Matrox Dualhead2Go Digital ME review

The reason for saying that the Matrox DualHead2Go is curiously named, besides the car-crash of letters, is that it actually drives up to three monitors. Let me explain. The Dualhead2Go is a metal box that looks more like the product of an engineering student rather than something at home in the land of Apple. It measures 3.8”x2.5”x1.1”.

On the back are DisplayPort and USB inputs. The USB port connects to your Mac and delivers the power. The DisplayPort connects to a miniDisplayPort or Thunderbolt connection. You are supplied with a mini-DP to DP lead so if you want the other option you’ll need your own lead. On the front of the box are two DVI-D outputs. Here you can connect one monitor and thus have two displays and desktops running, or connect two monitors, which is where the fun begins.

Configure the various desktops to give yourself the space you need with the equivalent of one super-large monitor alongside the normal one

At this point you will need the Matrox PowerDesk software because the standard display properties of the Mac won’t work properly – the reason is that the Matrox software and hardware combine two the DVI monitor signals and tell the Mac that it’s one very large display. Windows people get the software on the CD, you get a webpage which has the download link for it. Once downloaded and installed PowerDesk is ready to define how the desktop is used.

As mentioned, one external monitor, fine. Add the second and those two external monitors become the very large, 3840x1200, desktop – split over the two monitors - alongside your native desktop. The desktops can be arranged left or right of each other, where the menu bar sits and what resolutions are used, if you don’t want the maximum possible. It’s also possible to clone the display so the content of the native display is mirrored onto both external displays at once. Hence there are three displays, rather than the two mentioned in the title.

While winning no awards in the looks category, the case is well ventilated and will stand up to any kind of physical handling

The PowerDesk software also allows for the display to be split up so that different items can be used in each area, though this seems like more trouble than it’s really worth. The giant display does look slightly strange because it stretches the background over two displays, so in this case it’s better to make it some kind of generic repeating pattern and simply use the extra space. 

OUR VERDICT

Seeing that you can pick up a mini-DisplayPort to DVI adapter and run a dual desktop system for around £10 the DualHead2Go really has to offer quite a bit more to come close in value for money terms. It does offer very robust, if not aesthetically pleasing, build quality and will support an additional two, rather than one, monitors. This delivers a super-large desktop of over 3000 pixels wide to go with your native desktop. For MacBook owners wanting to demonstrate some concepts on large screens it means that the main desktop can now fill two screens rather than just one. So, the DualHead2Go offers a lot of different possibilities, depending on what system you are using and what you want to use it for. If you really need that much more desktop space, it is a solid and reliable option.

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