Using a laptop with external monitor
NOTE: This thread is a general discussion thread about mobile computing and external video monitors/projectors/HDTVs and using all this equipment to work together. Users of Windows PCs, Macintoshes and other operating systems are welcome.
In this earlier thread, I opened a discussion on the use and ownership of the 11-inch Apple MacBook Air (MBA), an ultra-compact sub-notebook-class computer. In the course of that earlier thread, jmoz indicated using an MBA with an external monitor such as Apple's Thunderbolt display.
For several years up until March of 2013, I owned and occasionally carried a 15-inch non-retina Apple MacBook Pro (MBP) in a Horizontal Brain Cell stored in a Tom Bihn Super Ego briefcase. (I bought the Super Ego rig in 2009.) That March, the MBP suddenly died on me, leaving me in a lurch. I hurriedly bought a refurbished late-2012 Apple iMac desktop machine (iMac 13,1; 2.9 GHz Core i5, 8 GB RAM, MacOS 10.8, 1 TB HDD, external Apple SuperDrive). I commonly work with Microsoft Office, iPhoto and bookkeeping and mailing database tasks on my machine. I occasionally editing video and produce DVDs in Final Cut Studio and also perform desktop publishing duties in Adobe Creative Suite. I serve as an office and project manager for a small construction company that works in several communities. When I used the MBP, I occasionally did overhead presentations using a projector. I volunteered for a local safety course, co-taught by volunteers and a local state police trooper; part of the course included a safety demonstration/instruction video and a PowerPoint slideshow. I never used an external monitor in a desktop situation, though. The MBP never had an operating system newer than MacOS 10.6.8, and it was an older MBP, so it wasn't equipped to finesse projectors and monitors like the newer hardware and software can. I may buy a new laptop, possibly a MacBook Air (nothing definite there) down the road.
I started this new thread to re-focus on the use of laptop computers in connection with external displays. By external display, I mean primarily (thought by no means exclusively) desktop LCD or LED computer monitors (Apple's aforementioned Thunderbolt Display among them). Secondarily, I would also like to hear about what people have done with other video media such as HDTVs and projectors, among other possibilities. For those who use an iPad or other ultra-portable tablet computer, please indicate whenever you are referring to tablet use. If you use a laptop and a tablet together or alternating, please clarify this as well.
Some questions to start things off:
- Are you a business "road warrior", a casual mobile professional, or simply a private individual who is into mobile computing? What do you get out of mobile computing.
- What kind of laptop do you use? Please give general specs, product name, and brief general description.
- Do you use your laptop computer as your primary PC machine? If you use the laptop as a satellite machine and a separate desktop or office workgroup computer solution as a kind of "mothership", please clarify this.
- What kind of software applications do you use on your laptop? At the "mothership"? On your tablet? Do you do alot of public or group presentations using PowerPoint, Keynote, iPhoto or some movie player? If so, please articulate?
- What kind of bag/case/rig do you carry your laptop and other gear around in? Any Tom Bihn bags, pouches, caches, Brain Cells or other accessories?
- What kind of adaptors/rig/special equipment do you commonly use/carry with you to connect your laptop computer to your desktop monitor?
- What kind of rig/special equipment do you commonly use/carry with you to connect your laptop computer to a projector? Is this part of your presentation toolbox?
- If you use a laptop and a tablet together or in alternation, do you feed your tablet data via your laptop, or from some other source? What software do you use?
Thanks in advance for your participation!