I decided to take another run at getting both monitors working with the DisplayLink USB adapter on my MacBook Air (previous attempts here) because I am a silly person.
I started by downloading the latest DisplayLink drivers and…that was the solution, actually. With the new drivers in place, both monitors began working. Hooray!
But…when I put the MacBook Air into clamshell mode, the “main” monitor suddenly stops displaying. It might be a refresh rate issue, but it could also be one of a million billion other things, and it’s working well enough now that I’m considering this issue sufficiently resolved.
Now that I have dual monitors working on the Mac, I can better evaluate using the configuration and I can’t help but feel that macOS still trails behind Windows in terms of things like multiple monitor support, as well as window and file management. A lot of the systems feel like they were designed 20-30 years ago and haven’t really changed much since then. Sure, even in Windows 11 you can still find legacy bits dating back 20 years or more, too, but it’s usually just some semi-obscure outdated icons, or an old-style dialog box. The actual systems in place are modern.
On the Mac, you have weird decisions like making the dock only appear on one screen in extended mode and having to click near the bottom of the active screen to move it over.
But man, the fonts render so nicely!
(I’ll have my comprehensive Mac vs. PC post up soon. It’ll be like living through the 90s again!)