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W500 Docking stations and dual displays

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Started ‎09-26-2010 by
Modified ‎01-10-2011 by
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W500 Docking stations and dual displays

Question

I have a 4061-32u w500 and am trying to determine which docking stations other than the usb port replicator are compatible. 

Answer

The W500 supports, the advanced mini dock (2504) and Advanced dock (2503), you can also use the usb digital video port replicator (but the video bandwidth is limited if you use a WUXGA LCD with video playback).

 

ThinkPad Advanced Mini Dock<--- Advanced mini dock 2504

 

<--- Advanced dock 2503

 

 

The ThinkPad Advanced Mini Dock, which is compatible and works well with the W500 and an external LCD screen connected to the dock's VGA socket. (The advanced mini dock have dvi and vga ports, and advanced dock have dvi, vga and pci express slot for additional PCIe graphics card for total of 4 monitor support).

 

Switching graphics with dual displays works just as you would expect: both screens flicker for 5-10 seconds, the external display briefly displays "No Signal", and then everything comes back using the chosen graphics chipset.

 

|if you want to use two external monitors (connected to the vga and dvi port on the dock) with the advanced mini dock, you must use the ATI graphics card, the intel graphic mode only supports vga out on the dock|.

 

I use two steps to set up multiple displays: Use the blue Fn key plus F7 to choose whether you want to duplicate or extend the desktop; then use the "Screen Resolution" menu entry on the desktop context menu to open the Control Panel with that name. There you can rearrange the display order of  multiple screens to correspond to their physical place on your desk, adjust their resolutions, and duplicate/extend/confine the Windows desktop to any of them.

 

 

 

If you select "Advanced Properties" link on that control panel, you'll get the standard multiple tab advanced options dialog for the monitor selected on the graphic or drop-down list of display devices.

 

I've tested the dock's USB connections with external disks and there are no surprises there either.

 

According to Lenovo page on "ThinkPad Digital Video Interface (DVI) and DVI Pass-Through", a VGA and DVI-D may be simultaneously connected on this Mini Dock, but then the W500's own screen is disabled.

The switchable graphics menu is a part of the Power Manager menu obtained by right clicking on the Power Manager Taskbar icon.

 

switchable graphics.jpg

 

If you don't have the switchable graphics menu, then possibly your Lenovo Video drivers and/or the power manager have been incorrectly installed. Maybe reinstallation of those two packages will help.