Lapdock as DSLR Video HDMI Monitor

Here's something pretty interesting that reader Nathan Smith shares for an external HDMI Monitor. The Motorola Lapdock is used to connect to Android phones via HDMI and provides a keyboard, larger screen, two USB ports, and more. The Lapdock also has an internal battery that claims an 8 hour life span. Well the Lapdock never really took off as a product, and now you can find them on clearance or at discounted prices. Nathan was lucky enough to grab one for around $59 dollars. So what does this have to do with DSLR Video and cameras?

There were a few forums that claimed the Lapdock will perform as a normal HDMI screen with the right adapters and some videos have shown it being used with a Playstation. If you're wondering, the Lapdock has a Micro Male HDMI connection, so you'll need a female Micro HDMI to start with. Here Nathan proves that with the right cables, you can even use it to display the HDMI signal from your camera. Can't beat that for $59 bucks.

I also found this interesting because the Lapdock provides two USB ports. The Lapdock with it's internal rechargeable battery can be a remote monitor receiving the HD video feed and power the Asus through dual USB power without extra batteries (theory). I've updated the comments in this article with some information about the adapter and cable you'll probably need. Anyways, it's a neat idea and could be a fun thing to have with the clearance prices, but the only thing i'm still unsure of is the exact model that Nathan is using. [Update] He's using the Atrix 4G Lapdock and you can find the Lapdocks online via Amazon (click here)

find-price-button AT&T Laptop Dock SmartPhone


74 thoughts on “Lapdock as DSLR Video HDMI Monitor

  1. Kristofor Gieske

    Just as an update, I bought the exact same cords/adapters that Venga linked to in post 69, and it now works!

    The only thing is the connection is kind of intermittent; I'm afraid I may have damaged the hdmi connector in the lapdock when I modified it to use with my phone.

    But, it does work!

  2. Kristofor Gieske

    So far, I have not had any luck with my T3i.

    The cords/adapters all work (tried it as a second monitor for my computer), the lapdock works beautifully with my phone, but the lapdock doesn't seem to recognize the camera as a hdmi source - it doesn't even turn on the little white light. Weird.


  3. Venga

    And, the cheaper micro HDMI female to micro HDMI male cable I linked to in my last post doesn't work. So much for the cheap cables.

  4. Venga

    @Kristofor - I do not have the force SD option on - the lapdock is accepting the 1080i signal. And I just tried a new cable/adapter combination, which is working perfectly (previously a cheap generic adapter caused an inconsistent signal):

    HDMI Male to Micro HDMI Female Adapter -

    HDMI Female / Female Coupler -

    BlueRigger Mini HDMI Male / HDMI Male Cable -

  5. Kristofor Gieske

    @Venga - do you have the force SD option on in Magic Lantern or is the lapdock accepting the 1080i signal in playback mode?

    I just bought the dock/adapters last night. Excited! I'm planning to try to modify the lapdock to be able to be used with my Atrix 2 as well, so with luck this lapdock will be mega-useful. At $60 it can't be beat!

  6. Venga

    @Dan Rollins (#60) - I just got the adapters and hooked up my T2i to the Motorola Laptop Dock (the one on Amazon at
    , and it works, mostly. The Dock screen goes blank every so often, and then comes back on. I have to test it out more to figure out what is causing that - seems like it might be a quick time-out/sleep setting somewhere (maybe in Magic Lantern)? Anyway, I'm encouraged at where I am so far....

  7. Venga

    @Leonardo (#61) - see my post #24 - FWIW, I ordered a 36cm HDMI female to mini USB male cable to go straight from the micro HDMI female to HDMI male adapter (connected to the lapdock) to the camera, only to be notified weeks later by DealExtreme that it was out of stock....

  8. Drew Veeneman

    Ok, after trying dome different cables I've given up on using the lapdock with my GH2. It works with many other cameras, but no dice on the Panasonic.

  9. Drew Veeneman

    @pops Any luck getting the GH2 to sync directly with the lapdock? I'm having the same problem. The GH2 will do playback on my lapdock, but doesn't get a signal in live-view mode. To be safe, I tested my hdmi cable with a regular monitor and that worked fine... just not the lapdock.

    Meanwhile, the lapdock works perfectly with my Nex-5n!

  10. Justin

    I just got my cable adapters from China. With the GH2, the lapdock turns on when I put the GH2 in playback mode (pressing the play button in any photo dial mode). but as soon as I exit play mode on the camera, the HDMI signal stops transmitting and the Lapdock says "HDMI Connected No Signal" then shuts back off.
    Need to find a way to trick it to hold the signal when recording...

