Yesterday, I showed off the HP USB 2.0 Docking Station. It’s great for easily connecting your computer to all those peripherals (printer, external monitor, etc). Today, I’m taking a close look at the Display Link USB 2.0 display adapter. So “What’s a display adapter?” you ask. If you need to share your monitor through multiple displays, or you find yourself not needing a docking station but simply a way to put your netbook or laptop’s screen on a larger monitor, then I’d say the Display link adapter is for you. What’s great about this little device is that it supports high-definition resolutions up to 2048×1152.
Think about that for a second. With many of us (myself included) using lightweight laptops and even netbooks for work and play, we often find ourselves sacrificing screen space — and high graphics resolution — for the sake of mobility. If you use this display adapter, you may never have to make that sacrifice again. This little adapter can put the joy back into loading your netbook or laptop up with media, games or, heck, even actual work ;) All of this in a very tiny & portable package:
[Good Things Come in Tiny, but very useful, packages!]
Maybe you’re a graphics designer that needs to show off some work at a client site. Maybe you want to play some torchlight. Maybe you want to connect your tablet pc to a larger external monitor (or use the display adapter in conjunction with your docking station to share the display across multiple monitors. You can do all of this in more with this Display Link adapter. Wanna see some more?
(video of the display adapter in action)
The video above shows just how easy it is to set up the Display Link adapter up with your larger, high-res monitor. You can share the image across monitors, keep everything displayed on one, or customize based on your needs with a few simple clicks. What’s great is that the Display Link is plug and play. Just connect it up and the software and drivers load up. You’re not having to contact your IT admin, or have a degree in Computer Science to set it up. No messing around with function keys or any cumbersome extra work needed. If you’re comfortable with plugging a USB cord, you’ve got all the expertise you need.
One important thing you will likely need is a DVI to VGA display adapter (sample pictured below) to go with your, um, adapter. Why? Because while most monitors may include a standard VGA connection, VGA will only support up to 1280×1024 resolution displays. That’s fine and dandy, but the Display Link wants to give you a little more in the form of supporting DVI and up to 2048×1152 high-resolution displays. Is it a bit of a hassle to have to find — or go out and purchase — a DVI to VGA adapter for this? Yeah, quite frankly it is. While I did wish this was included with my review unit, I’ve since discovered that if you purchase the adapter you will receive the DVI to VGA converter with it :) Overall, I have to say I was very pleased with the end result.
As you can see below, the end result was very nice. I appreciate the fact that, like HP’s docking station, all I needed to do was plug the Display Link up via USB. No bothering with wrangling cords or wasting any time setting this up. If you need a good, reliable (and high-def ‘ supporting) way to connect your computer to another monitor, you’ll be hard pressed to find a simpler solution.
[The Display Link adapter gets some solid real-life use at my desk]
I’ve found this to be a very handy device. Great to leave at home or the office, but also small and portable enough to quickly throw into your bag and keep it on-hand for anytime you find yourself needing to connect to a larger monitor. It also works great in conjunction with other docking stations, if you need to scratch that multi-monitor using itch. The fact that it supports high-resolution DVI display output means you won’t find yourself having to replace it anytime soon, either. So stop squinting and get more out of your laptop or netbook with some nice plug-n-play action.
What I Like: Easy to use. Portable. Lets you share your laptop or netbook (or any PC/Mac) display.
What Needs Improvement: Review unit did not include a DVI-to-VGA adapter, but this item should be included with production orders.