In the good old days things were simple, manufacturers state clearly what they are selling and I know exactly what I am buying. But now it is totally confusing, compounded by the lack of documentation.
I have a Dell Inspiron 15R 5520 (see service tag 5KX9DS1 for the detailed BOM). It has an analog component video DB15 port (aka VGA) and a HDMI port. The LCD panel is full HD 1920x1080. All this time, I have been using Extended Desktop on Windows 8 with an external Samsung monitor (1680x1050) using the analog video port.
I have just discovered that Device Manager reports that I have two Display adapters:
Do I really? That's good news. What do two display adapters mean? Which one is doing what? Can I now connect two external monitors?
If I go to Display Screen Resolution and click Detect three possible displays show up:
When I click on that grayed out one, Display box says "Available display output on: Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000." as shown above.
To cut a long story short, can I hook up a second external monitor? If so, how?
Your system features a technology called switchable graphics which allows your system to have two video controllers and use them according to your video processing and power usage needs. You can check this article for more information on this feature:
This may not imply that your system will be able to use 3 active video displays simultaneously. You should check with your laptop manufacturer directly to see what your system is able to support.