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Using 2 monitors with a laptop

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Hi Guys,


Just wondering if it is possible for a Dell E5420 to display on 2 external monitors both VGA connections - one monitor to be used as the desktop and one used as an extended desktop. The laptop screen will not be used and the lid closed.


The laptop has one VGA connection and one HDMI.


If I bought a HDMI to VGA cable, could I plug one monitor straight in to the laptop via VGA and use the HDMI to VGA cable to connect the other? or would that just display a clone image?


Thanks in advance.

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  • 4 months later...



My name is SUBHANKAR and I work for the Social Media and Community Team at Dell. Would like to request you to get a Y_cable that would have one port as HDMI & other two as VGI.


Connect the HDMI port with your laptop & the other VGI ports to the external monitors.


Hope that would resolve the issue and you need not have to spent a $.



DELL-Subhankar S.

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If I bought a HDMI to VGA cable ...

Alas, no such animal. You may have been thinking of DVI-A or DVI-I, both of which provide VGA-compliant signals, and can be connected to a VGA input using a simple, cheap adapter.


HDMI-to-VGA requires a converter that processes the digital signal to generate an analog output, such as




I have no idea what Subhankar means when referring to a "Y_cable that would have one port as HDMI & other two as VGI", or what you'd connect it to, for that matter. Analog video signals are simply unavailable from HDMI.

Edited by TomGL2
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Alas, no such animal

yes you can buy a hdmi to vga cable, here's one. :- http://www.amazon.com/HDMI-VGA-HD15-Male-Cable/dp/B001OLCHJ6


but like TomGL2 and 1 of the reviewers says, no good to most people, and you really do need a converter inbetween both the hdmi and vga connections, be that built into the cable or by a separate box like in TomGL2 link.

What everyone needs to understand here is that you need to research before you buy. This product is not meant to take a digitanl signal and allow you to connect to an analog display, or vica versa. This cable does not do a digital to analog, or analog to digital, converion. Most HDMI devices are going to be digital, while most VGA devices are going to be analog. You cannot connect the two with a cable. You have to actually convert the signal. This cable is meant for the very few devices that can actually output analog from the HDMI connector. This is very rare and you should pretty much always assume your HDMI connection cannot support analog, and your VGA connection cannot support digital.


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yes you can buy a hdmi to vga cable, here's one

This cable, and others like them, cannot make a real HDMI output to a VGA input connection work. The only reason this type of cable even exists is due to the bizarre choice of some manufacturers to use an HDMI port without generating HDMI signals, or complying in any way with the standard. If their need for a small, high-density connector was genuine, there are over a dozen alternatives that would never be confused with an HDMI connector.


Some very rare video cards can be reconfigured to output VGA signals to the HDMI port, and those can use an "HDMI connector to VGA connector" adapter or cable. But the cable doesn't do HDMI to VGA conversion — the video card disables the digtal output and reroutes the VGA signals to the HDMI connector. And those cards are very rare ...

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