I love using my Chromebox when I need to be productive. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Chromebook too but when it comes to serious work I don’t think you can beat a Chromebox setup. Find out more about the benefits of a Chromebox compared to a Chromebook.
When I first started Chrome Computing just over a year ago I was using a Chromebook. It was fine but I soon realised I could be more productive with a desktop PC setup. I purchased an Asus Chromebox 3 and connected it to my existing 27-inch display. My productivity increased, which I think is a lot to do with your mindset. Find out if a Chromebox is right for you.
I recently decided to create a second Chromebox setup in my living room, so thought it was the perfect opportunity to go for a dual display setup. I knew this would improve my productivity even more.
HOW TO CREATE A DUAL DISPLAY SETUP FOR A CHROMEBOX
The first thing you need is a Chromebox that supports dual display. Not all Chromebox computers do, so it’s important you check with your manufacturer. You need a USB Type-C port that supports DisplayPort.
There are different ways you can achieve a dual-display setup and this depends on the PC monitors you choose. The setup in this post explains how to achieve it using monitors with an HDMI connection.
To create a dual-display setup you’ll need the following:
- A Chromebox that supports DisplayPort
- Two monitors with an HDMI connection
- One USB C to HDMI adapter
- Two HDMI leads
The Asus Chromebox 3 comes with one HDMI port to connect a display to your computer. You connect the first display as normal using one of the HDMI leads.
The second monitor is connected via the USB Type-C connection, which must support ‘DisplayPort’. The Asus Chromebox 3 supports DisplayPort, which makes connecting a second display easy. Most monitors only come with an HDMI connection and not a Type C. To resolve this you need the USB C to HDMI adapter, which will allow you to add a further display to your Chromebox. I’ve listed two adapters below from Amazon for both UK and USA readers.
Connect the second HDMI lead to the second monitor as normal. You then connect the other end of the HDMI lead into the HDMI socket on the adapter. You should then be left with a USB Type-C on the other end of the adapter, which you simply insert into the USB C DisplayPort on your Chromebox. That’s it!
ADJUSTING THE SETTINGS FOR YOUR DUAL DISPLAY SETUP
Once you’ve added both monitors to your Chromebox you’ll want to adjust the display settings for each monitor. To do this go to your settings menu. Settings>Device>Displays.
There are a few different settings available but we’ll take a look at the two you will be most interested in at first.
You’ll notice above there is a tick box with ‘Mirror HP 24f’ next to it. The ‘HP 24f’ is the name of the monitor, so it will differ if you’re using different monitors to what I’ve used. The mirror option, when ticked, simply means whatever is being seen on one monitor will be seen on the other.
I’m sure there are many reasons why you may want to do this, but most of us add an extra display to have the ability to have different windows showing on each monitor. To do this you simply leave the mirror option unticked. This will then allow you to have different windows displaying on each monitor.
This is an important option because it allows you to let Chrome OS know how you have your monitors positioned. Most people choose to have their monitors side by side, but some may decide to have one monitor on top of the other.
It’s impossible for Chrome OS to know how you have positioned your displays, so you need to adjust the arrangement settings.
Above you can see two monitors side by side. If you have your displays side-by-side then this may appear set up correctly. If they are set up correctly the mouse cursor should move over to the second monitor in a natural direction. Moving from the right monitor to the left should simply mean moving your mouse cursor to the left.
If this does not happen, try moving your mouse cursor to the opposite edge of your monitor. You should then see the mouse cursor move onto the second display. If this does happen, you need to drag one of the displays to swap there position. Once you’ve done this your mouse cursor should naturally move from one display to the other.
Having a Dual-Display is a great benefit of Chrome OS and the Chromebox computer. You just need to ensure the Chromebox you have supports DisplayPort. If you’ve not yet bought a Chromebox then I would definitely recommend the Asus Chromebox 3. Why the Asus Chromebox 3 is the best Chromebox.
Once you’ve used two displays you’ll struggle to move back to a computer with one display. It makes daily tasks much easier and is ideal for anyone who needs to use more than one application at a time.