I bought a Toshiba Portégé R600-10Q from eBay in mid-2011. I paid about the same as you would for a high-end netbook, for a dual core, 64-bit machine with a 12.1" screen weighing a mere kilo, still within manufacturer's extended warranty.
With Linux 3.1.0; xorg 7.6-ish; the intel driver version 2.16.0; KMS turned on and running GNOME 3; it does not appear possible to hotplug an external display.
This has been reported:
If I boot the laptop with the external display attached, it works fine for that session. However, if I disconnect the display and then suspend the laptop, upon resume nothing will be drawn on the internal display until an external display is re-attached.
This is fixed by changing a BIOS setting "Power on Display" from "auto-selected" to "LCD+Analog RGB".