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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Can I connect my Dell external monitor


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rpg51

 
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to my MacBook Air? How?

And can I run my MBA closed with external keyboard and mouse?
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What connectors does the dell monitor have, DVI, VGA?

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You can indeed run the Air with the lid closed and a keyboard attached. Here's Apples list of supported machines and a few tips. Apple Portables: How to use your computer in closed clamshell (display closed) mode with an external display

As far as the monitor is concerned you probably can. What type of connections are on the back of the monitor (DVI, HDMI, VGA,etc).

Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

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The monitor has DVI and VGA connectors. Is there a way to connect to my air?
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There are adapters that allow you to connect either DVI or VGA monitors to the Mac Book Air Thunderbolt port. They are available from Apple as well as from a number of vendors such as Mini DisplayPort | Thunderbolt to DVI Adapter | Mini DisplayPort to HDMI / DVI / VGA Adapters.

I don't think that particular adapter supports Dual Link DVI. If your monitor is dual link it might be worth checking with them for one that works.

Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

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So this has got me thinking about resolution issues - how can I determine the maximum screen resolution on my mba?

The reason I ask is this - I am running an older windows desktop in my home office with two dell monitors (ultra sharp 19 inch I believe) and I am considering whether to just dump the windows machine (I'm enjoying the apple experience) and use my mba as my only machine. It looks like running dual monitors is clunky with the mba. So maybe a single bigger monitor (24 or 27) is the best solution? Or maybe not - don't know enough to asses the options. Plunking down $900 for the apple 27 inch is too much for me to contemplate right now but I suppose that might be the thing to do. Will the mba run the apple 27 inch successfully? Could i use that big apple monitor with my windows desktop? Lots of questions here - just sort of thinking out loud. Sorry for the rambling.

I should say that my use is the typical browsing and e mail, streaming music, and a LOT of legal writing using word processor with other windows open containing source materials such as on line research materials and pdf's displayed, that sort of thing. I would like to be able to have a nice big full page word document that I am working on displayed in the middle of my view with nice big source material windows off to the sides.
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What is it that you are finding clunky about using the Air with an external monitor. I use one with my MB Pro with no significant issues. Here are some tips that resolves some of the common problems
ATPM 14.12 - How To: Taming the Two-headed Monster: Using Two Monitors With Your Mac

The maximum resolution depends a bit upon exactly which AIr you have. Tech specs for the current model says it supports up to 2560 by 1600 on an external monitor.

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I see how to run ONE external monitor - but is there an easy way to attach TWO external monitors to a MBA? Note my MBA specs to the left.

I have been poking around reading and watching reviews of the Thunderbolt Display and I am beginning to think it matches up very well with the MBA and probably is the way I should go. Have to save up some $. One nice thing is that it will connect all the peripherals I need including a power source for the MBA and even a wired network connection with just two small connectors, (apple power connector and thunderbolt connector. It eliminates the docking station concept and makes it so that use of my MBA as my only computer is practical. I can eliminate all the problems of running two computers and especially one windows computer and one mac. Not to mention the display quality is quite good. Seems like this is exactly the sort of thing I have been wishing for over the years and I've just sort of stumbled into it without realizing it. This text and video review was very enlightening and helpful - AnandTech - The Apple Thunderbolt Display Review
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There are several products that allow attachment of another monitor. I reviewed one for ATPM a while ago. In essence I had one monitor connected to the video port on my MacBook Pro and one monitor attached through this external device to the usb port. worked nicely with only a few limitations. ATPM 15.08 - Review: OWC USB 2.0 Display Adapter.

There are several of these devices available now. Including one that I think lets you attach two external monitors with the one device. If you are thinking about one of these devices do your homework. They may not all have the limitation this one did at the time. It wasn't a big issue for me and may not be for you.

Note that in the review when I had two screens attached one was by VGA. That was because of the gear I had available not because of a limitation of the device.

EDIT I got curious about whether you could run both externals off of Thunderbolt (you can't). In the process of searching I ran across Use Two or Three External Displays with the MacBook Air (or any Mac)

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Thanks for those links. This might fall within my definition of "clunky", but maybe not others. If it were $30 I'd buy it on the spot but at $100.00 I'll wait until I have made a decision about the Thunderbolt Display. I did run out and buy a thunderbolt to DVI adapter and I am using it now. Works well. But running my MBA right next to my Dell monitor really makes the Dell look awful. So, I think I'll limp along as is using the MBA with the Dell until I have the $ put together for the Thunderbolt Display and hold off on the $100 USB to DVI adapter - use that money for the Thunderbolt. I figure with that and the savings on the second power supply for the MBA (included with the Thunderbolt) I've already got about $200 in the bank toward the Thunderbolt. At least that is how I rationalize it!
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The device that I reviewed has come down a bit since I wrote that. Here's one from another manufacturer for less than $50. NewerTech NWTVIDU2DVIA (*) USB to HD Display... in stock at OWC

From your specs it looks like you have the current 2011 Air with Intel HD Graphics 3000. If so, it supports an external monitor resolution up to 2560 by 1600. To check if this is correct do the following:

!. From the Apple menu in the Upper left of the screen select About This Mac.
2. In the next window select More information. When the next window appears it will likely be in overview mode.
Look at the graphics section n the right side of the window.

EDIT: If my review made the device I used seem clunky it really wasn't once I figured out where to hide the device and cable on my desk.

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Yes I do have the HD Graphics 3000 so I guess I'm all set. I am tempted to try that usb altenative. Do you think that I will be able to run two external monitors, side by side, such that I can move windows back and forth between them?
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When I wrote the review I had two externals attached briefly just to see if it could be down. If I remember correctly moving windows to either of the externals was no problem. I know it works with one external I do it all the time.

I am hoping these devices have fixed the OpenGL issue noted in the review where monitors attached to these types of devices do not display certain OpenGL dependent things correctly.

That shouldn't be an issue for most of what you are doing but it does show up in some iPhoto and Keynote effects for example. The solution is to put programs that need those effects on either the MB Air screen or the external that is attached to the computer's monitor port.

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I've been thinking on this quite a bit. I went down to best buy this morning and checked out the 27 inch Thunderbolt Display they have set up with a Macbook Pro down there. That thing is gorgeous. Puts my dual dell monitor set up to shame. I know some folks have had difficulties with the display function in certain situations but after reading though a number of threads I came to the conclusion that given my use I am not likely to have problems. I decided to order one. It will be here in a week or so. We'll see.
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Color me jealous. let us know how you like it.

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