Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?



  • I'm looking to build out two stations as follows:

    Docked laptop (screen not used)
    Dual 22" monitors
    typical desktop keyboard
    I'm tending to be a fan of DisplayPort these days - but really, there is no logic behind that, so I could be convinced toward almost anything at this point (DP, USB-C, HDMI).
    Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or

    I recently built a similar setup with a Surface Pro 6, Surface Dock, Logitech keyboard/mouse combo - huge exception, the SP6 has to be open (i.e. keyboard down in laptop mode, or folded under the back) for the docked solution to work, meaning the screen is on, and a third monitor.

    Unfortunately I didn't have time to attempt to get the docked solution to work without the monitor being on before I had to give the solution to the end user.
    Also, the direction was dictated by already owning the SP6.

    So I'm looking for someone who is using/has used a solution like this and they were happy with the results.



  • Well, so far, I have had mixed results with USB-C and Thunderbolt Docks from Dell. Mostly the WD-15. I have had some issues with external monitors losing signal and basically going back and forth every second. Also, some issues with getting a power warning when booting, despite having the properly sized adapter.

    Another thing to consider is the type of display ports and if the dock can support the desired resolution and refresh rates.



  • I have a number of users with Dell Latitudes (various models) and docks. A few are the older dock model, but most are the new USB-C style. They do not seem to have any issues using everything.

    They all have 1 or 2 monitors (their preference) hooked to the dock and a keyboard and mouse.

    I have a single location that has HP models like this. Their docks have been problematic. Replaced one dock 3 times in a year, warranty at least.



  • @JaredBusch said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    I have a number of users with Dell Latitudes (various models) and docks. A few are the older dock model, but most are the new USB-C style. They do not seem to have any issues using everything.

    They all have 1 or 2 monitors (their preference) hooked to the dock and a keyboard and mouse.

    I have a single location that has HP models like this. Their docks have been problematic. Replaced one dock 3 times in a year, warranty at least.

    Do they all use the same model of monitor? I am wondering if the docks don't like the HDMI on Asus 24 inch monitors that I have been buying for several years. I bought 2 Dell 24 inch that only have DP inputs, but they haven't been in service, due to the fact that they were mounted to monitor arms and then taken off the desk by someone else and put in a corner for 6 months.



  • I should note that I just got 3 new WD-19 USB-C docks to go with the same latitude models (7490). Hopefully, they will work better in my environment.



  • @Dashrender

    Dont get laptop, get Asrock A300 pair it with NVMe SSD like 970 EVO Plus, do firmware update before you start, and get the cheapest ryzen cpu you can get the Ryzen 3 2200 and pair that with 2 monitor setups and wow



  • @wrx7m said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @JaredBusch said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    I have a number of users with Dell Latitudes (various models) and docks. A few are the older dock model, but most are the new USB-C style. They do not seem to have any issues using everything.

    They all have 1 or 2 monitors (their preference) hooked to the dock and a keyboard and mouse.

    I have a single location that has HP models like this. Their docks have been problematic. Replaced one dock 3 times in a year, warranty at least.

    Do they all use the same model of monitor? I am wondering if the docks don't like the HDMI on Asus 24 inch monitors that I have been buying for several years. I bought 2 Dell 24 inch that only have DP inputs, but they haven't been in service, due to the fact that they were mounted to monitor arms and then taken off the desk by someone else and put in a corner for 6 months.

    Monitor models are all over the place. no issues with any monitors.

    I buy DP to HDMI cables from AmazonBasics to connect things as almost no monitors have a DP on them. But all of the computers and docks use DP now.



  • @Emad-R said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @Dashrender

    Dont get laptop, get Asrock A300 pair it with NVMe SSD like 970 EVO Plus, do firmware update before you start, and get the cheapest ryzen cpu you can get the Ryzen 3 2200 and pair that with 2 monitor setups and wow

    He obviously needs a laptop and dock. Not a desktop.



  • @JaredBusch said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    I have a number of users with Dell Latitudes (various models) and docks. A few are the older dock model, but most are the new USB-C style. They do not seem to have any issues using everything.

    They all have 1 or 2 monitors (their preference) hooked to the dock and a keyboard and mouse.

    I have a single location that has HP models like this. Their docks have been problematic. Replaced one dock 3 times in a year, warranty at least.

    It's interesting. The thread seems to mostly go the other direction, HP works well, Dell doesn't (docks at least).

    Of course, little else is actually expected.



