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Some advice please on purchase of laptop and digital monitor.

Posted on 2012-03-13
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Last Modified: 2012-03-16
Some advice please. I am confused by the barrage of interfaces and cables these days. I need to get a new windows laptop and as it happens I need to get a new monitor as well. One thing that is important to me is that I can attach a second monitor to my laptop and it be used digitally. I do not want to use it with analog VGA. This is cos I have a desktop computer that attaches to a DVI monitor and the other monitor to VGA and the difference in quality is enormous. The digital looks so much better than analog.

So, I need some advice.

Can I get a laptop with DVI output that I can plug into a DVI monitor? On google, I haven't seen any laptops with a DVI output.

Or do I have to get a laptop with HDMI output, that I can plug into an HDMI monitor. Will that work?

I am NOT interested in plugging into a TV. Everywhere I read about DVI and HDMI outputs on laptops, they assume you are trying to hook up a TV. I am not.

Any examples of laptops would be great. My googling is not being very productive.

Thanks.
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Question by:RupertA
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Assisted Solution

by:Wileciyote
Wileciyote earned 100 total points
ID: 37715576
Most high end notebooks have both HDMI and DVI. I have a Sager notebook and it has what you would be looking for. http://www.sagernotebook.com/ Be prepared to shell out some money.
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Accepted Solution

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Paul-B earned 100 total points
ID: 37715624
You should be aware that any laptop with an HDMI port on it should be able to use a HDMI-DVI adapter. Its straight digital just changing the connector/pins and we do it all the time for media PC's in our shop. We have also done it for people trying to use older projectors with newer laptops and it works every time. Just search "HDMI to DVI adapter"
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Assisted Solution

by:serialband
serialband earned 100 total points
ID: 37715866
If you're not ready to shell out for a higher end laptop, there are VGA to DVI convertors out there too.  http://www.cablestogo.com/product_list.asp?cat_id=3439  I keep those around to hook up all the old laptops.  You don't have to limit your laptop choice just for a connector.
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Author Comment

by:RupertA
ID: 37715909
serialband, please correct me if I am wrong, but I remember reading somewhere that VGA to DVI adaptors weren't very good really. And if you want the digital experience, go for proper digital. Is this right?
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Expert Comment

by:Wileciyote
ID: 37715910
Thank you guys for cleaning that up; I'll be a bit more thorough next time.
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Expert Comment

by:serialband
ID: 37716143
The VGA to DVI connector will just output to standard analog VGA quality through the analog pins on the DVI connectors.  It will be similar to hooking up a VGA cable to a VGA monitor.  It's the same resolution, but if you are a videophile, or just used to staring at a DVI screen for a long while then switching to VGA, you will notice it.  You may notice it if you have a VGA and DVI monitor side by side with exactly the same image.  I notice some minor "fuzziness," compared to digital DVI, on the systems I use it on, but I'm ok with it.  I'm currently using VGA, because I had to part out the DVI card and I noticed the difference.  You should go to a store and compare an analog screen to a digital screen of the same resolution and see if you're ok with the difference.

Basically, if the video quality is critical to you, then get a DVI or HDMI laptop.  If it's not, then you have more options.  I just happen to have a few of those adapters around for older systems.  I also have a few of those HDMI to DVI adapters that came with some newer rack mount systems.
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Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 100 total points
ID: 37716983
>The digital looks so much better than analog.

You must have something not functioning correctly in your setup.  For desktop monitors, VGA can look just as good as DVI or HDMI - I use a VGA cable to a 100 inch projector screen and the quality is very good - you couldn't tell it was different from digital unless you looked very closely.  If you have a bad or cheap cable or are not matching resolutions, it can appear distorted, but there's no theoretical reason why a VGA display should look any worse at even 24" than digital.
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 100 total points
ID: 37718784
you could look for a LED monitor, instead of LCD : http://www.samsung.com/sg/consumer/pc-peripherals-printer/monitor/led-monitor
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Author Comment

by:RupertA
ID: 37728574
Thanks to everyone. I am going to get cheap £299 laptop with hdmi out. And will get HDMI to DVI converter for a spare monitor with DVI that has just cropped up. Split points equally.
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