When Matrox first pioneered the concept of dual-screen graphics cards we were sceptical. What would the average user really get out of being able to use two screens on the same PC?

Well, Matrox has proved those naysayers wrong. Dual-screen technology is a given with almost any new graphics card, and very few of those who've sampled the ability to view multiple documents and images simultaneously will want to go back again.

Laptop users have been left out of the DualHead revolution, mostly because it would seem strange to buy a portable computer then compromise its mobility by plugging it into an external flat-panel or two.

But Matrox spotted a growing group of laptop buyers who intend them to spend most of the time in the same location – perhaps you want to keep it on the desk at the office, with the option of occasionally taking it home with you, or to an important presentation – as well as users with onboard graphics boards, who are very likely to be stuck with just one video connector.

The solution to these problems (for those with Windows XP or 2000) is the DualHead2Go, a small plastic box that plugs into the external monitor port on your laptop. There's currently only an analogue RGB version, although presumably DVI could be an option if the laptop market gave sufficient support to digital technology.

By plugging one or two monitors into the DualHead2Go, you can get a resolution of up to 2,560x1,024. You can even use the two external screens independently of the notebook's one, so this would be a good purchase for anyone needing to demonstrate a product on screen, but who didn't want viewers to see what they were doing on their laptop.

Matrox DualHead2Go: Specs

  • Two RGB connectors
  • resolution support: 800x600, 1,024x768, 1,280x1,024, 2,048x768, 2,560x1,024
  • external 5VDC power connector
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • 92x95x25mm
  • 134g. Requires Windows 2000 or Windows XP
  • Two RGB connectors
  • resolution support: 800x600, 1,024x768, 1,280x1,024, 2,048x768, 2,560x1,024
  • external 5VDC power connector
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • 92x95x25mm
  • 134g. Requires Windows 2000 or Windows XP

OUR VERDICT

The DualHead2Go worked pretty much as promised, although you should check the laptop compatibility tool on Matrox's site. Admittedly, this isn't the cheapest product in the world, but it is fairly unique – and if you tend to keep your laptop in one place, you'll find this a huge aid to productivity.

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