DevManView is a compact, free and portable alternative to Task Manager with some additional expert-level features.

The interface is a problem, with devices shown in a flat table rather than a tree, making it harder to see how they're related.

The program defaults to showing just about everything, too, so for example we had to scroll through 19 "Generic volume" devices on our test PC.

Fortunately this is easily fixed. Clicking Options > Show Only Connected Devices and Options > Show Only Devices With Location String cut the display down to the essentials, and there are other filters if you need them (Show Non-Plug-and-Play Drivers).

Double-clicking a device displays more information about it. Most of this is available in Device Manager or too low-level for us to care about, but Device Registry Time was interesting, as it appears to show when the device was last connected, or maybe used (you may need to experiment to see how this works for you).

Right-clicking a device displays the usual Disenable/ Enable options, but you can apply these to multiple devices at once. Other bonus features include options to open a device's key in REGEDIT, open its INF file, or run a Google search for the device name.

Probably the most powerful feature is the ability to connect to a network PC (as long as you have administrative rights), and remotely view, enable or disable its services.

There are assorted other expert-level options, the ability to create a report listing your devices, and a command line interface which ensures all this can be fully automated from scripts.

Version 1.48:
    - When you connect a remote computer or external Registry file, DevManView now displays the computer or directory information in the window title.

Verdict

We miss Device Manager's tree view, but if you need network support, batch enable/ disable or other advanced extras then DevManView is worth a try.