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It will need some etra software to facilitate this though, unless you connect you two computers over a network (eg a LAN) and simply slave your laptop to the desktop's control (desktop 'takes over' the laptop - ms support sometimes do this over the internet when trying to solve problems - they see you your screen on theirs and the keyboard and mouse are remotely located, and you see the mouse pointer and typed characters just appear, controlled by the MS operative. This not the same thing as using your screen, because they are using your computer, not their own).
Back to the software. There are several programs you may have to buy some others may be free.
see the following links for ideas http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_7375497_use-laptop-second-monitor-desktop.html
How you connect to your tv is not so much a matter of OS as it is dependent on what type of video connections are available on your laptop whether RGB, S-Video, mini-display port to DVI, or HDMI.
Once the tv is connected then you will need to right click your desktop and choose whether you want the tv to be a clone display (desktop to show on both your laptop screen and the tv, or use the extended desktop setting to have half the screen be on the laptop and the other half to be on flat screen tv.
Check if you are sending the signal to the external monitor. On my laptop with Windows 7, I can right click on an open section of the desktop and choose Graphics Properties. In this window, I can choose to send the display to the laptop's internal monitor, the external monitor or both. Pressing Crtl-Alt-F1 will force the video onto the external monitor on the fly (Crtl-Alt-F3 goes back to the laptop's screen).
When I have added a second monitor to a desktop, I needed to reboot and allow new hardware to be found before the related Screen Resolution (right click on the desktop again) let me find the second monitor and choose if this was a duplicate or extended screen.
Yes, you can connect. BUT, after that right click on the desktop and select Properties->Settings. There you will find two monitor icons. The left one is your Acer display while the right one is your new Dell Display. Select the right one and configure it. You should have the same resolution and color as the main Acer display to use it optimally.