Windows 8 gives a little more attention to multiple monitors. Oh look -- a feature for traditional PCs.

Subject: General Tech, Displays | May 24, 2012 - 08:22 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, multi monitor

PC Mag highlights enhanced support for multiple monitor systems in the upcoming Windows 8 Release Preview. It is like Microsoft has finally thrown a bone to the desktop and to a lesser extent, the laptop. Some features that were mentioned in the article have been around for a while, however.

If you have given the gift of a multiple monitor setup -- do not expect a take-backsies without a fight.

Chloe Albanesius of PC Mag wrote an article which outlines what enhanced support multiple monitor users will experience if they move to Windows 8. A refreshing suspend of the ctrl-alt-deleterious news. Or maybe Microsoft was just afraid of being attacked with vestigial display cables?

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Just think of the possibilities of per-monitor backgrounds… a shrine just for Josh...

The article opens with a description of the author’s triple monitor setup. Oddly enough my layout is very often an exact mirror image of her layout, horizontally. I would not be surprised if that choice was due to my left-handedness -- very amused, but not surprised.

Windows 8 will make it easy to load different backgrounds for each monitor but earlier versions were capable of that for as long as I could remember. The trick is to create a single very large background image in a program like Photoshop or The GIMP. This very large image must have the same dimensions as the sum of your monitor resolutions horizontally by the sum of your monitor resolutions vertically. The top left of that image is the top left of your “primary” monitor. Fill in the backgrounds wherever the desired monitor falls on that grid -- making sure to put whatever is above and to the left of the top left corner of the primary monitor at the extreme right and bottom. Set that background to “tiled” and you are set.

Notice how I never said that making it easier would be unwelcomed rather just that it was already possible.

The more important features include the ability to enable the taskbar on each monitor and customize how icons will appear for each display. That, combined with enabling corner context support for each monitor should help alleviate some of the juggling over real estate on the primary monitor.

You should be able to see all the changes for multiple monitor users in the upcoming Windows 8 Release Preview.

That is, of course, unless Microsoft ends up starting from scratch before they launch -- again.

Source: PC Mag

De-bezel your monitor, void your warranty and run the risk of killing your LCD ... but no bezels!

Subject: Displays | May 11, 2012 - 01:18 PM |
Tagged: DIY, Alienware OptX AW2310, mod

When EyeFinity and NVIDIA Surround first hit the market we were promised LCDs specifically designed to have tiny bezels so that your multiple monitor gaming experience would be enhanced.  These monitors are still few and far between and even if you track one down their scarcity guarantees a high price.  That is probably what prompted Tweaktown to pick up scraper and hacksaw and carve up their Alienware displays' bezels.  This is of course something to be done with the full knowledge that you may well destroy your monitor but if you want gaming like in the picture below you might have to risk it.

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"A step-by-step guide on how to de-bezel an Alienware AW2310 monitor and how they look in a three screen portrait setup."

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Source: Tweaktown

"Just" Picked Up: Datacolor Spyder4PRO

Subject: General Tech, Displays | May 4, 2012 - 05:18 PM |
Tagged: colorimeter, monitor

Just Delivered is a class of articles at PC Perspective where we share what crosses into our offices, labs, houses, or nearby unguarded front porches. Today we put up with none of that. Two days ago I got off my lazy butt long enough to drive to a store to purchase a Datacolor Spyder4PRO monitor calibration device. Sure, I could have walked but -- let’s not get crazy now.

Part of doing illustration work online involves knowing how it will be viewed by the masses. Everyone will view it somewhat differently due to more-than-slight variations in their displays.

Properly calibrating your monitor to what is considered convention is difficult and not something many users do. Hardware and software exist to measure your monitor and adjust your color profiles to match. Calibrated color profiles often lose brightness and vibrancy although they are not to look good -- they are designed to look consistent.

After a couple of years of off-and-on browsing web forums for opinions on which colorimeter is the best I realized that I would be just as far ahead with a random number generator. I eventually just went with the gut and chose the Datacolor Spyder4PRO.

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Of course on the way home an oncoming car entered my lane to pass a bus.

It almost served me right for not leaving the whole “going outside” thing to the mail people.

