My grandfather has a desktop which is getting too old. He has an up-to-date laptop, but can't use the laptop keyboard and such because it is too small/inconvenient for his hands. Is there a convenient way to make his laptop like a desktop. By that I mean that I would want to connect his existing desktop monitor/mouse/keyboard/speakers to the laptop, so in essence, I'm only using the laptop for its processor and harddrive. I've seen full-blown docking stations, but is there a cheaper alternative? Because we'd be "hiding" the laptop, is there a way to keep the laptop active, even though the lid is closed? Thanks for your input.
You can do what you want to do. There is a setting for what to do when the laptop lid is closed, including doing nothing. By setting up sleep mode if his keyboard has a sleep button he can use that to put it in and take it out of sleep. Does the mouse and keyboard have a USB connector? If they have USB connectors you can connect them right up to the laptop, if they have the older PS2 connector you will need a couple of adapters to get the keyboard and mouse to work. You should be able to hook the monitor to the VGA port of the laptop. The laptop should have an audio out jack where you can connect the speakers.
If you are wanting to keep all of his existing devices invest in a the matching docking station for the laptop. It has more available device connection ports and it would allow you to use the laptop as a desktop.