Those of us without desktop machines lust after the ability to have more than a single monitor. My company has dual monitors for our crappy PC laptops (you can only use both of them with the docking station, which has it's own video card), and I wanted to have more than one monitor for my laptop.
I should note that I usually use the laptop at my desk with the lid closed, as the monitor I have is at a nice ergonomic height, and using a laptop all day is bad posture, which isn't good for my neck.
After a nice, long chat with a Genius (who didn't know how to do it, but pointed me to some web sites), there were two ways I found to do it:
- Matrox makes high-end video splitter - the DualHead2Go & TripleHead2Go. These tell your system that the monitor's bigger than it is, then split the signal to the different monitors. Pros - fast, as fast as your Mac's video card. Cons - expensive ($300), can only support 2 or 3 monitors, depending on which model you buy.
- Diamond makes a USB monitor adapter. You can get these online (or at Frys) for $72 (for the BVU195), or $79 (for the BVUMD3, which adds 3 powered USB ports to make up for the one you lost). Both models come with a DVI to VGA adapter. Pros - Low cost, can use up to 6 monitors. Cons - not so great for video, games, etc.
I went with the Diamond BVUMD3 - a very nice unit. One thing - Diamond says this is compatible with OS X, then doesn't bother to give you any drivers. If you go to the BVU195 support page, they "include" the OS X drivers - but you have to run an .exe to get them. So, I fired up Parallels, clicked on the "OS X Drivers" text - and it pointed me to a web page. Sheesh.
To make a long story short, just go to http://www.displaylink.com/support/mac_downloads.php
to get the Mac drivers. I downloaded the "beta" 1.6 version for 64-bit support (Snow Leopard and all that), and it works GREAT!
There's a good site out there which details one guy's quest to get 3 external monitors -http://daggle.com/macbook-pro-multimonitor-4-monitors-at-once-1577
also has a good discussion about it.
Multiple monitors for everyone!
Labels: "OS X"