During our talks with Asus today, we had the chance to look at some of the company’s new display products – the most notable of which uses DisplayLink technology to connect up to four displays in a daisy chain via a single USB 2.0 port.
Each of the displays had a 22-inch diagonal and a 1,680 x 1,050 native resolution, meaning the total desktop resolution with all four displays connected was 6,720 x 1,050 – that’s sure to please anyone looking for masses of desktop real estate.
Asus showed applications scanning across the four displays and it seemed to be fairly smooth. However, when we asked about its potential for gamers, the company said that the technology is not fast enough to be used in games at the moment. After all, a single USB 2.0 link has a maximum bandwidth of 480Mbit/sec, compared to the 7.92Gbit/sec available to dual link DVI.
The displays manage to achieve perceived smoothness when moving things around by compressing the image before it’s sent over the USB bus to the display. It’s then decompressed once it reaches the display – this introduces a small amount of lag, but it’s perfectly acceptable for most general productivity scenarios.
The target market isn’t for desktops at the moment and instead it introduces multi-display capabilities to notebook users, because notebooks typically have just one analogue or digital display output. The one limitation with Asus’s displays that we saw was the lack of a DVI connector on the rear.
When we inquired about this, the displays product manager explained to us that the USB connection is using the digital output on the panel and said that it’s something Asus will probably change in later revisions of the product. Where we see advantages to this product is being able to leave it connected to your desktop machine via DVI and then being able to connect several displays to your notebook using a USB daisy chain.
Would you find a display with these connectivity options? Let us know in the forums