Multiple monitors are awesome. They really are—ask anyone who’s used a two- or three-screen setup for their desktop, and they’ll tell you that they have a hard time going back to just one. Laptops have a built-in advantage here, since they have one screen: to boost productivity, just add a monitor.
But what if you want more than one screen hooked up to your notebook at once? What if your laptop lacks a bunch of external video ports? What if you’re travelling, and you can’t lug around a full-sized monitor? Don’t worry, you still have more options than you might think.
Thunderbolt 3, which uses the new USB Type-C connector standard, is the newest way for laptops and tablets to output video. The advantages are obvious: a single cable can handle video, audio, standard data transmission (for external hard drives or a wired Internet connection) and power, all at the same time. Not only does this reduce clutter on your desk—assuming you have the hardware to take advantage of it, of course—it means laptops can be made smaller and thinner by consolidating ports.
So, if you have a laptop with Thunderbolt 3 and a Thunderbolt-capable monitor, this is by far the best solution. You can just hook up each monitor to one Thunderbolt/USB-C port.
However, it’s rarely that simple. Unless you have a very new laptop and very new monitors, you’ll probably need a bit more to make this work:
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