Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

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carum carvi
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Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by carum carvi » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:49 pm

I want to ask if there are any pitfalls in general I should watch out for when buying a 5 to 10 year old secondhand laptop that has to be connected to my brand new EIZO EV2451 monitor?

My monitor has got all the connections one could want: usb 3.0 (up and download), HDMI 2.0, Displayport 1.2, DVI-D and D-sub. So connecting it wont be an issue. But are there troubles to be expected if one tries to attach a 10 year old laptop to a new monitor?

I wanna use LM19 Tara as OS. I wanna use 1920 by 1080 resolution. 60 Hz refresh rate.

I just wanna be sure I am not overlooking something when buying a 5 to 10 year old laptop for connecting to a brand new monitor? Any brands of laptops that work better with linuxmint in this particular case?

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BG405
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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by BG405 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:53 pm

I can't imagine there being any issues. If the resolution set on the machine isn't supported for some reason, the monitor will just display an "out of range" message or such.
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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by carum carvi » Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:09 pm

Thanks for reassuring me.

Now all I have to do is look out for an old laptop with either HDMI or DVI-D connection.

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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by lsemmens » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:00 pm

Depends upon where you are Carum Carvi, you might be able to pick up a secondhand laptop at an auction house. Often they have ex-govt laptops up for sale and you can pick up a reasonably specced machine for a good price.
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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by carum carvi » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:53 pm

lsemmens, I have been looking for some old laptops online yesterday, but to my surprise almost none had an hdmi connection. I was looking at 7-12 year old laptops though. Maybe I expected to much from an old laptop.

Especially Dell wasnt very forthcoming with HDMI connections. All those old notebooks usually only offered a VGA connection. I want digital, not analogue connection though.

Then I read about adapters that could connect USB to HDMI. Dont know what the quality of those connections are. I am rather fussy about a good picture quality. Have to use it alot. Wont wanna ruin my eyes.

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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by BG405 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:01 pm

carum carvi wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:53 pm
Especially Dell wasnt very forthcoming with HDMI connections.
I'm a bit surprised by that as my ancient Dell Inspiron 1525 has one. Maybe include "hdmi" & perhaps also "multimedia" in your search terms and / or try a different search engine?
carum carvi wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:53 pm
All those old notebooks usually only offered a VGA connection. I want digital, not analogue connection though.
I use the VGA output for my primary monitor & HDMI (via HDMI⟷DVI adaptor lead) for the secondary monitor & can not tell the difference in image quality.
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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by lsemmens » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:01 pm

BG405 wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:01 pm
carum carvi wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:53 pm
Especially Dell wasnt very forthcoming with HDMI connections.
I'm a bit surprised by that as my ancient Dell Inspiron 1525 has one. Maybe include "hdmi" & perhaps also "multimedia" in your search terms and / or try a different search engine?
carum carvi wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:53 pm
All those old notebooks usually only offered a VGA connection. I want digital, not analogue connection though.
I use the VGA output for my primary monitor & HDMI (via HDMI⟷DVI adaptor lead) for the secondary monitor & can not tell the difference in image quality.
+1

I run dual monitor setups on a couple of my machines currently VGA & HDMI, but in the past DVI and VGA, and none of them show any real advantage over the other for general use. Typically the issue with image quality is the native resolution of the monitor and the refresh rate.
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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by carum carvi » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:51 pm

BG405 and Lsemmens, I am as surprised as you are. I only base my experience in different quality of connections on 1 monitor I used to have. First that particular monitor was connected with VGA. Then it was connected with a new Hdmi cable. And the sharpness of the picture quality increased significantly.

I must admit that I am real fussy about picture quality. The smallest deviations can irritate me beyond belief. A VGA connected monitor can still have beautiful colors and a warm look, but the positive difference in sharpness of the picture with a Hdmi connection made me never wanna go back to VGA.

It is rather baffling for me to read that you guys dont see any difference between a VGA and a Hdmi connected monitor. Maybe you should try connecting the SAME monitor with different connections back to back? Maybe then the difference will be better noticeable ?

As far as Dell laptops with Hdmi connections are concerned I havent searched extensively yet. I would like to buy one, because they are "Linux friendly". I have been looking at old Thinkpads as well. But I just want a really cheap one. And those cheaper old laptops cut connections unfortunately.