  • @Emad-R said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @Dashrender

    Dont get laptop, get Asrock A300 pair it with NVMe SSD like 970 EVO Plus, do firmware update before you start, and get the cheapest ryzen cpu you can get the Ryzen 3 2200 and pair that with 2 monitor setups and wow

    As @JaredBusch already said - a laptop is a requirement for these users. They need the ability to leave their desk and have a computer in other areas of the company.

    I mean I could give them two setups, but that raises the price even move, Though considering the cost of a dock, it's not as much as I was originally thinking it would be.



  • @JaredBusch said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @wrx7m said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @JaredBusch said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    I have a number of users with Dell Latitudes (various models) and docks. A few are the older dock model, but most are the new USB-C style. They do not seem to have any issues using everything.

    They all have 1 or 2 monitors (their preference) hooked to the dock and a keyboard and mouse.

    I have a single location that has HP models like this. Their docks have been problematic. Replaced one dock 3 times in a year, warranty at least.

    Do they all use the same model of monitor? I am wondering if the docks don't like the HDMI on Asus 24 inch monitors that I have been buying for several years. I bought 2 Dell 24 inch that only have DP inputs, but they haven't been in service, due to the fact that they were mounted to monitor arms and then taken off the desk by someone else and put in a corner for 6 months.

    Monitor models are all over the place. no issues with any monitors.

    I buy DP to HDMI cables from AmazonBasics to connect things as almost no monitors have a DP on them. But all of the computers and docks use DP now.

    You'd think so - but oddly enough, when I was looking at Dell Mini desktop units, I couldn't get a dual DP setup from my vendor.



  • @JaredBusch said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @Emad-R said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @Dashrender

    Dont get laptop, get Asrock A300 pair it with NVMe SSD like 970 EVO Plus, do firmware update before you start, and get the cheapest ryzen cpu you can get the Ryzen 3 2200 and pair that with 2 monitor setups and wow

    He obviously needs a laptop and dock. Not a desktop.

    but this thing is in between, it is not desktop, it is really mini. you can easily carry it and work in another location if you have monitor on the other location + elec.

    Plus the performance per price and modularity is better than any laptop. Sometimes a new angle is good. This is my workstation in Canada.



  • @Emad-R said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @JaredBusch said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @Emad-R said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @Dashrender

    Dont get laptop, get Asrock A300 pair it with NVMe SSD like 970 EVO Plus, do firmware update before you start, and get the cheapest ryzen cpu you can get the Ryzen 3 2200 and pair that with 2 monitor setups and wow

    He obviously needs a laptop and dock. Not a desktop.

    but this thing is in between, it is not desktop, it is really mini. you can easily carry it and work in another location if you have monitor on the other location + elec.

    Plus the performance per price and modularity is better than any laptop. Sometimes a new angle is good. This is my workstation in Canada.

    LOL - I don't work at Google or Drop box where they have desks with mounted monitors anywhere for someone to simply attach to. Plus the idea of dragging a mouse and keyboard around with a desktop computer is beyond strange.

    thanks - but a laptop is really a requirement in this case.



  • Keep in mind that you're using displayport you can run several monitors off one output.
    Displayport is superior to hdmi anyway so always aim for DP.

    Small cheap consumer monitors don't have displayport but all the better ones have it. There are 55 monitors with displayport to pick from Dell.



  • @Pete-S said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    Small cheap consumer monitors don't have displayport but all the better ones have it. There are 55 monitors with displayport to pick from Dell.

    yeah, I've noticed this. yet DP normally only costs about $10 more per monitor, which is less than the $20 for the adapter when needed.

    In my case - I'm rarely replacing monitors though. It's common that monitors will last 3 generations of deployed CPUs ( 10+ years ) before being replaced.



  • @Pete-S said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    Keep in mind that you're using displayport you can run several monitors off one output.

    I know this, when I first deployed some HP mini desktop machines, they only had one DP port, but I needed to drive two monitors. This was a new setup, so I had to buy everything. I purchased two DP monitors, and had to buy a DP splitter (if you will) that provided two video outputs. I tried to purchase one again, and DAMN they are crazy expensive.

    I need to look into DP monitors that have a second port designed for daisy chaining... something I might do for this project.



  • @Dashrender said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @JaredBusch said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @wrx7m said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @JaredBusch said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    I have a number of users with Dell Latitudes (various models) and docks. A few are the older dock model, but most are the new USB-C style. They do not seem to have any issues using everything.

