How to connect 3 monitors to a laptop?
It is awesome to have multiple screens attached to your laptop. You can ask someone who used this 2 or 3 screen setup and how hard he felt to go back to one screen.
Some of the laptops have the built-in feature to add monitors to their display. Do you want to hook up more screens to your notebook? You may not have extra video ports? No need to worry about! Here we will tell you how to connect 3 monitors to a laptop. Stay with us and go through this article till the end to know in details.
How to Connect 3 Monitors to a Laptop by Thunderbolt
This is an ideal solution for connecting 2 or 3 monitors to laptop specially the new ones. It uses the USB Type-C connector standard to output video. It provides you many advantages with a single cable like audio, video, data transmission for HDD and power at the same time.
This will reduce clutter on your desk like hardware Thunderbolt 3 with many benefits. That’s why the laptops are made thinner and smaller by consolidating ports.
Multiple Thunderbolt USB-C port
You can hook up 3 monitors to the laptop with Thunderbolt 3 if the monitors are also capable of Thunderbolt. You can easily connect each of them to one Thunderbolt USB C port.
Unless you will need a bit more to make it work if you have a new laptop with new display screens. Let’s make it clear; if you have a new laptop with multiple thunderbolt ports but your external monitor is old and doesn’t have thunderbolt then you need some adapter for each monitor.
Don’t forget that one adapter is for one monitor you are connecting to the laptop.
Single Thunderbolt port
In case, if your laptop has one thunderbolt port then you will need a docking station to connect 2 monitors to one port. You can take an online survey for this purpose; whereas it is recommended to use Dell Thunderbolt Dock. It is available on Amazon in the best quality with reasonable price.
Keep in mind, before rushing to buy one must check your laptop’s specification. If it supports docks or not, such as MacBook do not support multiple screens from one port using the docks.
Thunderbolt has the ability to provide a massive amount of video bandwidth and support multiple standard monitors. Such as the New MacBook Pros can have the capacity of two outputs with 5000 displays at once obviously with the specialized adapters.
Mini-laptop docks are basically designed for regular docking to a multi-monitor setup with other components like mice, keyboard and other connections.
When Thunderbolt will become common on laptops it will be easy for you to connect around any video output. Since some manufacturers feel like odd to adopt the standard but will soon later.
Get a Display Splitter Box to Connect 3 Monitors to a Laptop
We have a solution for your older laptops which have no Thunderbolt USB-C port but supports VGA, HDMI, DVI or DisplayPort. You can still add an external monitor to your laptop but 2 will make complications.
Only a few older laptops like Lenovo’s ThinkPad or MacBook Pro offers multiple ports whereas, most of the laptops have single video output port. It rarely happens that you can use 2 ports for multiple monitors as the manufacturer tend to expect you will use the laptop screen on the external monitor together.
Here we recommend you a third-party solution. The Matrix line of dual and triple head docks which use single video cable to output to multiple screens. They are a little expensive and everyone can’t afford it, but it is the best solution for one who needs.
One thing to remember is they will be limited by your graphics card. If you have integrated one then don’t expect to run 4K displays without any issue.
USB Adapters are a cheaper but less than ideal option
If multi-port docking stations are expensive and you cannot afford them, then you have another option to connect monitors to a laptop:
Older versions of USBs like 2.0 weren’t designed to handle video-out since the companies made adapters that can turn any USB port into monitor-out port like USB to HDMI adapter.
Most of the adapters use Intel’s DisplayLink technology for connecting external monitors to a laptop.
However, it comes with many advantages like its cheap in price, expandable, portable and specially designed for Windows and macOS. You can add as many monitors as you want.
Basically, these adapters function on their own low-power graphics card and have a huge compact on the processor and RAM than a standard external display. You may have seen a performance issue while connecting this way in some laptops. So, it’s better to set it up like combine your own laptop’s screen, attach one monitor to the HDMI port and use one USB adapter for multiple monitoring.
Docking Stations for Business Laptops
This is a semi-permanent solution for business and gaming laptops. As I have told you earlier under Thunderbolt specifications but this is a popular alternative to multiple adapters for power users.
However such gadgets are specifically designed for the gaming laptops or business-oriented laptops explicitly like Dell’s latitude line, Microsoft’s Surface Pro and Lenovo’s ThinkPad.
USB only alternatives are less powerful with more expensive options and more flexible video ports depend on their availability.
There are different model-specific docking stations with multiple video outputs. They allow to setup or teardown time at your desk with a minimum mobilization of laptop.
They are designed with the idea of an external graphics card which let you hook up full desktop-class GPU to a laptop. You can attach as many screens as the card can supports. Such as ATI and NVIDIA have the capacity of 3-4 screens to connect at once.
Unfortunately, these docking stations are restricted with specific models of laptops. Everyone cannot use them and even expensive ones like they cost $120 or more without the card.
To use these docks your laptop must have Thunderbolt port to operate. Altogether you may have to spend $2000 for setting it up which includes a new laptop, dock, and graphics card.
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