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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by lsemmens » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:58 pm

My Cheap laptop Core2 duo was created when windwoes 8 was king and has both VGA and HDMI outputs. The Lappy prior to that (early Windoze 7) also has both, I don't think you'll find many that don't.
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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by BG405 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:06 am

My Inspiron 1525, an abandoned repair job I found behind the sofa, had Vista on it originally! Guess how long that lasted .. :roll:

As for the monitors, they are identical in my case; both ex-office Asus models.
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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by carum carvi » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:40 am

Thanks to your tips about Dell I decided to google a bit more for Dell with Hdmi conncetion and I was succesful this time around. I hadnt been looking good enough before.

Only the price for these secondhand laptops is holding me back now: 100 euros for a 10 year old laptop, naaah that doesnt make me delighted to start buying. Especially since there is always the possibility of a minor defect that wasnt mentioned. Will search a bit more to see if I can find something for 50-75 euros in my hometown, so I can see the product before I buy.

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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by AndyMH » Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:58 pm

I've got an 'old' laptop, several in fact, but the daily driver is a thinkpad T430. This is driving an ultra-wide 2560x1080 monitor with no problems (or none that I've not been able to resolve). In addition to VGA output it also has displayport and is connected to the monitor via a displayport to HDMI cable. My last company laptop (now retired - me not the laptop!) was a dell, also displayport output but with no VGA.

I paid £125 approx 150 euros for my last T430. If you are seriously looking at sub 100 euros you will probably only find laptops with VGA output.
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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by BG405 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:02 pm

If you ask around it's possible you'll find someone with a laptop with a dead display. It is usually the cable in the hinge, which is fixable, but you could do as I did & simply remove the monitor section if you only want external display device(s). These can, if you are lucky, be had for free. I have a pile of laptops given to me with dead displays, which still otherwise work :mrgreen:
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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by lsemmens » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:33 pm

Laptops with dead displays! :D THe machine I am now typing on is just such a one!, it's not dead yet, but very close! I managed to knock it off a table and broke the left hand hinge. OF course that damaged the LCD so on the left had side I have a 1cm wide white line and lots of little lines across the bottom. New lappy to be purchased on Friday (I hope). Currently the hinge is being held in place by two small metal plates bolted together to sandwich it all in place. I could just plug in an external monitor or two, but it defeats the purpose of it being a laptop, and I already have more than enough desktop systems.
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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by carum carvi » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:28 pm

AndyMH, BG405 and Lsemmes, your tips in buying old laptops are eyeopeners for me! Never thought of looking for dead displays before, but that is a wonderful profitable tip!

Makes my chance way much bigger in finding a laptop with Hdmi or Displayport at a price below 100 euro. (or even below 50, or even for free as one of you mentioned!)

Just out of curiosity, where did you guys get your second hand laptops? Through ebay etc and sent to you by postal delivery? Or from your local town so you can see the product before you buy? I have never bought second hand via postal delivery. Buying without seeing the product makes me nervous about defects I dont know about. But maybe I am just overly cautious.

With renewed vigour I am gonna look online in search for dead displays. Great tip!

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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by AndyMH » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:38 pm

All thinkpads, most from tier1online here in the uk and a couple off ebay. Have replaced the display on a T410, one advantage of thinkpads - parts are readily available, but check prices first if you are looking to keep overall costs down.
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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by BG405 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:23 pm

carum carvi wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:28 pm
Just out of curiosity, where did you guys get your second hand laptops?
I'll have to admit to having a possibly unfair advantage as I'm well known round here for being into computers (I usually have my Acer with me at the local watering holes) & am occasionally offered old laptops for free. They're normally useful for spares even if nothing else. :)
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Re: Tips or warnings when connecting a brand new external monitor to a very old laptop

Post by lsemmens » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:43 pm

I thought I had mentioned it, but I often purchase stuff at live auctions. Have a look in your local paper, or, if you know your local auction houses, their websites. The usually list forthcoming auctions with the catalogue a few days ahead of time. You can then go in and inspect prior to the auction. Set yourself a limit on what you are prepared to pay, BE PREPARED TO WALK AWAY if it goes over your limit. I'm heading to town for an auction tomorrow, most of the systems available are better specced than my "best" system so I should get a bargain. :D

One of the items is a server with (According to their specs) 8 x 10TB drives in it. (Probably going to go for way more than I am willing to spend, but, you never know your luck in a big city :D)
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