  11. James Churchman

    got my lapdock for use with my 5D .. love it!!
    odd thing was tho i have 3 adapters for the mini hdmi into the 5D , all slightly different but all work with the 5d into a TV ... oddly out of the 3 only 1 work with the lapdock .. i have no idea why .. maybe like others have said its due to the quality of the cables or length or similar but if you find it does not work with a 5d or t2i or similar try different adapters ( my guess .. the shorter the length the better !)

  12. Leonardo

    I can confirm 5DII does turn on the lapdock. The bad news is image is stretched. Is there some kind of a USB/self powered HDMI gadget that can solve this?
    The micro-hdmi to hdmi adapter stacked with hdmi female-to-female is too tall and puts too much strain on the connector. The lapdock does seem to want a solid connection as the signal is fragile.
    I'm looking for a hdmi female to male extension cable to remove the need for the f2f connector. To use the cross-arm with Manfrotto projector tray requires minimum 2' cable length - and it can't be a crappy 32 AWG one. Any ideas?

  13. I received the final adapters I needed today and with great anticipation plugged it all into my T3i and my T2i.. no go. The Lapdock for Motorola Atrix (this is the version linked to from the original blog post) does not seem to work. I am wondering if it is the resolution or as @Amy suggested, maybe the signal issue. It was odd that plugging it into my iMac worked fine at full resolution. So I will be returning my 2 Lapdocks.

    Has anyone had any luck with a lapdock with a T3i or T2i? If so what kind of Lapdock was it?

  14. Amy Barrett

    Any workaround for the GH-2? Also, my experience with HDMI adapters and cables - One cable would not work with my GH-2 to a 23" monitor. After trying other cables I found out that did work. None were bad cables, worked fin from TV, etc. Just maybe the DSLR signal is not too strong and the length and quality of connector/cable makes more of a difference. So before assuming the monitor is bad experiment with other connection options.

  15. @Emm Not sure how to do that because with the Atrix version it will only power the lapdock with a signal. I just plugged it into my iMac and it did work perfect as a second display, and my iMac is set to 2560x1440 and it wasn't an issue. But since it is only treated as a 2nd display the keyboard didn't work, so the FN key was worthless.. I couldn't adjust brightness, volume, etc. So I don't think I can mess with the resolution either. Maybe the Atrix lapdock isn't a good one?

    I guess the good thing is that it seems that it might be the mini-HDMI adapter that is the problem. I will wait patiently.

    Oh, like @Luke (comment #37) I also had to shave my adapter so it would fit the Lapdock, it had a lot of extra rubber so I used a knife and cut the excess off, works/fits great.

  16. Emm

    Post author

    @Dan Rollins - You don't change it on the camera, you would change it on the Lapdock. Maybe the resolution setting on the Lapdock isn't set properly so it's not displaying anything.

  17. @Emm not sure I can change the resolution output to a monitor on the camera, I just went thru the T3i menu and saw a option called "Ctrl over HDMI", I enabled that... no luck. BUT.. it may be the mini-HDMI to HDMI adapter I have going into the camera.. I plugged it into my HDTV and it will show the display but the slightest movement of the adapter and it cuts out. I won't be able to confidently test it until I get my HK adapters. I am dying to get this thing working!

    Still curious if any T3i & T2i people got the Lapdock Atrix working,

  18. Emm

    Post author

    @Dan Rollins - Someone posted something on here about changing the resolution in the menu. I would check that out, because maybe it's not displaying from the input if the resolution doesn't match?

  19. I got my Lapdock for Atrix last week and the HK adapters are showing up sporadically. I just hooked it up to my T3i and it didn't work, screen is black. I tried my Flip Mino and nothing. I plugged in my HD TV and it at least showed a box on the screen that there was not HDMI signal.. so the TV triggered something. I am really hoping it is my HDMI to Mini adapter, it is older and slightly bent. The new one is in route. All that said.. has anyone been successful using this with a T3i or T2i?

  20. Emm

    Post author

    @Panda - The Lapdock is not a laptop. It's just a screen with a keyboard, and it will display from an HDMI connection.

  21. Panda

    So the camera must be plugged in to make the laptop run?
    Does the laptop run on a windows OS and if so I'm guessing you could install the canon eos utility if it is?

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