Dual monitors for dual Airs (Rev B and Rev E latest)?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by smileman, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. smileman, Dec 30, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011

    smileman macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2011
    There are a couple other threads on Airs and dual monitors but after reading them I'm a little confused and didn't see one addressing the idea of a dual external monitor setup for two Airs of different vintages.

    I've also never tried to setup a dual monitor system before. Below are the details, any thoughts and suggestions would be extremely helpful!

    The Airs:

    We have two Airs in our household: a rev B Air (acquired autumn 2008, 1.83 ghz dual core, 9400 Nvidia) and the latest Air (acquired Dec. 2011, 1.7ghz SandyBridge, Intel integrated graphics).


    The main use would be side-by-side document/website use. I don't do any gaming.

    I would ideally like to have a setup with two relatively small (15"-17" or so), tall (not wide) external monitors, wireless keyboard/mouse, and put the Airs in clamshell mode (although I think I read somewhere that this can cause the Air to overheat).

    An alternative which I'm not as excited about for some reason is one larger monitor. For whatever reason the idea of having separate documents or websites on separate monitors seems to feel better for me. Maybe it's also because I would like to use the monitors in tall rather than wide mode to view more of a long document or tall website. But I've never worked with dual monitors, or a large monitor for that matter, so I'm speculating here.


    I'm a cash strapped graduate student so budget is a very important factor.


    1. First, is it true that the newest Air can't really drive two independent monitors, just one external and the Air's own monitor?

    2. Can my Rev B Air with the Nvidia 9400 graphics chip drive two separate monitors?

    3. Is there a dual monitor solution that would work well for both Airs, or would it best to either a) get one large monitor or b) get a separate computer to do the job?

    4. Any suggested monitor models? What cables, etc. will I need given my Rev B's older display port (no audio routing I believe) and Rev E's Thunderbolt?

    5. And if I decide that I can't live without dual external monitors, since cost is a big factor should I be considering (cough) Windoze?

    Thank you!
  2. smileman thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2011
  3. johnhurley macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2011
    You can get a pretty nice 20 inch or 23/24 inch 1920 x 1080 LCD monitor for US dollar range 150 and under.

    I would try that first ... I have an acer 23 inch that works just fine using with my new mba 2011. I use both screens and it does not bother me at all the different sizes and heights.
  4. TheJing macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2011
    Somewhere in Europe
    I hate two external monitors hooked up to my Pro but it also works on my Air.

    One is just connected to the display port with the VGA adapter as any external screen would be. The second one is hooked up via a USB-VGA adaptor with an external graphics card in it. And the actual screen of the computer works fine as well.

    One little thing though, when using mission control it's kinda slow. Not laggy but kinda slow. Not a big issue since I don't really need mission control when I have 3 monitors.

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