you have a tendency to mix up your platforms.
Connect a monitor directly to your laptop
Believe it or not, there are monitors that are specifically designed for secondary laptop displays. For example, the Duex Pro is a display that attaches to the back of the screen of your laptop. It can slide out to the side when you need it and then slide back and hide when you’re done. This can save a lot of space and the best part is that you can take this display with you when you travel.