Kensington: Add an Extra Monitor Over USB

Discussion in 'Macworld San Francisco 2008' started by MacRumors, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Kensington was demoing the sd200v Notebook Docking Station with Video at Macworld this week. The device connects to your Intel Mac via USB 2.0 and provides you with a 5-port USB hub, Headphone jack, Microphone jack and VGA plug (no DVI yet). The VGA plug allows you to add an additional monitor to your laptop which can act to either mirror or extend your laptop screen.

    Overall the product worked as advertised, though there was some sluggishness with the video on the USB-driven monitor. Quicktime movies were playable and watchable but there was occasional tearing. The USB monitor was hot-pluggable - Mac OS X recognized when the USB monitor was removed and readded and acted appropriately.

    The maximum resolution of the additional monitor is 1440 x 1024. The device retails for $139.99 and available now, but Mac OS X drivers aren't expected until April 1, 2008.

    Additional photos in article

    Article Link
     
  2. macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #2
    Nice. Might be a must have item for MBA owners who have only one USB
     
  3. macrumors 603

    Markleshark

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    #3
    I might buy one of these for my Mac Mini. Ace product.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

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    #4
    :rolleyes:
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    MrCrowbar

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    #5
    Isn't that a Mac Desktop on that demo setup? :)
    If it did 1580x1050 (20" WS display), I'd get one to hook up my Macbook to my 2 Dell monitors. Sadly, I don't currently own any 4:3 monitors. Too bad the mini DVI does not do dual link :)
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #6
    I wonder why they didn't opt for firewire since the performance was sluggish.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Because some people just haven't got a clue and think USB is the best thing since sliced bread, but in all reality we Mac users know Firewire has been the best, always has always will.

    Although I can't get to angry if it was a perfect world Apple would have also put at least a Firewire 400 port on the Time Capsule for better performance with external drives connected to it while using the Airport Extremes gigabit.
     
  8. macrumors G3

    bigandy

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    #8
    it's aimed primarily at the PC/Win market, so FireWire isn't such a viable option.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

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    #9
    You have to be careful with these things, many apps on a Mac for pros such as FCPro would have a fit if you tried to use this as they require any second monitor to be running on the same card or via PCI Express. However, for just having more screen space for simple apps like Mail and Safari I'd be tempted to add this or similar. There is another maker with video through USB at the show but it doesn't have as many output options, but I forget the name of the company. Yes I agree with others FireWire version (800 and 400) would be great. You have to think they will look at this.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    fblack

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    #10
    I'm not sure what there is to get excited about. A usb hub? ok, but plenty out there. VGA? ok, but i got a mini dvi cable for the macbook. Headphone & mic jack? Gee, dont those come with macs already? Maybe I missed something?
     
  11. macrumors 603

    Markleshark

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    #11
    I've noticed Firewire is included on a lot more consumer PeeCees these days, just as Apple are seemingly starting to phase it out. :confused::rolleyes:

    Yes, seemingly you are. It adds an extra one. Like 1 x Eternal monitor via Mini DVI and 1 x External Monitor by VGA = 2 External Monitors on a MacBook/Mac Mini/etc.
     
  12. macrumors regular

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    #12
    Ideally, yes. But since the final to market drivers for this thing on Mac OS aren't out yet nobody really knows. Ideally it would allow for this option, but in the past these devices have functioned more as a dock, allowing your desktop monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, speakers, and a mic to be plugged into this unit. When you get to work you just plug in a single USB cable and you're up.

    My experience with these type of gadgets on the PC side (grr...) is that they only allow you to have two monitors. Yes, you can hook three monitors up to the laptop (including internal display, VGA port, and VGA over USB) but the two externals would typically mirror each other or one of them would go black.

    Keep in mind this unit likely won't function as a great video card...
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    fblack

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    #13
    Yep, I missed that detail. :eek:

    But I'm still a little underwhelmed. I guess since its supposed to be a docking station, I was expecting a little more. Firewire, e-sata, ipod docking station, ethernet, etc. I'm not too crazy about the upright design, maybe something that could go under your mac mini, or help cool your macbooks/powerbooks etc.

    Maybe I'm just spoiled by apple design.;)
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    coolant113

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    #14
    This product is very impressive.. looks like it has some potential..:apple::apple:
     
  15. macrumors member

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    #15
    make one firewire PLEASE PLEASE. This would be perfect for my setup, but firewire only.
     
  16. JAT
    macrumors 603

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    #16
    Don't you mean iLink?
     
  17. macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Yes and No. iLink is actually Sony's version of FW. It's the same thing, different names. Most of the new PCs that are kicking around have the full 6-pin FW400. There is at least one in the front, but I haven't checked to see if there are any in the rear. I think FW400 is implemented on new computers because of the serge of digital video cameras that only allow you to use FW400 to transfer the data.
     

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