    They all have 1 or 2 monitors (their preference) hooked to the dock and a keyboard and mouse.

    I have a single location that has HP models like this. Their docks have been problematic. Replaced one dock 3 times in a year, warranty at least.

    Do they all use the same model of monitor? I am wondering if the docks don't like the HDMI on Asus 24 inch monitors that I have been buying for several years. I bought 2 Dell 24 inch that only have DP inputs, but they haven't been in service, due to the fact that they were mounted to monitor arms and then taken off the desk by someone else and put in a corner for 6 months.

    Monitor models are all over the place. no issues with any monitors.

    I buy DP to HDMI cables from AmazonBasics to connect things as almost no monitors have a DP on them. But all of the computers and docks use DP now.

    You'd think so - but oddly enough, when I was looking at Dell Mini desktop units, I couldn't get a dual DP setup from my vendor.

    How? It has been standard for years to have dual monitor output on even the smallest form factor. It used to be VGA + HDMI, but has been dual DP for a long time now.

    1A7762EE-25FA-47A7-AF64-AEA324CDDB12.jpeg
    2C87F33F-489E-4DC7-B55A-A7826A03F5FE.jpeg



  • @JaredBusch said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @Dashrender said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @JaredBusch said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @wrx7m said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @JaredBusch said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    I have a number of users with Dell Latitudes (various models) and docks. A few are the older dock model, but most are the new USB-C style. They do not seem to have any issues using everything.

    They all have 1 or 2 monitors (their preference) hooked to the dock and a keyboard and mouse.

    I have a single location that has HP models like this. Their docks have been problematic. Replaced one dock 3 times in a year, warranty at least.

    Do they all use the same model of monitor? I am wondering if the docks don't like the HDMI on Asus 24 inch monitors that I have been buying for several years. I bought 2 Dell 24 inch that only have DP inputs, but they haven't been in service, due to the fact that they were mounted to monitor arms and then taken off the desk by someone else and put in a corner for 6 months.

    Monitor models are all over the place. no issues with any monitors.

    I buy DP to HDMI cables from AmazonBasics to connect things as almost no monitors have a DP on them. But all of the computers and docks use DP now.

    You'd think so - but oddly enough, when I was looking at Dell Mini desktop units, I couldn't get a dual DP setup from my vendor.

    How? It has been standard for years to have dual monitor output on even the smallest form factor. It used to be VGA + HDMI, but has been dual DP for a long time now.

    1A7762EE-25FA-47A7-AF64-AEA324CDDB12.jpeg
    2C87F33F-489E-4DC7-B55A-A7826A03F5FE.jpeg

    I'm only telling you what my vendor of the moment had available.... perhaps they simply didn't have stock of dual DP devices.. and instead lied ans said they didn't make them...



  • @Dashrender said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @JaredBusch said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @Dashrender said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @JaredBusch said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @wrx7m said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @JaredBusch said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    I have a number of users with Dell Latitudes (various models) and docks. A few are the older dock model, but most are the new USB-C style. They do not seem to have any issues using everything.

    They all have 1 or 2 monitors (their preference) hooked to the dock and a keyboard and mouse.

    I have a single location that has HP models like this. Their docks have been problematic. Replaced one dock 3 times in a year, warranty at least.

    Do they all use the same model of monitor? I am wondering if the docks don't like the HDMI on Asus 24 inch monitors that I have been buying for several years. I bought 2 Dell 24 inch that only have DP inputs, but they haven't been in service, due to the fact that they were mounted to monitor arms and then taken off the desk by someone else and put in a corner for 6 months.

    Monitor models are all over the place. no issues with any monitors.

    I buy DP to HDMI cables from AmazonBasics to connect things as almost no monitors have a DP on them. But all of the computers and docks use DP now.

    You'd think so - but oddly enough, when I was looking at Dell Mini desktop units, I couldn't get a dual DP setup from my vendor.

    How? It has been standard for years to have dual monitor output on even the smallest form factor. It used to be VGA + HDMI, but has been dual DP for a long time now.

    1A7762EE-25FA-47A7-AF64-AEA324CDDB12.jpeg
    2C87F33F-489E-4DC7-B55A-A7826A03F5FE.jpeg

    I'm only telling you what my vendor of the moment had available.... perhaps they simply didn't have stock of dual DP devices.. and instead lied ans said they didn't make them...

