Dock and cover: A docking station lets you connect a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, USB devices, and network link to your laptop in just seconds. Most notebook vendors offer custom docking stations for some models, but these tend to cost hundreds of dollars. Targus's $130 Universal Notebook Docking Station With Video links to any laptop via USB 2.0. The only catch: A USB 2.0 link can't match the speed of a direct VGA monitor connection, so it may create a bandwidth bottleneck when running fast-moving games or other graphics-intensive applications.
Share your peripherals: If you constantly switch between your desktop and laptop PCs, use a keyboard-video-mouse switch to run either PC from one keyboard, monitor, and mouse. Many vendors sell KVM switches that require lots of cables and connections, but Kavoom KVM) is a software "switch" that runs over a network link. A simple click lets you toggle between computers. The program costs $30 for two PCs, and another $10 for each additional PC.
Double your viewing pleasure: Windows XP's Dual View lets you combine an external monitor with the machine's own LCD to spread your open windows across both displays. To determine whether your laptop supports Dual View, connect a monitor to the system, right-click the desktop, select Properties to open the Display Properties dialog box, and choose Settings.
If Dual View is supported, the 'Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor' option will be available (not grayed out), and two screens labeled '1' and '2' will appear above the checkbox (see Figure 2
If two monitors are good... You can expand your laptop's viewing area across three monitors with the $299 TripleHead2Go from Matrox (see Figure 3