By Ian Chiu
Seems the LCD industry has been trying to convince S&P 500 companies to put a second or third monitor on their employees’ desktop. Well, their customers’ IT representatives haven’t been so keen on spending many sleepless nights upgrading thousands of video cards on their PCs. Of course, that’s a market begging to be filled right there and new start-up DisplayLink is doing its bit with an improved USB video card solution that combines a lossless decompression engine, 32MB DDR and a 16-bit graphics co-processor. Basically the data used to stream across PCI Express is now flowing through the USB pipe into the monitor.
So far, IOGear, LG, Samsung and Toshiba have shown interest in this solution. Samsung has raced to be the first to ship a 19″ monitor with USB interface in addition to DVI and VGA. Also unique to this solution is the ability to daisy-chain up to 5 additional monitors via USB. Everything USB has taken a good look at the SyncMaster 940UX 19″ LCD and was quite pleased with the 2D performance. As DisplayLink employs lossless most of the times, text and image clarity are preserved. However, you can notice the lines are more pixelated during full-screen video playback in PowerPoint when the video chipset switches to lossy compression.
Samsung’s SyncMaster 940UX makes for a wonderful monitor in a typical office environment, with great color accuracy, sharpness, and even backlighting to boot. The pixel response time of 15ms+ may not be the best for hardcore gamers, although weekend warriors and light movie watchers will find it more than suitable. The scalable USB interface promises and delivers with its ease of setup and hands-off driver installation, and can keep up with most video tasks albeit with some artifacts and occasional frame drops. Just don’t expect the USB interface to play nicely with 3D games and CAD design programs.
[Samsung SyncMaster 940UX USB Monitor Review @ Everything USB]