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Adding a Monitor & Keyboard to your Laptop

peoplewithlaptop.gifMore and more people are purchasing laptop computers for use as their main computers. This gives you many portability options, but sometimes you might like the convenience that a desktop computer with a full keyboard and screen offers. Here's a tip on how to turn your laptop into a desktop-like computer.

peoplewithlaptop.gifIf you purchased a laptop to use as your main computer, you probably love the portability that it offers, but you may miss your desktop computer's big screen and full keyboard. No problem. You can make your laptop act just like a desktop.

Some laptops come with docking stations which let you plug in a monitor, keyboard and mouse and then simply slide the laptop into the device.

However, these are costly and you really don't need them. Instead, you can simply run the cable from any monitor to the monitor port on the laptop and plug a keyboard and/or mouse into the USB ports. If the picture doesn't automatically appear on the big screen, look for the Function keys at the top of the laptop keyboard. These will be market F1, F2, F3, etc. One of these is the key that controls where the picture is presented: on the laptop, on the monitor, or both. This key is usually marked with the picture of a monitor or a square screen. Press the key marked Fn which is usually on the bottom left side of the laptop keyboard. Hold down that key while pressing the proper Function key at the top. You will then be able to control where the picture is shown.

Most keyboards and mice will work almost immediately after you plug them into the laptop.

Several companies also make small devices that are similar to docking stations in that you can leave the monitor, keyboard, and mouse plugged into the device and simply attach the laptop to the device. Different companies call these devices by different names, some calling them docking ports or port replicators. Be aware that the prices of these types of devices vary greatly.