How to use a laptop as a desktop

Laptops are excellent portable devices, but unfortunately they often lack the desired screen size, have small keyboards and come standard with just a touch pad. While the portability feature is great, people may find themselves hunched over their laptop, squinting to see what is on the screen and fighting with the small keyboard. Fortunately, there is an affordable solution if you find yourself in need of a desktop, but want the portability of a laptop. Laptops are capable of being used with a TV or computer monitor, external keyboard and a mouse.

Laptops can be used as desktops by using any size flat screen TV or a computer monitor, connecting a keyboard (wired or wireless) and mouse (wired or wireless) to the laptop. They can be connected with a single cable via HDMI, Composite, S-Video, VGA, or DVI to a TV or monitor and used at home or the office just like a desktop.

  1. Verify that the type port you will be using on your laptop to connect to the TV/monitor has the same type port on the TV/monitor (HDMI, Composite, S-Video, VGA, or DVI).  Purchase the needed cable in the desired length.
  2. Power the laptop on and plug the keyboard (wired or wireless) and mouse (wired or wireless) into it. Allow the drivers to install and verify that both the external keyboard and mouse are functioning correctly.
  3. With the TV/monitor OFF connect the desired cable (HDMI, Composite, S-Video, VGA, or DVI) to it. Then connect the other end to your laptop. Turn the TV on and press the “Source” button on the remote or TV, then choose the proper port/type of connection you just made with your cable from the list on your TV/monitor screen (HDMI, Composite, S-Video, VGA, or DVI).
  4. You should now see exactly what is displayed on your laptop screen on your TV/monitor and be able to use the external keyboard and mouse you just connected to complete the “desktop” setup.
  5. Some laptops may require an additional step: Navigate to Windows Start button> Control Panel>Appearance and Personalization>Adjust screen resolution>select external monitor, projector or the name of the TV/monitor from the drop down list>OK. You may also need to adjust the screen resolution to the desired dimensions to view the icons and text the size that works best for you.

* Troubleshooting: If after completing the above steps you don’t see anything on your TV/monitor verify the cable is securely connected at both ends of the TV/monitor and laptop by gently pressing them into the TV and laptop ports again. Scroll back through the “source” list and make sure you have selected the correct port/type of connection. For example, HDMI 1 and HDMI 2 are two separate ports. If you are physically connected to the HDMI 1 port, but have selected HDMI 2 through the source list nothing will appear because you are instructing the TV to look for a device on HDMI port 2.

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Christine Otten

Christine is a Web & Graphic Designer and provides Technology Solutions. She is the Web Designer/Developer for the Republic-Times. She enjoys working, watching her kids compete, research and most all things electronic. Google +
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