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Review: Matrox DualHead2Go external multi-display upgrade

The Matrox DualHead2Go device is the perfect solution for notebook users wishing to have the ultimate desktop experience. It allows you to efficiently output your notebooks display to a dual screen configuration, without compromising video quality. Essentially giving you the best of both worlds and still maintaining mobility.

When using the DualHead2Go with dual 17-inch displays, you are getting a 45% increase in desktop space when compared to a single 20-inch display. If you look at the cost of 17-inch LCDs today, they are much less than a 20-inch, and with that in mind, you can almost double the desktop space of a 20-inch when using your notebooks main display as well as the DualHead2Go for almost the same price, if not less. If you are all for the biggest and best, then you may even look into setting up dual 19s or 20s.

Being a Mac fan, I had tested the DualHead2Go with my 1.5GHz Powerbook G5, of course Matrox does not support this system in their “Compatibility list”, but every system I had tried it on that was not in their Compatibility list seemed to work fine.

The Compatibility list is made up of systems that Matrox has effectively tested the DualHead2Go on. They are 100% sure that it functions correctly, which means they can tell you to buy their product without any worries of an upset customer. A smart move by the company, this will save them any hassles down the road. You surely can’t expect them to go out and buy every desktop or notebook configuration and test it. Another step to take is to download their System Compatibility Tool to see if your machine is supported.

On a lighter note, if the video card chipset in your system is similar to one from another system that they have tested, you can pretty much expect the DualHead2Go to work, however, this is not from the mouth of the manufacturer, and we take no responsibility in any purchases you make if your system is not compatible. However, in my tests I have seen otherwise, so I can speak from my own experience only.

I had a DualHead2Go setup on a 19-inch LCD and a 23-inch LCD, the desktop space was enormous, my Windows-based notebook was not supported, however it did have the Intel 915G chipset which is supported in other systems, so all was fine and dandy. I could get 2048 x 768 at 60Hz across both screens, pretty darn good if you ask me, especially coming from an Asus notebook with 1024×768 resolution on a 12.1-inch widescreen display. Your best bet is having a video card that can support a resolution of 1280 x 1024, then you can have the maximum output supported; 2560 x 1024.

The system is very versatile, it will even work with desktop systems, users can expand their system by connecting it to the single analog HD-15 input connector, then to their dual displays of choice. And of course, the notebook expansion is unbeatable, with your notebook display, and dual display outputs, you can achieve a massive triple screen interface. Now only if an extra set of eyeballs came with it.

Setup is quite simple. Connect your displays to the DualHead2Go, then your notebook, then power. Boot up your system and install the Matrox display manager software. On the Powerbook it will just add the 2560 x 1024 resolution, make sure Mirror Displays is unchecked. Now you have the largest notebook display output ever known to man.

The Matrox DualHead2Go for analog monitors can be purchased for about $150 USD. Visit Matrox for more information and where to buy.

About Fabrizio Pilato

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