    The service tag pictured:
    29a8e4d5-f668-4f31-bfde-de246d578072-image.png



  • We've got a bunch (~50 or more) WD15 docks deployed. Where we've seen them be flakey is if the user has multiple monitors and several power hungry USB devices plugged into the dock. Even with the bigger power supply on the dock (there are 2 or 3 wattages available IIRC) we've had to mandate some users to use the dock's power and their laptop's AC brick at the same time.

    I've been testing the WD19 with the 180W power and so far it's been solid for USB, network and audio. Haven't played with the video out options yet but I think it should be OK so long as all of the firmware updates have been done.



  • @Dashrender I agree DisplayPort is what you should use. No reason for hdmi here, its a lot more expensive and I'm sure you have seperate usb speakers.

    I have had several issues with the usb-c as well. Laptops were a mix of Latitude and Precision and Dell ultrasharp monitors.

    Our Surface Pro's seem to work well with our docks. I have one user with that setup I believe. She runs 2 monitors with the Surface and a dock.



  • @wrx7m said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    I have had some issues with external monitors losing signal and basically going back and forth every second.

    I've also had this exact issue.



  • @wrx7m said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    Do they all use the same model of monitor? I am wondering if the docks don't like the HDMI on Asus 24 inch monitors that I have been buying for several years.

    My configuration has been 2 seperate Dell Ultrasharp monitors using Display port



  • I haven't checked,.... does DP do 4k?
    My brother wants to do a home build and he has a 4k projector.



  • @scotth said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    I haven't checked,.... does DP do 4k?
    My brother wants to do a home build and he has a 4k projector.

    Yes. His 4K projector uses DP?
    https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/feature/digital-home/displayport-vs-hdmi-3535257/



  • @jmoore said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @wrx7m said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    I have had some issues with external monitors losing signal and basically going back and forth every second.

    I've also had this exact issue.

    Glad it isn't just me.



  • @wrx7m said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @scotth said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    I haven't checked,.... does DP do 4k?
    My brother wants to do a home build and he has a 4k projector.

    Yes. His 4K projector uses DP?
    https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/feature/digital-home/displayport-vs-hdmi-3535257/

    Dunno. I have to ask him.



  • @jmoore said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @Dashrender I agree DisplayPort is what you should use. No reason for hdmi here, its a lot more expensive and I'm sure you have seperate usb speakers.

    Nope - speakers are only needed for error noises, so no external speakers are deployed here.

    I have had several issues with the usb-c as well. Laptops were a mix of Latitude and Precision and Dell ultrasharp monitors.

    Our Surface Pro's seem to work well with our docks. I have one user with that setup I believe. She runs 2 monitors with the Surface and a dock.

    Surface Pro - How are you connecting the dock? Do you have the MS Surface Dock? Assuming MS Surface Pro, multi-monitors, and MS Surface Dock - is she able to not have the Surface Pro screen on? i.e. only a dual monitor while docked setup, instead of a triple?



  • @Dashrender said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @jmoore said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @Dashrender I agree DisplayPort is what you should use. No reason for hdmi here, its a lot more expensive and I'm sure you have seperate usb speakers.

    Nope - speakers are only needed for error noises, so no external speakers are deployed here.

    I have had several issues with the usb-c as well. Laptops were a mix of Latitude and Precision and Dell ultrasharp monitors.

    Our Surface Pro's seem to work well with our docks. I have one user with that setup I believe. She runs 2 monitors with the Surface and a dock.

    Surface Pro - How are you connecting the dock? Do you have the MS Surface Dock? Assuming MS Surface Pro, multi-monitors, and MS Surface Dock - is she able to not have the Surface Pro screen on? i.e. only a dual monitor while docked setup, instead of a triple?

    HDMI with the Kensington SD-7000 dock. I think thats the model. I do not know what happens with her monitors. I would ask but she's at a conference right now.



  • @Dashrender said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    @Pete-S said in Laptop setup - multiple monitors, etc - suggestions?:

    Keep in mind that you're using displayport you can run several monitors off one output.

    I know this, when I first deployed some HP mini desktop machines, they only had one DP port, but I needed to drive two monitors. This was a new setup, so I had to buy everything. I purchased two DP monitors, and had to buy a DP splitter (if you will) that provided two video outputs. I tried to purchase one again, and DAMN they are crazy expensive.

    I need to look into DP monitors that have a second port designed for daisy chaining... something I might do for this project.

    Another option is to just look into getting a larger monitor. 2 x 22" is not a huge amount of screen estate.

    You could for instance go with a 34" 21:9 like Samsung. Or just go with something bigger like a 40" 16:9 4K.


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