DisplayLink – multi screens on a Mac

For years I’ve been restricted to just my laptop screen and an external (albeit large) display.

I thought about the Matrox cards (DualHead2Go and TripleHead2Go) which are very appealing but very expensive (the TripleHead was almost £300).

Then I discovered DisplayLink devices which seemed to do the impossible – drive external HD screens via your USB port. Your USB port just wasn’t designed to drive high end video so it just seemed too good to be true. They promise to drive up to 4 external displays!

£35 per device reduces the risk factor so I decided to try one out.

I was blown away. I was aware they had limited video throughput so no high end gaming or HD videos. But that’s fine. I just wanted them to park a web browser with a useful page of info. Or documentation. Or a Word doc.

And they do that just fine. But they also do a pretty good job of showing video too. Enough so I occasionally run a Youtube video on a DisplayLink screen when I can’t be bothered to drag that browser to my main screen – and it works fine.

The downside is I’ve occasionally (once or twice per fortnight) experienced the odd crash where it just exits to the login screen. Not a big enough pain to not stop using them – after all, I now have 2 additional HD screens bringing my total up to 4 screens. Pure luxury.

However, it has been a niggle. Fortunately, they’ve recently (March 22nd 2013) released the v2.0 drivers which I’ve just installed. Hope they fix those problems.


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