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Laptop with Large Monitor

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#1
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For my private clients I use a laptop on my desk at home. I would love a larger screen but the price of a new computer is something I cannot justify on my gross fees, when the laptop is perfectly serviceable.

So, I wonder how easy it would be to hook up my laptop to a larger monitor and acquire a desktop keyboard and mouse. Am I attempting something overly complicated or is it just a matter of connecting a cable or two. I have plenty of space on my desk to have the laptop out of my line of sight.
 

#2
CathysTaxes  
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I've never done it, but many people use an external monitor or keyboard.
Cathy
CathysTaxes
 

#3
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Extremely easy and also awesome. I have two external monitors that I use with my laptop. Your productivity will definitely increase.

I'd recommend getting a docking station, likely one that supports USB 3.0 but check to see what your current laptop supports.

The docking station is awesome because you can plug everything into it, and then have just one USB cable that plugs into your laptop. That way it's not a pain to pack the laptop up and go mobile.
 

#4
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Paperless, anent the docking station, perhaps I should have explained. I am a Mac Fanboy (and proud of it) so I use my gorgeous, but aging Mac for everything except TR prep. That is where the laptop comes in. I actually find it convenient to use two separate computers and keyboards. However, my software (TaxAct) has made some improvements and I see sense in having a larger screen. Given that, do you think a docking station is likely to be necessary? Please bear in mind I am not the most technical of people. When I started in accounting, many people were still using bound ledgers.
 

#5
chris  
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Depending on the model and age of your laptop, you may need an adapter to get out to an external display. Also, if it's very old (i.e. 'VGA' video), it may look a little rough on an external monitor. For a single extra monitor usually a docking station is not needed, but may be a nice extra as it makes cable management very easy.

I run Windows and Linux here on my purpose-built desktop machine, and have two 24" monitors on my home desk. I have them on a tubular VESA mount which keeps them nearly completely off the desk surface.

At work I have a Lenovo P50 laptop in a dock with two 24" monitors. The P50 stays opened up as a third monitor for monitoring email.

I've tried several brands of monitors and find I keep going back to Acer as being very color-accurate out of the box.

The only downside to this is when you have to go back to just the laptop screen for some reason, you feel like you are really constrained.
Site admin and software developer for TaxProTalk.com and https://TheSiteFactory.com
 

#6
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Laptop is a four year old Lenovo Thinkpad. As it happens we had to unexpectedly drop serious money on a MacBook Air today so, budgetarily, we are a little hamstrung. Or maybe I’m just a true Scotsman.

Thanks for all the observations. I have some good for thought. Perhaps we’ll see what the rest of tax season brings.
 

#7
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Had anyone hooked up laptop to flat screen tv to simulate multi monitor experience ? I would like to try this out when I work at home.
I’ve got a 16” 4K Asus zenbook laptop that I could hook up to 60” LG 4 k on the wall
 

#8
chris  
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We use them as virtual white boards, and for conference room powerpoint screens, at my normal job. Works great. With a newer TV you should be fine as long as the laptop can deliver high enough resolution (e.g. over 1080 pixels wide). HDMI connection.

If you are doing this as a monitor for home you'd need to be sitting a good distance from it. 40" of screen closer than 6 to 8 feet away from my face would give me a headache after a few minutes. I find the 24" screens at normal monitor distance, is pretty immersive yet not fatiguing.
Site admin and software developer for TaxProTalk.com and https://TheSiteFactory.com
 

#9
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Gnfr_tax wrote:Had anyone hooked up laptop to flat screen tv to simulate multi monitor experience ? I would like to try this out when I work at home.
I’ve got a 16” 4K Asus zenbook laptop that I could hook up to 60” LG 4 k on the wall


I do that sometimes for pictures, or streaming something but not for that. You'd need to crank down the resolution with a 4k monitor because it would show everything in a tiny text size. Can the ID-thief neighbors see your TV through the window? That would be an issue with our TV!

I'm all for the big monitor hooked up to a laptop. They are basically (not so) small TVs. And they are dirt cheap. I picked up a 27" brand name one for close to $200 - remember how much that would have cost even 5 years ago? It'll work with any Windows or Mac laptop, we are done with the age of needing to load video drivers from a CD. Just need to get the right cable - I'm able to use the HDMI that came with it.

I also have a Bluetooth keyboard and trackpad. With Bluetooth and a printer through the router there's really no need anymore for a docking station.
 

#10
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with an older thinkpad you should be able to attach at least 1 external monitor, i had 2 but with an adapter. my new thinkpad has 3 external monitors attached.

a docking station makes this much easier but since your laptop may not last through the season it might be a wasted cost at this point. Lenovo makes you get a new style docking station each time you get a new laptop.
 

#11
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TYVM for the thoughts, all. I am wondering if I deal with the laptop for another season and get a desktop Windows machine for next year. I can do returns easily enough on the laptop, it's just that my software has new features that are better on a proper screen.

My only issue now is acquiring a decent desktop with Windows 7.
 

#12
Coddington  
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I have a four year-old Lenovo laptop. I use this USB monitor with it. Super easy set up and the monitor can go with me.
-Brian
Tax accounting methods and credits consultant for hire.

http://www.coddingtontax.com
 

#13
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Thanks for the suggestion, Coddington. Does the 16-inch screen really give that much more room? My software lets me look at the PY return alongside the current one, but that feature doesn’t really work on my laptop. Scrolling can get tiresome, too.

Does it come with a stand or do I need heavy books? (I’m using an even smaller screen to type this.)
 

#14
zl28  
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ge chick makes an excellent higher end portable external monitor

https://www.gechic.com/


plug n play
 

#15
eze  
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I run 2 27 inch Viewsonics attached to a laptop....one connects HMDI, one with USB adapter. It's plug and play with Windows 10. Why not "bootcamp" the Mac and use one computer?
 


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