When you’re home or in the office, you have ample space for multiple monitors. But when you’re travelling, your regular screen just might not cut it. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult at all to add more screen space to your laptop, even if there’s no built-in display output.
There are numerous ways to extend your screen, which we’ll be looking at below. Specifically, we’ll be looking for ways that require minimal additional hardware. There are many hardware options available to buy, but of course, you don’t want to break the bank. If you have a second monitor or an iPad free, you can get more out of your screens with only a small amount of extra work.
Use Your Laptops External Display Connectors
Some laptops feature a dedicated port that connects to a second built-in monitor. These may resemble typical ports you’re familiar with, like HDMI. More often, however they’re smaller versions you won’t recognise. If there’s one you don’t, find out if you can connect it to a display.
Repurposing Your Tablet
If you happen to own a tablet, you can use it as a second monitor without needing to purchase an entirely new display. Apple’s Sidecar is integrated into Mac’s operating system and enables iPads to connect through either a lightning cable or USB-C to extend your desktop.
If you’re not an exclusive Apple user, there are third-party apps that can help you to achieve the same thing. One example is DuetDisplay that enables you to connect iOS or Android tablets to Windows or Mac devices. If you’re someone who mixes platforms, this is a more robust method.
Connect to a USB port
If your laptop lacks a dedicated display connector, you always have the option of using a USB connection. In particular, USB-C can connect monitors just as easily as they connect to your phone or a portable hard drive. These often only require a cable connected between the port and your monitor.
If your laptop doesn’t have any USB-C ports, the old USB port style can work. An external hub can not only give your computer additional USB ports, but you can also connect displays via HDMI, and even add an ethernet connection. This model is a useful one if you need additional ports to hook up the peripherals you already use at work.
Put Your Phone to Work
The odds are high that you have a smartphone or tablet on your desk or in your pocket when you work from home. You’ll almost certainly include one in your travel setup for your next trip. Depending on what it is you need to do at work, you could use your phone for some of the tasks on your to-do list, so you won’t need to use a different monitor at all. In this case, a wireless charger or a stand to prop up your phone and keep in sight can be sufficient.
If you receive numerous emails during the day, for example, it might be better to use your phone to work out which require your attention. If you receive an email, you can archive or simply ignore, you only need to tap a button.
Some monitors are specifically designed to be secondary laptop displays. such as the Duex Pro attached to the back of your laptop. Whenever you need it, you can slide it out to the side, then simply slide it right back in once you’ve finished. This can be a great space saver, and it’s a display you can easily take with you when you travel. This option is best for certain uses, such as gaming. So if you’re looking for the best portable monitors for gaming, taking this option into account would be a wise move for a second screen.