It was over a year ago that I looked at Matrox’s TripleHead2Go – a fantastic little device that enabled you to run three screens off a single graphics output, with a maximum resolution of 3,840 x 1,024. Plug it into a notebook and you could have those three screens in addition to the notebook’s own - a four screen display, enough for even the most desktop real-estate hungry user. What it simply does it to present itself to Windows as a single very large display, which you can then divide up using the supplied software.
There was one major drawback however, and that was that the device was VGA only, which meant that all of your external displays would not be quite as crisp and sharp as they possibly could be. Just to be clear, the VGA output on a graphics card is analogue, while LCD displays are inherently digital, so with a VGA version the display has to turn the analogue input back into a digital signal, which makes for a slightly less sharp image. With the new Digital Edition though, the entire path remains digital, keeping the image clean, crisp and clear. However, there’s a VGA port on there too, should you need it.
The Digital Edition is physically larger than the previous version, simply in order to accommodate the larger DVI connectors. Another difference is that it’s now powered by USB rather than an external power adaptor. This means that you don’t need a spare wall power socket, but does mean you use up one of your USB ports, which could be at even more of a premium, especially on a laptop. Overall, though, it’s a neater solution.
First off, you’ll need three LCD monitors, preferably with a resolution of 1,280 x 1,024, which means a 17in or 19in screen giving you 3,840 x 1,024. You could also use three 1,024 x 768 displays as 3,072 x 768 is also supported, though that’s not using it to its full potential.
Hook up is straightforward and Matrox supplies a solid looking DVI cable complete with gold plated connector. If you really are going to take the triple screen plunge it makes sense to seek out screens with as thin a bezel as possible, as this will make for the best experience. NEC’s 90 series is ideal in this regard as it’s designed for traders who want to fit as many screens together on one desk as possible, but they’re pretty pricey. It would be sensible to hunt around.