11-21-2010 06:04 PM
I am looking for the simplest way to use 2 or 3 external monitors in "Extend" mode with my x201T-0831 docked to the Ultrabase 200 docking station. I don't need great resolution-just trying to keep organized with many projects using Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc-many windows open at once. Have VGA monitors but willing to purchase others if necessary. Would appreciate any help. Have found threads for other Lenovo models referring to third party products, but I can't tell what is best for the x201 for this type of need.
Thank you for any help!
Solved! Go to Solution.
11-21-2010 10:39 PM
11-22-2010 05:39 AM - edited 12-04-2010 08:43 PM
Thank you, JameZ.
I followed your links. As I look at the T410s ultrabase at http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-76519&selectarea=SUPPORT&tempsel..., it appears that the connectors are somewhat different between that Ultrabase and the one I have, the x200. On the T410 Ultrabase, there is one VGA port and two DVI ports. On the x200 Ultrabase, there is one VGA port at the back, next to one DisplayPort, and there are no DVI ports. The x201 tablet has a VGA port on the left side of the tablet itself, but I am going to assume that is disabled when the Tablet is docked in the x200 Ultrabase docking station.
I am going to start with the assumption that I need to get a second monitor connected to the Ultrabase docking station, and use the DisplayPort port to do that. Since I have extra VGA monitors on-hand, I am going to purchase the Lenovo DisplayPort to VGA (analog only) Monitor Cable part number 5794393 http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-70321. I will try to get two VGA monitors up and running in "Extend" configuration. I will report back on progress in next few weeks. Thank you.
Update and additional comments:
It is now Dec 3, 2010, twelve days after I began this reply. Additional steps taken:
1. I looked more closely at the two monitors I have, and both have DVI ports as well as VGA. I realized that most monitors, at least for the last five years, have this dual connector system-I have just used the VGA connector since that's what I've been doing since the 1980's and I never had a reason to learn about DVI. I decided that this was a good time to learn something new.
2. I ordered the DisplayPort to single-link DVI-D Monitor Cable http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:item.detail?...
I found this on the main Lenovo USA webpage by following links Shop>Accessories>Cables and Connectors. It was the fourth item displayed on the first page. Cost $27.13 including tax and shipping within US. Arrived today, so 12 days for order fulfillment. The Cable has Lenovo part number 45J7915. Of interest, the date of manufacture for the part is "2010-11-27" and shipping date 11/29 from China. This looks like something that could probably also be purchased at a major electronic supply store as well.
3. I followed instructions at http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-76519&selectarea=SUPPORT&tempsel..., kindly supplied by JameZ. I found it worked best to print out the 3 pages of instructions so that I didn't turn off the instruction images as I changed monitors.
4. I thought the instructions, intended for the ThinkPad T410s, were very clear and I just had to adjust my thinking slightly because the X200 Ultrabase has a different configuration for the connectors on the back edge. On the X200 Ultrabase, the blue VGA connector is left of middle when viewed from behind. There is only one DisplayPort connector rather than two, and it is a black (not white) receptacle just to the left of the blue VGA port.
5. After following the proper sequence listed in steps 1-4, I found that my monitor connected to the VGA port, designated as "Monitor 2", stayed black. I had an image on the Thinkpad x201T (listed as "monitor 1") and on the DVI monitor, listed as "Monitor 3". I was able to use the two monitors in Extend mode, so that I could drag the mouse arrow smoothly from one screen across to another.
6. I next went to the "Troubleshooting" step of this same "Setup Multiple Displays for ThinkPad T410s", specifically to the line:
" If you have followed steps 1 through 4, and one or more of your displays does not connect, then you need to edit the Display Screen Resolution. "
By right-clicking on the display screen, I was introduced to the excellent tool for configuring multiple monitors.
I had several stumbling blocks to work through, and my experience might be helpful to other readers:
a) I confirmed what others have said-I am only able to look at two monitors, not three, with this setup.
b) Display Screen Resolution is a misleading title for the window that appears when you have multiple monitors connected. A more accurate title would be "Configure multiple monitors- select Duplicate or Extend Mode, Designate which Monitor is the Main Monitor, Decide which monitors are connected and disconnected, and Set the Resolution of each Monitor" .
c) The configuration as I opened the Screen Resolution window showed the ThinkPad LED screen as Monitor 1, the VGA monitor as Monitor 2, and the DVI Monitor as Monitor 3. The physical layout on my desk, from left to right, was 2-3-1. The DVI monitor has a 22" screen, the VGA has 19", and I wanted the largest screen directly in front of my external keyboard and mouse. Display Screen Resolution screen pictorial showed the monitors layed out (from left to right) as 3-2-1, with 3 and 1 blue, (active) and 2 as grey (inactive). I got confused trying to drag the mouse from one screen to another at first-the mouse seemed to hit the left wall of the ThinkPad screen and and wouldn't move further left onto my larger monitor screen, which showed a desktop background just fine. I finally realized that if I moved the arrow toward the right wall of the ThinkPad, it moved smoothly onto the large monitor screen. The mouse arrow and screens were behaving as the Display Screen Resolution screen pictorial showed the monitors laid out (from left to right) as 3-2-1, not as I actually had them laid out physically on the my table. I had to fool around with dragging the images around in the Display Screen Resolution screen pictorial until that picture matched the actual physical layout.
d) I next had to select the left (VGA) monitor as the Main Monitor. I learned to follow the warning to push "Apply" with each individual step before going on to the next step.
e) Once I had de-selected the ThinkPad Screen as the Main Monitor, I was free to designate the ThinkPad screen as "Disconnect this Display".
f) Once the ThinkPad Screen was off, I was free to Select both Monitors 2 and 3 as active monitors in Extended Display Mode and move the mouse easily across the whole span from left edge of Monitor 2 (my left hand monitor) to the right edge of Monitor 3 (my center and largest monitor). Monitor 1, the ThinkPad screen, stayed grayed out.
g) A minor bug is that when I clicked the "Apply" button for each of these changes, nothing happened. I always had to click it a second time for Apply to engage. (I am using Windows 7 x64, updated weekly)
h) Another minor hurdle was that I had to set the best screen resolution for a monitor before I designated it as the Main Monitor. I got stuck a couple times with resolution too large, unable to see any icons or the Taskbar in Windows 7.
I) Now that I'm all set up with multiple monitors, my first experience, I realize that a smoother experience would be if all monitors were same screen size, aligned closely together at same height. With my current configuration, one monitor is 3" higher than the one next to it, and the resolution is different between the two screens. Mty eyes need to make two adjustments as I scan back and forth between the two screens.
Thanks to JameZ for his excellent help! He also has the same information posted at the T4190s site: http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/T400-T500-and-newer-T-series/How-do-I-setup-multiple-display-for-the-Thi...
11-23-2010 08:22 AM
12-21-2010 08:47 PM
Very helpful series of posts. Thank you. Has anyone tried hooking up both VGA and DisplayPort/HDMI from an x200 tablet base (for an x201t) to the SAME single external LCD monitor? I find the VGA provides the best resolution for viewing websites & text, but the DisplayPort/HDMI connection is a bit better than VGA for viewing dvd's (at least in terms of aspect ratios and less letter-boxing. However, I can't seem to find an appropriate utility for toggling between the two connections. Ideally, I'd like to leave both VGA & DP/HDMI cords connected to the base, but I find that when I have one connected and plug in the other, I invariably lose my signal on the external LCD monitor. Any better solution than plugging & un-plugging?