Connecting Ultrawide Monitor to Laptop - Resolution Issues

londonman81
londonman81 Posts: 1,130
Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
Forumite
edited 2 December 2023 at 9:01PM in Techie Stuff
I have just taken delivery of a new 49 inch ultrawide monitor (5120 x 1440) to help with WFH as I need to have several applications open and visible at the same time.

I have connected it to my laptop via HDMI but everything looks stretched and very large (blown up size), not at all how it should look.

In the Display Settings, it is already on the highest resolution of 1366 x 768.

My questions are:

1. Why does everything look so stretched out? Does the ultrawide need a minimum resolution amount from the laptop to make it look OK? If so, what resolution do I need from my laptop?

2. If I need to increase the resolution being output from my monitor, is there any kind of external adapter or graphics card that can do this, rather than buying a new laptop?

3. It seems many laptops have a resolution of Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) which is not much more than my laptop - does this mean the average laptop can't be used with an ultrawide monitor?

4. How does connecting an ultrawide to a laptop differ from connecting the ultrawide to a desktop PC? What resolution does a desktop PC output and is a new desktop PC a better option than using a laptop? Would I still have the same issue with a desktop PC? 


Thanks!
"To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant." Amos Bronson Alcott

Comments

  • EnPointe
    EnPointe Posts: 247
    First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    are you mirroring or extending ? 

    and if you  don;t  know  what i'm asking   it  might be time to RTFM (read the flippin' manual)
  • londonman81
    londonman81 Posts: 1,130
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    EnPointe said:
    are you mirroring or extending ? 

    and if you  don;t  know  what i'm asking   it  might be time to RTFM (read the flippin' manual)

    I'm mirroring
    "To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant." Amos Bronson Alcott
  • EnPointe said:
    are you mirroring or extending ? 

    and if you  don;t  know  what i'm asking   it  might be time to RTFM (read the flippin' manual)

    I'm mirroring
    The it seems likely you will get the highest resolution of the laptop's display copied onto the external monitor.  Try 'extending', but there is always the risk that the graphics in the laptop won't drive a monitor of that resolution (did you check this first?)
    Proud member of the wokerati, though I don't eat tofu.Home is where my books are.Solar PV 5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.Mortgage free July 2023
  • Emmia
    Emmia Posts: 2,943
    First Anniversary First Post Photogenic Name Dropper
    Forumite
    I think you'd be better extending the display.

    If you mirror, then what is on your laptop screen, will be stretched to fit your new wider screen...
  • londonman81
    londonman81 Posts: 1,130
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    EnPointe said:
    are you mirroring or extending ? 

    and if you  don;t  know  what i'm asking   it  might be time to RTFM (read the flippin' manual)

    I'm mirroring
    The it seems likely you will get the highest resolution of the laptop's display copied onto the external monitor.  Try 'extending', but there is always the risk that the graphics in the laptop won't drive a monitor of that resolution (did you check this first?)
    It was likely an oversight on my part as I had fallen into the trap of assuming the norm was to have a laptop connected to these monitors, but rather it seems it's usually a desktop PC.

    Would a desktop PC support the higher resolution needed for an ultrawide? 

    And am I now into the realms of graphics cards inside a PC?

    Is there such a thing as an external graphics card that can connect between my laptop and monitor to make this work? Or is a PC a better option?
    "To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant." Amos Bronson Alcott
  • cerebus
    cerebus Posts: 513
    First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    You probably already have but I'll ask anyway

    Is there a driver for your monitor and have you installed it?
  • wongataa
    wongataa Posts: 2,596
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Forumite
    It was likely an oversight on my part as I had fallen into the trap of assuming the norm was to have a laptop connected to these monitors, but rather it seems it's usually a desktop PC.

    You laptop might be able to run the monitor at its full resolution. You have the kit so try it and see. You will need to use the extend display function or turn the laptop screen off. Mirroring will only ever replicate the laptop screen resolution which isn't the way to use an external monitor.


    Would a desktop PC support the higher resolution needed for an ultrawide? 

    And am I now into the realms of graphics cards inside a PC?

    Is there such a thing as an external graphics card that can connect between my laptop and monitor to make this work? Or is a PC a better option?


    A desktop PC could drive the monitor if it has an appropriate graphics card, just like a laptop. There are external graphics cards but getting a suitable one would not be easy or cheap if they exist.
  • EnPointe
    EnPointe Posts: 247
    First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    EnPointe said:
    are you mirroring or extending ? 

    and if you  don;t  know  what i'm asking   it  might be time to RTFM (read the flippin' manual)

    I'm mirroring
    that explains  it 
  • londonman81
    londonman81 Posts: 1,130
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    So an update and a strange thing happened..

    I disconnected the new monitor to connect back the old monitor, to the same laptop (Lenovo V110-ISK).

    Yet this time the resolution settings allow up to 1920 x 1080 which it did not have in the dropdown box previously.

    It's strange because my laptop specs state that 1366 x 768 is the maximum resolution:

    https://www.gizmochina.com/product/lenovo-v110-office-laptop/ 

    Why would the option for 1920 x 1080 suddenly have appeared in the display settings when it was previously only showing a maximum of 1366 x 768?


    "To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant." Amos Bronson Alcott
  • Lorian
    Lorian Posts: 5,674
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Photogenic
    Forumite
    Extend don't mirror and if it's an Intel graphics chip set set it up using the intel graphics control panel not windows settings.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 341.5K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.6K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.1K Spending & Discounts
  • 233.8K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 605.6K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.4K Life & Family
  • 246.5K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards