Notebook with extra monitors?

I'm about to buy a notebook to run SW, considering a zd8000 or dell m70
(or any suggestions?)
I don't care that much about weight. I'm new to notebooks: Can I plug
the notebook into an external monitor and have both the computer's
monitor and the external monitor on at the same time? Would I be able
to see different SW windows on each monitor? How about adding 2
external monitors?
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Of course Dell and HP are the safe bets, but you'll never have the best available if you stay safe.
Earlier this summer there was a pretty good discussion in this ng about some heavy duty "portables", which at about 13 lbs barely qualify as laptops. There is a common chassis that several manufacturers build around, such as Boxx, Alienware, Sager, M-tech, Hypersonic, Eurocom, etc. M-tech is getting ready to put out a laptop configured with this heavy duty chassis with an AMD processor
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either dual core or FX57 single core.
Any of these will likely set you back about US $ 4k, but should give good tower results in a portable form factor.
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I'm doing basically what you describe right now with a Dell M70 notebook and docking station. When on the docking station, my desktop monitor becomes the primary monitor and the laptop monitor is the secondary monitor. It switches automatically and each monitor has its own resolution.
When I unplug the notebook from the docking station, the display (obviously) switches back over to the notebook. Plug back in to the docking station, and it reverts back to the two-monitor setup.
I don't have two different SolidWorks windows open at the same time though. I'm pretty sure that you can't drag a SW window out of a SW session, so you'd have to stretch SolidWorks across both monitors and tile windows. Yuck.
I'd go with the Dell... partly because I can verify that it works as you describe, and also because it performs flawlessly with SolidWorks.
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Brian M
In addition to everything else with the Dell's laptops, you can get advanced warranty with which Dell guarantees on site repairs within 24 hours.
I've had a couple things happen & they were fixed in well less than 24 hours. I use only on Win XP box & I don't like the thought of buying a "backup M70", so I keep only one Dell & the extended warranty & that has served me well.
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Thanks Brian,
Is it possible to view the 2nd image on the other monitor without connecting to the docking station? Also, what's your feeling about the amount of heat the machine generates? Do you ever use it on your lap, or is it just to hot? How's the screen itself? Is it possible to see well in a bright room? How about outdoors?
Brian M wrote:
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It has a standard 15-pin D-sub to connect an external monitor. It works fine to view the same display on an external monitor, but I haven't tried to set it up to show two different displays. (I don't use it much.)
I haven't actually tried using it on my lap, but given the relatively short battery life, I suspect that it would get uncomfortably warm.
It's a nice LCD display that looks good in bright room light, but is very hard to read on a relatively bright cloudy day in Oregon. On a bright, sunny day I doubt that it would be usable.
Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"
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Jerry Steiger
I don't know if it's possible or not without the docking station--I haven't tried it, but I can't see why it wouldn't work. I know for sure that you can hook up to an external monitor and view on two screens, but I don't know if you can do separate resolutions. If I were a betting man, I'd bet that you could.
I haven't used it on my lap--and I haven't used it hardcore yet while on battery, but in my experience so far it hasn't gotten unbearably hot. I have a Toshiba at home which is known for its 'hot spot' and I can't imagine that the Dell would get much hotter.
I got the highest resolution possible (WUXGA display at 1900 x 1200) and it looks great except that by default the text is so small it's almost unbearable. I used Windows advanced settings to bump up the font, and ClearType to make it easier on the eyes--now I'm happy with it. If I had to purchase again, I would have went down a level in resolution.
The screen looks great in a bright room, and is okay outdoors on default settings. It switches to 'long-life' power saving settings when on battery--if you're outside you can switch it back to full power and brighten the screen, but you'll sacrifice battery life.
If you plan on doing a lot of work while on battery, I'm pretty sure you can get a second battery for it.
As laptops and SolidWorks go, I really feel that the Dell M70 is the way to go right now.
Hope that helps! Thanks,
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Brian M

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