How Packed Pixels connects to your laptop
Packed Pixels screens use DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort or a Thunderbolt (1 or 2) port to take its video feed from your laptop.
Mini DisplayPort and Thunderbolt (1 or 2) are identical in terms of their connectors and as far as your Packed Pixels screens are concerned, are exactly the same thing. Apple will very likely list the ports as Thunderbolt on their specifications, whereas other laptops will likely refer to them as Mini DisplayPort.
If you're interested in the exact difference, you can learn more by reading CNET's article - confusing Mini DisplayPort with Thunderbolt.
Do I need to install drivers?
No, Packed Pixels has been designed to be as easy as possible to start using, the way it connects means no drivers are needed for Windows, OS X or Linux.
How do I find out what ports my laptop has?
Your laptop specification should explain which ports your laptop has. Googling your laptop model will usually find the relevant specifications.
Dell has published a helpful A Guide to the External Ports and Connectors on a Dell Computer with the relevant ports covered in the 'identifying video ports and connectors' section.
Apple has also published a knowledge base article which describes how to identify whether or not your system has a DisplayPort connection, noting the port's geometry as well as the symbols used to identify it, along with various Apple-supplied adapters that work with DisplayPort.
What if my laptop doesn't have the right ports?
There are USB3 to DisplayPort convertors widely available on the market however we have heard from some customers who have had bad experiences with these so we can't wholly recommend these.
We are working on a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 adapter that is due for release very soon and possibly an HDMI adapter at a later date. Sign up to our newsletter below to be the first to hear any news about this.
Please note that the HDMI to DisplayPort adapters available on the market currently only support TV resolutions and so do not work with Packed Pixels.
What about external docks?
Many laptops can be attached to external docks (e.g. the Surface Dock) to add additional ports for connectivity. Many of these use the same technology as USB3 to DisplayPort adapters and so we do not recommend their use.
In short, if your laptop has no DisplayPort outputs it will not work with Packed Pixels.
If your laptop has a single native DisplayPort output it will be able to work with a single Packed Pixels.
If your laptop has two native DisplayPort outputs it will be able to work with two Packed Pixels.
How is Packed Pixels powered?
No additional power supply needs to be carried as power for Packed Pixels comes via USB. For more information, see our page on how powering your Packed Pixels screens.
What cables come in the box?
Each Packed Pixels screen comes shipped with a DisplayPort cable and a Mini DisplayPort / Thunderbolt cable so that you don't need to worry about ordering cables when you buy your screens.
Each screen also comes shipped with a USB power cable, as well as mounting brackets and desktop feet.