Out of the box, installation was quite simple. I did have one annoyance with inputting my serial number: apparently when you input your serial number and activate online they return to you your CD key. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems like if I were to reinstall the application I could not use the serial number that is safe and sound with the unit but rather recall the key I was given just then. That seems like a very bad method to enforce DRM -- although let’s face it, I hate DRM regardless of its form -- but thankfully I have secure notes in LastPass for situations like these.

I calibrated the three monitors very easily. My primary monitor, the Samsung SyncMaster XL2370, required two calibrations to be properly set although I believe that was my fault. Now all three monitors quite closely align to one another and seem to work well for test images in color managed applications.

My one complaint about the product itself is that it has a suction cup mount, but no suction cup. Really -- your device is almost 200$ and you cheap out on a couple-cent suction cup? Where am I even supposed to find a suction cup that will fit it? I mean, it is possible that there was an error with my package although it was sealed. Maybe it was only for the Elite package?

Really a suction cup is not necessary anyway -- they provide a counterweight on the cable to have it hang from the top of your monitor… but it is not as stable as a suction cup.

Source: PCPer

MonMount's affordable triple display mount

Subject: Displays | April 26, 2012 - 01:30 PM |
Tagged: triple, monitor mount, mount, multi monitor, MonMount, LCD-1930 Triple

For just under $50 the MonMount LCD-1930 Triple LCD Monitor Stand gives you a way to mount three monitors of up to 22" to a desk, far less expensive than other mounts on the market.  It may look minimalist but the VESA mounts can rotate between portrait and landscape and can pivot both vertically and horizontally to allow you to perfectly align your monitors.  Legit Reviews did run into several small issues, from cables weren't quite long enough to the discovery that while the stand supports 22" displays, they cannot be more than 20" wide.  It is still a much cleaner and more stable solution than having your monitors sitting on your desk.

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"We were about to give up on an affordable triple monitor stand that had articulating arms for a sweet AMD Eyefinity or NVIDIA Surround gaming setup when we ran across the MonMount LCD-1930 Triple LCD Monitor Stand Desk Mount that costs just $48.88 plus shipping! Compared to the other three monitor stands on the market this one looks like a bargain! Read on to see what we think of this space saving mount!"

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

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HP's inexpensive high resolution 27" display

Subject: Displays | April 5, 2012 - 03:49 PM |
Tagged: hp, 27, ZR2740w, ips display, led backlight

It may seem odd to refer to a $680 monitor as a really great deal but that is exactly what the HP ZR2740w is.  Finding a new 27" 2560x1440 IPS display with LED backlighting for under $1000 is well nigh impossible, even finding a used one for around $700 is a rare find.  HP has done what no other company has though, cutting costs by removing HDMI and speakers as well as not including an OSD. They did not skimp on the quality of the display however, with a very good response rate for an IPS display as well as a very good colour gamut.  AnandTech does warn you that the lack of OSD controls, having a colourometer to calibrate the monitor properly is very important.

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"We finally have our first real affordable 27”, high resolution display on the market now, and it comes courtesy of HP. The HP ZR2740w is a 27” IPS panel with 2560x1440 resolution (16:9 aspect ratio) and an LED backlighting system. With a street price that comes in at $700 or below, what has HP done to be able to bring a high resolution display to the masses at a price well below other vendors? Thankfully, they provided me with a unit so I could evaluate it and see."

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Source: AnandTech

ASUS offers an all in one NVIDIA 3D display package

Subject: Displays | March 13, 2012 - 12:58 PM |
Tagged: VG278H, tn lcd, asus, 3d display, 27

For those who would like to take advantage of NVIDIA's 3D gaming technology, a good place to start is the ASUS VG278H 27" 3D display.  While it is $650 it comes with NVIDIA's 3D Vision 2 glasses and 3D LightBoost thanks to the LED back lighting.  In this case a TN monitor makes sense as it gives a quick response rate and the viewing angle matters less as your 3D glasses also have a very limited sweet spot.  Hardware Canucks did feel that 27" is a bit large for 1080p resolution but that is part of what keeps the price low compared to other 3D displays and they did notice crosstalk, a problem which plagues many 3D displays.  If you feel the need to game in 3D you could do worse than the ASUS VG278H.

