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Test System

Matrox DualHead2Go: Three Monitors, One Laptop
By
System Hardware
Processor Intel Pentium M Processor 770
(2.13 GHz, 2 MB L2 Cache)
Test platform HP Compaq nw8240
Mobile Intel 915PM Express
RAM 1024 MB SODIMM
1x 1024 MB DDR2-533
Hard Drive Hitachi Travelstar HTS541080-G9AT00
80 GB, 5.400 rpm, 8 MB Cache, ATA100
Networking Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet
Graphics Card ATI FireGL V5000 128 MB
Packaging 8.1033-050208a-021072C
System Software & Drivers
OS Windows XP Professional 5.10.2600, Service Pack 2
DirectX Version 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
Graphics Driver ATI 6.14.10.6521

Conclusion

Using All Three Displays

The Matrox DualHead2Go works flawlessly and is definitely worth its price for those who need lots of screen real estate to get things done. Unlike other external solutions, the virtualization of an auxiliary monitor is fast and doesn't suffer from resolution quality problems.

You also have to give some thought as to how to arrange your workspace with the extra monitors. After a short while, we switched our monitor arrangement from three displays in a row and placed both external monitors side-by-side behind the laptop. This was as much a function of our test bay layout as it was a matter of what worked best for our needs.

It's sad that Matrox didn't take its software technology the extra step by delivering multiple virtual monitors on individual displays (as far as this is possible). This would enable users to place monitors both to the right and left of the internal notebook display. But perhaps Microsoft isn't yet ready to permit aftermarket vendors to dig this deep into the innards of its display subsystem.

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