Working with multiple displays is a great and many desktop users have embraced the multiple display work style. It’s a bit more difficult for notebook users to go with multiple displays than desktop users because typical notebooks only have one output for external displays. VillageTronic has a product called VTBook that will allow any notebook to have up to three external displays to work with. Read the review for full details.
The VTBook plugs into your notebook PCs 32bit CardBus slot. Inside the small 4.69” x 2.13” x 0.59” adapter is a Trident XP2 graphics processor with 32MB of 266MHz DDR RAM. VTBook supports Windows XP, Windows 2000, Mac OS 9 – 10.4.x, and Linux. The native output is DVI but VTBook comes with a VGA to DVI adapter and there’s an optional adapter for both DVI to ADC as well as DVI to HDMI. You can also get an adapter that turns the one DVI output into two monitor outputs with one DVI and one VGA.
Support for virtually all common screen resolutions is available with the VTBook all the way up to 1920 x 1200 on DVI and 2048 x 1280 on VGA. That means on DVI you can easily run the native resolution of typical 24” LCD displays. In all over 130 resolutions are supported with common HDTV resolutions among them. The maximum power draw of the VTBook is 3.3W and no external power is required. If you are using different types of displays or mixing displays with projectors or HDTV sets you can mix and match resolutions as well as refresh rates which is cool.
Setting up the VTBook is as easy as plugging it into your computer while powered off and turning the computer on. Install the included software and you are ready to connect your additional displays. My test unit didn’t include the optional cable to allow the use of three displays. However it worked very well for use with my 24” Eizo CE240W display. I like working on multiple displays and this is the easiest way to do it on a laptop. Using the VGA output on my notebook I was able to use two displays at once with my Acer TravelMate 4404 WLMi notebook.
My notebook certainly isn’t up to gaming but I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t be able to use the VTBook to done some casual gaming on a larger screen than what your notebook came with. Chances are that many low-end notebook users will see better graphics with the VTBook than they get with the basic onboard GPUs that you typically see on basic systems. Graphics were as good as they are on my notebooks built-in video card and the VTBook performed flawlessly in my use. The only potential drawback to the VTBook is that it will shorten battery life. That said I’m not sure how much of an issue that really is since you won’t be carrying an external monitor with you on the road typically.
- Easily allows multiple displays for notebook users
- Has its own GPU built in
- Will shorten battery life
The VTBook is a great way for notebook users to add additional displays to their system to increase productivity. VTBook is easy to use and performs very well, possibly better than the stock graphics on a basic notebook.
You Might Also Like