Kool Tools: Matrox DualHead2Go DP Edition
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Kool Tools: Matrox DualHead2Go DP Edition

The DualHead2Go DP Edition is one of the newer external multi-display upgrades from Matrox (http://www.matrox.com) that allows Mac users to add two displays to their Mac systems via the MiniDisplay Port connector.

This is an especially interesting solution for MacBook or MacBook Pro users, as more and more people are transitioning to this platform, but still can still benefit from an expanded onscreen desktop space. With two monitors, plus the notebook’s LCD, creative professionals can comfortably view and use more applications simultaneously to achieve more in less time.

With a multi-monitor setup, you can move previously overlapping applications to their own display. It can be nice -- and time saving -- to eliminate the re-sizing, re-arranging and re-organizing of multiple windows on a single display.

The DualHead2Go DP Edition doubles your viewing space. Combined with your notebook's LCD, it creates a digital workspace for laying out all your tools and applications. And if you want you can always close the lid of your notebook, work with the external monitors and save the backlight of your notebook.

By the way, you can use your laptop screen in addition to a DualHead2Go for a total of three screens. In this case, your laptop screen is your primary monitor, and your DualHead2Go becomes your secondary monitor. Note that you can set your DualHead2Go as the primary monitor and your laptop screen as the secondary monitor. Configuration varies depending on your graphics card.

Also, if your computer has two video outputs, you can connect the DualHead2Go to the first output and connect a monitor to the second output for a total of three monitors.

The DualHead2Go connects to the video output of your system and uses its existing GPU to provide uncompressed graphics and video across all monitors. It's available in DisplayPort, digital or analog editions. The DualHead2Go doesn't contain a GPU itself, but connects to your computer's video output and uses your own system's graphics capabilities to render the extra-wide image that is then divided and sent to each monitor.

The DualHead2Go supports a maximum resolution of 3840x1200 (2x 1920x1200). Displays attached to DualHead2Go must run at the same resolution. Additionally, the DualHead2Go works with LCDs, CRTs and projectors.

It's easy to install; there's no need to open the computer case or insert components. It comes with Matrox Clone for viewing a copy of one display on the other display (available only on the analog and DP editions) and Matrox PowerDesk software to manage your desktop configuration.

Compatibility is determined by resolution, not screen size. Although you can use different sized monitors, all displays connected to DualHead2Go must run at the same resolution and refresh rate. To get the most of the product, Matrox recommends that you use two identical monitors (that is, monitors of the same size, display resolution, and refresh rate).

You can mix analog (VGA) and digital monitors with the DualHead2Go Digital Edition or DP Edition. Any combination of analog and digital monitors is supported, though you may require an adapter if the output connector on the DualHead2Go is different from the monitor's input connector. Matrox can't guarantee the quality or functionality of any third party hardware used to connect your DualHead2Go product (for example, a DisplayPort to VGA adapter with your DP Edition product). HDMI is compatible with DVI, so standard DVI-to-HDMI adapter cables may be used, as long as these HDMI adapter cables support the required resolutions and timings.

Full screen DVD and video playback is supported with the Matrox products. If your laptop or desktop computer is already equipped with a DVD player, you will be able to watch a DVD or video content on any of the monitors of your multi-monitor environment. Playback will be as smooth as it would have been without DualHead2Go. Note that the native size of video file determines if the video plays across all your monitors.

A nice thing is that the DualHead2Go doesn't depend on the limited bandwidth of your USB connection, nor does it depend on the limited bandwidth of any PC card bridge. Your 2D, 3D and video performance aren't affected by the DualHead2Go connected to your system.

And if you need -- or just want -- LOTS of screen real estate, you can connect multiple DualHead2Go units in one system. However, they must be the same make and model.

The DualHead2Go works with Mac OS X 10.4 and higher. Contact Matrox for pricing options.

-- Dennis Sellers


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