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Village Tronic ViBook: Multi-Monitor For Your Netbook

Village Tronic ViBook: Multi-Monitor For Your Netbook

Most of today's graphics cards offer two display outputs, letting you connect a pair of displays. We challenge you: try working across two screens and then go back to one cramped LCD. It isn't fun. All of that desktop real estate gets to be addicting after a while, and anything less just feels cramped.

Multi-Monitor On The Road?

In this regard, notebook and netbook (especially) owners are disadvantaged. Many notebooks include the ability to attach a second display via VGA, DVI, or HDMI connectivity. But netbooks don't sport that sort of functionality. Nevertheless, as more and more people buy netbooks and try forcing them into productivity roles, attempting to replace larger notebooks, the ability to add another display would be particularly useful, even if only for sending/receiving email, surfing the Internet, or word processing.

USB Graphics Extenders

Owners of netbooks can solve this problem by using an external USB graphics extender, which connects to the monitor via USB port. This kind of connection is ideal for the folks that only have one or no graphics output at all--for instance, low-profile enclosuress. Also this solution enables more than one external monitor to be attached to notebooks, which can also come in useful. In this article, we are taking a look at one such USB graphics extender from Village Tronic, called the ViBook.

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  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , July 3, 2009 6:20 AM
    Limited specifications, but it could still be handy. USB 3.0 and 1920x1080, write an OS X driver and bump the price to $199, I'll take one.

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 3, 2009 9:40 AM
    I'm looking for a similar product but instead of DVI/VGA output I'd like SD TV-out.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , July 3, 2009 12:58 PM
    $129 is way way to expensive, add that to your budget and scrap getting a netbook, go for a notebook with display out option included if you really need a second monitor, and you will benefit in the speed increase of the notebook hardware over Atoms performance!
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 3, 2009 4:43 PM
    what about using this as a diagnostic tool, in the event of having no working video on a PC? Is it capable of doing this?
  • 0 Hide
    aspireonelover , July 3, 2009 4:47 PM
    Honestly, I don't get the point in using multiple monitors on netbooks. Like seriously, it's just a netbook. Simple stuff :) 
    I would've bought that adapter, but only if the price was set at around 20-30 bucks. BTW, I don't wanna carry too much wires around, I've already gotten my mouse, charging adapter, and a pair of headphones.
    IMHO, it's much better to use it on a laptop/notebook.
  • 0 Hide
    IronRyan21 , July 3, 2009 8:40 PM
    DragonSMPwhat about using this as a diagnostic tool, in the event of having no working video on a PC? Is it capable of doing this?

    I don't think so. Unless you already installed the drivers before your normal video went dead.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , July 4, 2009 12:42 PM
    I'm baffled as to why the article states that netbooks don't have the ability to attach an external display. My MSI Wind, and most of the others, have VGA out, and I use a 22" external monitor at the same time as my internal display all the time.

    Note to author: try using a netbook first before making false claims about it's abilities.
  • 0 Hide
    nine3o , July 4, 2009 2:00 PM
    I remember this company, they used to make Video cards for the Commodore Amiga.

    Their products were expensive then, seems not much has changed over the past 20 years.
  • 0 Hide
    mcnuggetofdeath , July 4, 2009 7:07 PM
    Ive run a second monitor on an eee PC 900a, doesnt work particularly well as the IGP sucks and the CPU is a joke. But it was very functional. Ended up removing my accelerated graphics driver in Ubuntu 9.04, think it had something to do with my having overwritten default display settings.( Note not editing the .xorg, just using ubuntu's "display" settings) Anyway, only real disadvantage was that Compiz no longer worked despite my on and off again attempts to get it working. So no wobbly windows, but lots of space.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 5, 2009 12:14 PM
    Someone else pointed it out, but most netbooks, at least these days, have a VGA out, and most monitors still have a VGA in, so, we're kind of lacking a problem to solve here. Also, the non-solution is half the price of the netbook it's not solving the problem for.

    How about instead of "Multi-Monitor For Your Netbook", the title be changed to "Multi-Monitor For Your Very Old Laptop/Macbook Air."
  • 0 Hide
    Glorian , July 5, 2009 6:15 PM
    Having a second display on your desk is not the only reason to run a device like this. If you own a net/notebook that doesn't have a vga out how are you going to a run a presentation? Someone may argue that if you are going to make presentations you should get one with a vga already, but what if you inherited the pc via a grant or through the company or just plain preference.

    My roommate is a digital/karaoke dj, he sometime has to run multiple display set ups, he does in fact have a vga out but if wants to run a projector for the crowd to see the words or visuals he needs to run something similar.

    I think its a good product pricey but good.
  • 1 Hide
    swyn01 , July 5, 2009 9:55 PM
    If the processor goes up to 95% on a Core 2, what would happen on a nettop? It seems this thing might even be barely usable on a computer powered by an Atom processor.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 6, 2009 5:47 AM
    You guys kidding me?? this thing is expensive crap. There are plenty of other devices like this out there. From companies like evga and such. Those USB to DVI/VGA can be had from 20-50$ normally. This is a complete rip and useless. This ruins the whole point of a netbook anyways, minus well get a cheap laptop..
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 6, 2009 4:46 PM
    Matrox had something similar (DualHead2Go or TripleHead2Go) for years now:
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 6, 2009 4:47 PM
    Matrox had something similar (DualHead2Go or TripleHead2Go) for years now:
  • 0 Hide
    Computer_Lots , July 6, 2009 5:00 PM
    I've used devices like this in the past. I support a financial software app that was designed for multiple monitors. I've had people buy USB video devices rather than get a multi-port video card. It works fine for MS Office, Web browsing, etc, but once my software gets going, it lags bigtime. Anything that uses a fair amount of graphics spikes the CPU and renders the PC almost unusable. Granted, I haven't used this specific device. These are just my observations on other USB to video devices.
  • 0 Hide
    schizz69 , July 8, 2009 12:58 AM
    I Have a better idea, why not just have 2 netbooks networked using a software KVM? alright, a couple hundred more than the adaptor, but portable and you dont need to buy another monitor. Problem solved
  • 0 Hide
    mass zero , July 16, 2009 9:52 AM
    ViDock is the better but its expensive, 2 external ,monitors running on 4670 connected via express card 2.0 works surprising well. for express slot.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 16, 2009 10:38 PM
    Research the ergonomics of multi-monitor setups before making a purchase. I was running with two monitors for several months and developed chronic neck pain. A week after switching back to a single monitor, the pain is virtually gone. A monitor should be positioned directly in front of your head, and require minimal head motion to view.