Add two screens as wings to your laptop

This would be nice for my bedoffice. Anyone tried it?

I’ve looked at it, but I couldn’t justify $500. It does look like they have a magic way of working around the M1’s “only one external monitor” issue though - which is pretty slick. :slight_smile:

I’ve tried these before to add an iPad to my Mac but they never seemed to hold it right and I got frustrated that I couldn’t use SideCar in portrait mode on the iPad.

Ten One Design Mountie+ Mount for Sidecar, Large Tablets, iPad Pro, Portable Monitors, Instant Second or Third Display for Your Laptop Computer (T1-MULT-200) - Grey

Side note - don’t you love how the online listings for a lot of these products don’t show any photos of the back of the device while it’s attached to the laptop?

Same problem with lots of other devices. There will be 5 pictures of a square box with ports on the back, and they’ll be something like “front - straight on”, “angle shot - left”, “angle shot - right”, “angle shot - top”, and “picture of the box it comes in”. :smiley:

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I wonder what the additional weight does to the screen hinge on the laptop?

On the one I posted it’s something I’ve worried about and one of the reasons I don’t use them that often.

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Does it work on an M1? Unless they have software in the mix, it shouldn’t.

They say it does. From what I can see on their site there’s some way you plug the second monitor into the first one, and then software sorts it out.

Instead of the laptop hinges, I would be more worried about clipping something the weight of an iPad to the side of a screen that thin. Seems like a pretty easy opportunity to bump the iPad and break the laptop screen.


Afaik, DisplayLink drivers (and hardware) are the most common method to work around the M1 single external screen limit.

My thoughts exactly.

There’s a frame that goes along with it, not merely clipped to the side of the screen.

That’s the monitor one, right? The one I was referring to was literally a clip that held an iPad to the side of the screen.

Can confirm this works, as I have a Lenovo USB C dock that uses Displaylink and I can have the M1 MBA open and two screens on the desktop.

I was contracted by a company that does these dual monitor thingies, to create a brightness control software similar to my :full_moon: Lunar app, but with their brand on it and no mention of my name.

Their business is in doing the frames really, the display panels and controllers are off the shelf, cheapest you can find on Alibaba (so you might get different panels based on the current batch).

The panel was ok quality, but if the company doesn’t do proper quality control, you are playing the panel lottery and might get faulty ones.

Make sure you buy from a company which provides guarantee and accepts returns.

They have to use DisplayLink, as M1/M2 only has one exposed Display Coprocessor (DCP) for external video output. From the hardware side there’s no other way. It’s no different from using a dock like the established Dell D6000, which I also recommend on the tutorial for getting real brightness control on DisplayLink.

DisplayLink explanation

DisplayLink is not sending raw video data from the monitor port → down through the cable → into the Thunderbolt port, like a normal monitor.

The raw video data stops at the hub, dock (or panel controller in this case). There’s a special chip inside those, which compresses the video data and encodes it as a USB signal (just like a webcam would do) and sends it as USB packets to the MacBook.

On the MacBook you need a DisplayLink driver software that knows how to communicate with the hub and decode this data, then it creates a virtual display and streams that data inside it. (CGVirtualDisplay for curious devs around here)

Virtual Displays have a lot of limitations:

  • No color control (NightShift, Gamma, TrueTone, profile calibration etc. will not work)
  • No DDC (you won’t be able to adjust the real brightness/volume of the monitor through an app like Lunar, software dimming through an overlay is the only way to dim brightness)
  • Max 60Hz refresh rate
  • Rotation and resolution have to be supported by the chip and the driver separately, macOS can’t help you with that

In the end it’s good enough for some people, but for those that need any of the above, it’s a deal breaker.

By the way, the contract didn’t go so well. The team there was really hard working, and the CEO did his best, but they weren’t prepared for the expenses.

After doing about 75% of their requirements, they said they don’t have money anymore… in the end I terminated the contract, finished the app and launched it as :waxing_crescent_moon: GammaDimmer to minimise loss