Laptops forum

General discussion

VGA input for laptop (to able to use it as a monitor)

by Sevilla69 / January 8, 2006 5:17 AM PST


is there any way that I could use my Acer Aspire laptop as a monitor for my desktop pc?


Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: VGA input for laptop (to able to use it as a monitor)
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: VGA input for laptop (to able to use it as a monitor)
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Where is that VGA input connector?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 8, 2006 5:53 AM PST

I've yet to see such on any laptop in decades. That is, I've never found such a feature.


Collapse -
There IS a solution!
by Sevilla69 / January 8, 2006 7:17 PM PST

Meanwhile I found a nice workaround:

There is a software called Maxivista which allows me to use a computer as a monitor.

From their webpage:

"MaxiVista turns any spare PC into an extra monitor for your primary PC. No extra hardware required. You can seamlessly extend program windows across multiple screens like it would be a single big monitor. Increase your productivity now by using multiple monitors"


Collapse -
That's not a VGA INPUT.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 8, 2006 9:21 PM PST
In reply to: There IS a solution!

I know of that software but it does not add VGA INPUTs.

If it solves your need, you'll like it for most things except gaming.


Collapse -
Virtual video input
by Sevilla69 / January 8, 2006 9:59 PM PST


OK, it is more like a virtual video input Wink

But it is a nice workaround and even better than a video input because it also allows me to operate the laptop from the desktop which is pretty nice. Saves me from buying a mouse keyboard kvm switch.

Thanks for helping anyway


Collapse -
Did you find any solution ?
by c17601 / February 5, 2008 9:00 AM PST


I also looking for similar solution for my Compaq Desktop. I have a Sony laptop and trying to use it as monitor for my desktop.

Thanks in advance

Collapse -
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 5, 2008 11:10 AM PST
Collapse -
some laptops seem to have that feature now
by danysl / January 30, 2009 2:38 AM PST

at least the Lenovo Y730 has a vga switch (see the manual), and not sure about the inspiron 9400

Collapse -
A Solution for using a laptop as a VGA monitor
by dagooseg / January 29, 2010 8:58 PM PST

I spent hours searching forums for a way I could use my laptop as a VGA monitor for other PCs and finally found and tested a solution! (by the way I've seen the VGA to USB adapters from epiphan but these are just way too expensive and my solution is less than half the price of those).

My Reason: I've got a headless PC that only has a VGA output and I don't have a monitor for it and didn't want to buy a VGA monitor since it runs linux and I don't need a monitor most of the time (only when something goes wrong and it drops off the network).

My Solution: I purchased a VGA to AV (VGA TO Video/SVIDEO) signal convertor and an EZCAP SNAPSHOT USB 2.0 Video capture device (found them on Amazon from a company called ClimaxDigital). My VGA output from the linux PC connects to the VGA input on the signal convertor and the svideo output from the signal convertor connects to the svideo input on the EZCAP SNAPSHOT. I then plugged the EZCAP into my laptop USB port (after installing the drivers for it) and used VirtualDub to show the VGA output from my linux box (also had to set the Device to "USB 2861" and set the video source to "Video SVideo" in VirtualDub). Voila! - I can now use my laptop as a VGA monitor for any PC that doesn't have one and I can easily carry these two devices in my laptop bag for use on customer sites etc to work on servers with no monitors.

This solution works perfectly for me, takes up very little space (both the VGA to AV signal convertor and EZCAP SNAPSHOT are fairly small and very portable - you could fit them in your pockets if you had to), plus it doesn't cost a fortune (about

Collapse -
How VGA is it?
by chupaoor / June 4, 2010 4:48 AM PDT


Wow, that seems like a very ingenious solution!
I've been browsing around to find a solution to this very question and this is defenitely the bewt answer yet!

Personally I am trying to use an old laptop as a screen for a 'screenless' desktop put together from spare parts (i just like to build stuff from my spares Happy

My question is: with this setup, would it be possible to transfer 3D images? More specifically, would it be able to display a 3D game that runs on the desktop - so you could see it on the laptop screen?

Any advice is very appreciated, I have explored virtual desktop builds, but none of those can render 3D (the old laptop to be used as a screen has no 3D card to speak of)

Thanks a lot!

Collapse -
A Solution for using a laptop as a VGA monitor
by raam030 / July 24, 2011 7:44 AM PDT

Hi Dave your solution is impressive, I was searching for same... Could you tell me what kind of VGA TO Video/SVIDEO converter you are using? Because when I searched I could find VGA TO Video/SVIDEO or RCA converter which doesn't have 3 SVIDEO connectors and are with female pins. Most capture cards has Female pins too. If you could send me photos of your set up that will be really appreciated...

Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,912 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,498 discussions
Laptops 20,411 discussions
Security 30,882 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 21,253 discussions
Windows 10 1,672 discussions
Phones 16,494 discussions
Windows 7 7,855 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,504 discussions


Want to see the future of car technology?

Brian Cooley found it for you at CES 2017 in Las Vegas and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.