Aspire E5-521 - Did you manage to connect 2 monitors to your laptop

Hi

I have an Acer Aspire E5-521 for a while now. It is working great. I've been using it for work, along with an external monitor connected to the VGA port on the left-hand side of the laptop. Windows 10 is set to extend the desktop to this second monitor. This way, I have half of the desktop displaying on the native screen and the second half on the external monitor. Everything works great this way. Now I want to have a second external screen connected to the HDMI port of the laptop so my desktop would span on three screens (1/3 of the desktop on the native screen, 1/3 of the desktop on monitor 1 (VGA port) and 1/3 of the desktop on monitor 2 (HDMI port)). However it doesn't work. As soon as I connect the HDMI cable to the laptop, the screen connected to the VGA port turn black and only the HDMI port's screen display half of the desktop. If I disconnect the HDMI cable, the VGA's screen wakes up and display half of the desktop. I tried swapping both monitor (because both monitor are the exact same HP model with both VGA and HDMI input port) and the problem is still. I looked in Windows settings and find all 3 screens connected, when looking in "display settings" but there's always one screen disabled and I can't enable it or change the settings. It's greyed. AMD Control Center is no help either as it only let me change setting for the two monitors enabled. Seems like Windows is hiding the third "disabled" monitor to the graphics card driver. Looks like the laptop can't handle two external screen at the same time. Or at least, can't handle output from HDMI and VGA at the same time. Looking to the BIOS is no help either.

After a bit of Googling, it looks like I am not the only one having such problem but can't find any solution. I'm wondering if one of you already manage to have 2 external monitor displaying at the same time on a similar laptop.

Thank you

Best Answer

  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 29,860 Trailblazer
    Accepted Answer
    Yes, you can have 2 external monitors displaying at the same time with an HDMI or VGA hub. But sorry, not independently. In other words, they can mirror one another but not two different screens. Jack E/NJ
    Jack E/NJ

FAQ & Answers

  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 29,860 Trailblazer
    Accepted Answer
    Yes, you can have 2 external monitors displaying at the same time with an HDMI or VGA hub. But sorry, not independently. In other words, they can mirror one another but not two different screens. Jack E/NJ
    Jack E/NJ
  • frednorm2000frednorm2000 Member Posts: 3 New User
    I just tried to boot the laptop from a USB stick with live Ubuntu and I have the same behavior. I can't have two monitors displaying along the built-in screen of the laptop. Only one at a time but not together at the same time.

    Looks like it isn't an O/S issue but rather an hardware issue. The graphics card is not capable of displaying through VGA port and HDMI port at the same time ?!?! I found this odd since I found a few post on internet of people who claims to have two screens displaying at the same time. I'm wondering if I'm not missing something ...
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 29,860 Trailblazer
    >>> I found this odd since I found a few post on internet of people who claims to have two screens displaying at the same time>>>

    This might be possible with the E5-521G model since it has two GPUs. The E5-521 has only a single integrated GPU as part of the CPU. Sorry. However, as noted earlier, an HDMI or VGA hub can be used for connecting 2 or more external monitors. Jack E/NJ
    Jack E/NJ
  • frednorm2000frednorm2000 Member Posts: 3 New User
    What you say make sense.

    I now reach the point to consider an external adaptor. I ordered a USB to HDMI adaptor so I can connect one screen to this adaptor and another screen to the built-in HDMI outlet. This way I think that I'll be able to extend the display (instead of just mirroring the screen). We'll be set soon.

    Many thanks for your help !!
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 29,860 Trailblazer
    >>> I ordered a USB to HDMI adaptor >>>

    Sorry, this likely won't work either on your model. None of the USB ports are listed as supporting video out, either HDMI or DisplayPort. The USB ports only support data I/O. You can extend the laptop screen to an external monitor thru the HDMI port. But more than one external monitor on an HDMI hub will show the same extended screen. Jack E/NJ
    Jack E/NJ
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