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Conclusion

Can Matrox's TripleHead2Go Span Fun Across Three Displays?
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Although it brings extreme widescreen views within the price range of more people, we have some concerns about the use of this product.

First, the gaming experience becomes so wide that it becomes hard to see what is happening in the available viewing area. Is there such a thing as too wide? For us this is the case, but that topic is left to the taste of each gamer. During our experience with the TripleHead2Go, we found ourselves turning our heads to look at another screen, which does not happen when using a single 30" panel. Of course your eyesight can lose focus on parts of the 30" panel as you concentrate on one specific target, but there was even more to look at with the 3,048-pixel wide span, which consumed the entire area of one of our desks.

Second, some of the views on the left and right screens are a little "fish-eyed", in that the corners are rounded, which makes it hard to see those extreme areas of the field of view. This could be how a specific game such as Half-Life 2 is written, but it makes it almost distracting to play at that level. On the other hand, Doom 3 is not so curved, but then seems squished. Black & White 2 shows elements of both phenomena: some of the characters look a bit pudgy, and the side screens have a noticeable curve to them. This is not Matrox's fault; it is simply a result of game developers never having intended their games to be used on monitors that are so wide. Overall, the availability of more to see in games like Oblivion is awesome, though - the more eye candy, the better.

Finally, it becomes a nuisance trying to look between panels. There is always that break between the edges of one panel to the next, which causes the angle of an object in the center panel to look off compared to where it shows up on the adjacent panel.

In all, are these detriments serious? Well, all gaming hardware and configurations are at the sole discretion of the player to evaluate. We are simply pointing out our own experiences with the setup.

We spoke with Matrox about the analog implementation. The firm decided on starting with analog first as there was a wider installed base of CRTs and LCD with analog input. As DVI becomes more prevalent we can see a dual-link DVI version being produced. We also expect the number of games supporting TripleHead2Go to increase.

All things considered, we like what we have seen from both the DualHead2Go and the new TripleHead2Go. It is easy to set them up and they can save you a lot of money if you desire a widescreen experience. Matrox is shipping orders soon via e-tail and system builders such as Shuttle, Falcon Northwest, ABS, MainGear and Widow. As we have mentioned before, Monarch is currently taking pre-orders, so if you want the triple gaming experience, get in line...


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