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Matrox DualHead2Go Analog Edition Review

Matrox DualHead2Go Analog Edition Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Matrox DualHead2Go Analog Edition is a device that enables multi-display functionality from mainstream laptops or desktop PCs.
 83% Rating:   
Filed under: Monitors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Matrox Nov 25 2005   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Monitors > Matrox DualHead2Go

Installation and Setup

The actual installation of the Matrox DualHead2Go Analog Edition is pretty straightforward, once all the compatibility checks are done with.

First connect up the external displays to the Matrox DualHead2Go using its 'Output 1' and 'Output 2' ports.

The video signal is spanned left to right, so the monitor connected to 'output 1' will be the first screen after the notebook, and the monitor connected to 'ouput 2' will follow the first external screen.

Next, the instructions on the driver install CD that ship with the Matrox DualHead2Go call for the host PC to be shut down so the final connections can be made. The DualHead2Go ships with a short 24" long black 15-pin male-to-male analog video cable that plugs into the 'input' port on the unit.

The other end connects to the external monitor jack on the notebook (or to the desktop videocard jack). Lastly, the Matrox DualHead2Go just needs its 5V, 2A DC power cable plugged in. A red LED should illuminate on the front of the DualHead2Go at this point. On a side note, the AC/DC adaptor is 100-240V (50-60Hz) capable, so it can go anywhere in the world a laptop will, assuming the correct plug adaptors also follow suit.

With the hardware connected, we only have to boot up the computer and install the Matrox DualHead2Go software off of the CD. This package consists of two background programs; PowerDesk-SE and DualHead2Go. Once this is done, you may need to restart the PC once before a small "M" icon will show up in the taskbar.

The light on the front of the DualHead2Go unit will have changed to green at this point, indicating that everything is a 'go'.

The Matrox PowerDesk-SE software gives users quick access to the following settings:

  • Desktop Management
  • Configure Desktop Divider
  • DualHead2Go (for auto adjusting image quality and alignments)
  • Display Properties

The software allows users to control how windows behave in the multi-display environment, and offers some simple management controls so you aren't constantly moving a mouse laterally over the huge expanse.

Adjusting the Spanned Image Location

PCSTATS tested the Matrox DualHead2Go out on Toshiba Tecra M3 notebook, which is powered by an nVidia Geforce Go 6200 TE videocard. We connected two 19" Samsung 191T Plus LCD displays (native 1280x1024) to the DualHead2Go for a maximum possible external desktop screen size of 2560x1024.

After setting the desktop resolution to 2560x1024, it was apparent that the desktop image was a little off center; about 1cm to the right and up in fact. The auto adjust key on each of the Samsung 191T Plus LCD displays was unable to move the screen any farther to the left or down.

The solution was to use the Matrox PowerDesk-SE 'Adjust Image Quality...' button to force the unit to realign the screen. It reduced the displacement, though a little more tweaking was necessary with the monitors' alignment controls.

The same resolution was tested on a pair of 17" CRT displays, and at first each image was off center again by about 1cm up and to the right. The 'Adjust Image Quality...' button helped, but some fine tuning was necessary with the monitor's OSD to align the lower left hand corner of the display.

On the whole, this left us a little wanting for manual image alignment controls within the Matrox DualHead2Go software.

Next, we dropped the spanned desktop resolution down to 2048x768 pixels. At this resolution the misalignment issue did not crop up at all, and the image displayed perfectly in the frame of each LCD display. The initial image was correctly centered on each of the two test monitors, be it a pair of 19" LCDs or 17" CRTs.

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Contents of Article: Matrox DualHead2Go
 Pg 1.  Matrox DualHead2Go Analog Edition Review
 Pg 2.  The DualHead2Go Device and Software
 Pg 3.  Sample Images - Spanning and Cloning
 Pg 4.  — Installation and Setup
 Pg 5.  DVD Playback?

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