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VillageTronic ViBook+ USB Graphics System - VillageTronic ViBook+ USB Graphics System
The ViBook+ itself is a small rectangular box measuring 4.4 x 7 x 2.2cm (WxDxH) and weighing a solid 88 grams. It’s well-built and fairly attractive, though as always its glossy black exterior does pick up fingerprints and dust easily. Its base, which naturally rests against the back of most monitors you plug it into, consists of a matt surface covered in small extrusions with four rubber feet to prevent damage.
Its Mini-USB input is recessed very far into the device, making insertion a little fiddly and leaving the circuits inside exposed. This would be more of a concern were it not for the aforementioned ViBook-branded USB cable, of which the mini USB plug is moulded to fill this gap perfectly. This makes it a very tidy solution, looking almost like the cable is permanently attached. The DVI output, meanwhile, has two screw holes so you can attach any cables or adapters securely.
Before installing the device you’ll need to install the driver, as - unlike with most DisplayLink devices - there’s no embedded driver in the ViBook+ itself. Another slight niggle is that we needed to download the latest driver for smooth operation with Windows 7 - despite the software’s auto-update claiming we didn’t need to update.
VT MultiDisplay is an interesting piece of software. Developed by VillageTronic, it sells for $49 (around £30) on its own so it’s a significant value-add, though only if you like the features it brings. It allows you to manage windows, wallpapers, taskbars and screen savers over more than 10 monitors! It’s impressive stuff, especially given that you can have separate display profiles for each of these. VT MultiDisplay adds new buttons to windows that let you instantly maximise a window across all displays or snap it to a single one, allows you to stretch a single picture across all displays as desktop wallpaper or have a different one on each, gives you individual taskbars for each screen and the list goes on.
There are a few caveats, however: it didn’t work properly on one of our test machines, and certain features (such as Mirroring, which will duplicate the main display or a portion thereof on any number of secondary monitors) won’t work with Vista or Windows 7. Hopefully VillageTronic will be updating the software as soon as possible, but for now only Windows XP users will get the best out of it. It must be said that navigating around the options also isn’t quite as intuitive as it could be. Handy as it is, we hope VT MultiDisplay isn’t adding too much to the cost of the device since many users won’t even need it.