Matrox DualHead2Go: Three Monitors, One Laptop
Matrox claims its solution allows you to connect two external monitors to your laptop. Besides allowing for a resolution of 2560x1024, the system turned out to be easy to set up and is not exactly what we would call expensive.
I'm going to agree with the article. Very easy to setup and works great with TFT's I think it was a maximum of 5 minutes to have the whole thing up and running flawlessly. Great solution if you want to stick the laptop on a port replicator or just need two screens. Using a slightly older laptop (2 years) running an ATI Radeon 9000 card, don't know if this is on the list or not ( I just bought it figuring if it works with Intel "Extreme" Graphics it should work with any real graphics card ).
Wait til Matrox' TripleHead2Go is here:
Say what you want about Matrox being lame in terms of gaming ability, but you have to hand it to them: they pioneered single-card dualhead in 1999, AND IT WAS GOOD.
I bought a G400 in February 1999 (and paid $749 for it too I might add!) and have been a dual and triple head user ever since, on all my machines. In fact, when I began work as a developer here in 2001, a quick push resulted in all 16 developers getting extra monitors. Productivity skyrocketed.
This thing seems like a very nice ability for a laptop, and I'll be investigating it for my power-user girlfriend.
So why does this device require software to be loaded on the machine, and is the software really required? I can set a custom resolution of 2560x1024 in nvidia's control panel, so what does the software actually do? I would like to be able to use this on my desktop to enable 3 monitors all in horizontal span mode (the holy grail for multi-monitor gaming). I would like to have one video output at 1280x1024, and the second at 2560x1024, which through the DealHead2Go, would split it to 2 more 1280x1024 displays. In Horizontal Span mode, this should result in a single display being available to windows of 3840x1024... and would allow the center of the display array (where gaming action is) to be unobstructed by a monitor split. Any idea how the device functions without the software? or if this is possible?
Myself I think matrox has the best multi media video card ever made if one can afford it.
I'd love to see more details on what can be done with the device. For example, can one run a 3d game on one display and have a browser in the other? Or with how it splits the screen, is it essentially going to be no different than just putting a PCI card in a normal PC and having two monitors and two displays? I see how since its just doubling the span, both are effectively rendered and accelerated, so you can run a game on them from one video card, but it seems like you'd have to run a game in a "window" on one display to avoid having it on both displays in order for it work the way I'm speaking of, and naturally, that may not be very fun as many games just don't run correctly/well in a window. Plus, it seems like you're limited on resolution. For example, my 22" runs at 1680x1050, and I don't recall it supporting that.
Also, how does this device work when not being used with a laptop? I see it has 3 displays with the laptop and two monitors. But how about a normal desktop machine with a single videocard and just two LCD monitors? Or is there a different device for this that is better?