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Ask Max: Multiple Monitors on a G4 PowerBook

Asked on 06/21/2006:

Can I connect more than one monitor to a PowerBook?

I am a writer, so I like to have one monitor for viewing graphics, one for text, and I would like to add one more for Internet research. I can't afford one large 20-22 inch monitor. Now I have a 17-inch LCD I plug into my laptop, which gives me 2 "desktops." Can I add "viewable real estate?"


Splitting your VGA monitor connection across two displays is possible. You can also split a DVI connection but it is more difficult and, because of that, is more expensive. A better alternative is to look into buying a PCMCIA video card. VillageTronic has the VTBook graphics card that will give you a second display port. This will allow you to have three displays (including the PowerBook display) without impacting your video performance.

The VTBook provides a DVI port that can support Apple's 20" and 23" displays, along with a large variety of generic PC displays. If you are trying to connect a VGA display, you'll have to pick up a cheap DVI to VGA adapter. Once you have the PCMCIA video card you should be able to use the built in display-spanning feature to add desktop space.

I hope this gets you the screen real estate you wanted.

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