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ViDock Gfx PRO: First impressions and examination

External Graphics Upgrade for Notebooks
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Our ViDock sample came well packaged in an attractive box. The main components are the ViDock box itself, a power cable, some DVI-to-analog converters, as well as a DVI-to-HDMI converter. As it is a prerelease version, some of the materials were beta versions, such as the driver CD, but there was nothing really to complain about.

vidock expresscard graphics

The ViDock Gfx itself is a fairly simple looking unit, essentially a metal box with identifying decals and holes for air movement. While it isn’t an offensive look, I personally found it a little uninspired and old-fashioned, in my humble opinion. The Asus XG station is quite flashy, and although I didn’t expect the same from the ViDock, I think a Mac-inspired white box design would have been more attractive and appropriate. But I’ll be the first to admit that styling is a purely subjective affair, and it’s the functionality that counts.

vidock expresscard graphics

The back of the unit is where all of the attached cables go. Two DVI display ports and the USB and power supply connections reside here, as well as the single ExpressCard cable that will attach to the laptop when in use.

vidock expresscard graphics

At Tom’s Hardware we are always interested in the internals, so of course we probed deeper than a cursory inspection. The screws holding the ViDock together were covered by protective rubber which was glued on but came off fairly easily, allowing us to remove the front and back covers of the device:

vidock expresscard graphics

With the covers off, the main circuit board and graphics card slid out easily, showing us the man behind the curtain: the Radeon 2600 PRO 512MB, in this case, an HIS branded card.

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At its heart, the ViDock is an ExpressCard-to-PCIe adapter, as we can see when the card is removed.

vidock expresscard graphics

Seeing the ViDock in its glorious simplicity certainly made us wonder how the ViDock would perform with a different graphics card. This is something we tested out later in the review, so read on!

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