The UbiSync 7’s adjustability is also exemplary. Detached, the unit has a rounded ‘leg’ which can be twisted into a wide variety of positions on its ball-and-socket hinge. It’s a system similar to a digital photo frame. This ‘leg’ can be easily inserted into the 2263DX’s rotating arm, which in turn can be attached to any VESA-compliant monitor. The arm is constructed using metal and very thick plastic and is quite likely to outlast anything it’s attached to, which is a good thing. It can rotate around the 22in monitor to place the UbiSync 7 anywhere beside or above the larger display. It also has an elbow joint to bring the 7in unit forward, past the main monitor’s bezel. The one thing to be careful of is how easily the 7in unit comes off the arm – don’t try extending the arm by grabbing the UbiSync 7. You’ll get nowhere…
Image quality is a mixed bag. Of course its small size and tight dot pitch affords the display exemplary sharpness, and – embarrassingly – the contrast is also far better than on its 22in sibling. However, its quoted 30ms grey-to-grey response time is not ideal for viewing rapid motion, and worse, suffers from severe banding in subtle shades. While this doesn’t make it unusable for most purposes, putting your Photoshop colour palette on it might not be the best idea. Also, if you do play a game or movie, you need to turn Mirror mode off in the DisplayLink software, otherwise the whole experience will turn into a stutter-fest.
The one area where the SyncMaster 2263DX combo needs to succeed is in value. To be an attractive proposition, it should be significantly cheaper than a decent 24in monitor with a webcam, and to be blunt, at £343.12 it isn’t. For example, you can get the fully adjustable HP w2408h Vivid Color 24in Monitor and aforementioned Microsoft LifeCam VX5000 for around the same outlay. This gives you not only more screen real estate and flexibility but also the ability to natively run 1080P content. The only feasible circumstances where you might prefer the 2263DX’s setup is if space is at a premium.
If Samsung do make the UbiSync 7 available separately at a reasonable price, its portability will make it a unique option for mobile users, since it can draw all the power it needs from two USB ports. However, as a package with the 22in model, it’s simply overpriced.
Samsung has come up with an interesting combination in its SyncMaster 2263DX. But unless space is the primary consideration, at the moment the price is too high to make it sensible as anything other than a novelty; dual screen computing for the masses this is not.