If the display runs off USB, don't do anything super hardware intensive. It is all CPU driven instead of GPU so hardware acceleration doesn't work. Basically: keep video games and video editing to the main screen.
The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.
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You don't have to upgrade to W8 or W10 in order to use a touchscreen. Many people used and still use touchscreens with W7 and even XP.
But yes, you can add an external touchscreen to the W520 like you can add it to any other PC. Just keep in mind if USB is the only connection... the Quadro in the W520 is not doing the work for that display, so for certain uses that will a huge bummer. The larger ones that connect using DP/HDMI/DVI and USB just for the touch thing are better in that aspect.
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