In the August 27, 2003, issue of Networking UPDATE: Mobile & Wireless Edition, I complained about the difficulties I experienced while using my Motion Computing M1200 Tablet PC during presentations, mainly because the device treats external VGA as a separate display surface. Thanks to two readers, I've found a way around the problem that lets me get exactly what I want: the same display on both the built-in LCD and external VGA displays.

Lo Yuk Fai of Hong Kong was the first to point me to a helpful Intel Web page ( http://support.intel.com/support/graphics/sb/cs-004665-prd39.htm ) that wasn't directly applicable but did give me a starting point. Roberto Ruggeri helped out a few days later, but by that time I'd figured out the fix. The following steps work on my M1200 and should work on other Tablet PCs that use Intel's 82830M Graphics Controller:

1) Right-click the Intel Extreme Graphics icon in the task bar. (The icon is a multicolored monitor.) 2) From the pop-up menu, select Graphics Options, Output To, Intel Dual Display Clone. 3) The same image should now appear on both the external display and the built-in LCD. If your Tablet PC uses the 82830M controller but doesn't show the Intel Extreme Graphics icon in the taskbar, try Control Panel.

Unfortunately, I can't offer suggestions about how to do perform this configuration on devices that use a different video chipset--it's hardware specific. If anyone from Microsoft is listening, I'd still like to see a standardized way to achieve this functionality as part of the Tablet PC UI. Tablet PC users (and the IT folks who support them) shouldn't have to dig through the manuals looking for device-specific ways to accomplish common tasks.