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"Being one of the first 120Hz capable 27" monitors, the ASUS VG278H caused a stir when it was first announced alongside NVIDIA’s 3D Vision 2. Even though it incorporates a TN panel and a resolution of only 1920 x 1080, its price is low enough to be tempting for anyone that wants stereoscopic capabilities without breaking the bank."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

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A different way to extend your display

Subject: Displays | February 24, 2012 - 02:04 PM |
Tagged: sapphire, VID-2X, multi monitor

The Sapphire VID-2X offers you a new way to utilize multiple displays without needing a graphics card capable of powering a resolution of 3840x1200.  It can both clone and stretch your desktop and is Plug & Play with no software or drivers to install, simply plug it into a dual link DVI port and it is ready to go.  At an MSRP of $180 it is less expensive than an SLI or CrossFire solution though it is limited in performance by your GPU.  You might be able to stretch your game across three monitors but you might find performance suffers somewhat.  Instead you can consider this a way to get multiple monitors from a single NVIDIA GPU or a way to avoid an active DisplayPort adapter for a Radeon card.  HiTech Legion has several videos of the VID-2X in action which you should check out.

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"Sapphire's VID-2X is a plug and play compact device that was designed to extend your existing monitor into one large field of view, in effect, tricking the system and allowing you to add two additional monitors to your system from just one display port, be it a laptop, netbook, home computer, or office PC. The VID-2X from Sapphire accomplishes this without you having to install any software or drivers. In addition, the VID-2X will make use of the video card installed and, without using system resources, maintain a resolution or output in clone mode of up to 1920 x 1280. The VID-2X offers several connection options using your existing cable option of DVI, with cables included, and once installed, will double your field of view. The Sapphire VID-2X will also adapt to VGA or HDMI display ports with adapters you may have on hand with your existing system."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

 

Mobile Multiscreen computing from Sapphire

Subject: Displays | February 8, 2012 - 04:06 PM |
Tagged: sapphire, VID-2X

You are probably familiar with the Lenovo ThinkVision, an external monitor easily added to a laptop to give you multiple working screens.  Sapphire offers a similar product with a big twist, the VID-2X is a small self contained device which will allow you to connect two 1920x1200 or 1920x1080 monitors via DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, or Dual-link-DVI depending on the model you buy.  Instead of being forced to use a small external monitor the VID-2X allows you to choose the monitors you will output to, as well as either cloned or stretched displays which gives you a lot more flexibility.  You'll have to visit Overclockers Club to find out how well it works.

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"With many in the industry projecting a sharp decline of desktop PC sales over the next few years, an external portable solution for laptop and netbook users on the go may find it a product that will handily fit into their carrying case and very useful for sales presentations, or to just make their tasks easier with increased screen estate. The idea of reduced toggling between multiple open programs and applications is also very appealing as well. As an avid user of a multiscreen desktop setup, I can attest to how much more easy and enjoyable the access is in day to day computing, project management, and content creation software settings.This product would also seem to hit its stride in board rooms and businesses."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

 

A portable display for your PC or Mac, Lenovo's USB powered ThinkVision

Subject: Displays | January 24, 2012 - 02:00 PM |
Tagged: thinkvision, portable, monitor, Lenovo, display

You may remember Matt's review of the Lenovo ThinkVision LT1421 portable monitor from back in November, but if not it is time for a refresher from Legit Reviews.  It is a 14", 1366x768 display that uses a dual USB 2.0 connection, one for power and one to drive the display, so it gives you a very portable second screen for your laptop.  One discovery that Legit Reviews happened upon was Apple support; by grabbing drivers from DisplayLink, the company which designed the ThinkVision, you can use the ThinkVision on your MacBook.  Check out their full review here.

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"The Lenovo ThinkVision LT1421 portable monitor is a great solution for someone that needs an additional monitor on the go. With an online price of $190.67 shipped it is not something you go out and by on a whim, but is affordable for those that need it. After installing the drivers, using the the ThinkVision LT1421 was as simple as plugging the monitor into a laptop with the two USB 2.0 cables and propping it up with its photo frame stand. You can then dial-in the display to look the very best by tilting the display to the desired angle and picking the right brightness level of the 16 available..."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

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Sony Shelves OLED Tech, Brings Crystal LED TV To Bear Against OLED Competition

Subject: General Tech, Displays | January 9, 2012 - 09:50 PM |
Tagged: CES, sony, led, crystal led, oled, tv

While I read a few weeks ago that Sony would not be showing off any OLED TVs at CES, I was a bit saddened. The company was the first to bring a real OLED television one step above vaporware, even if it was only 11" and prohibitively expensive it was advancing the technology. Well, CES is here and Sony did not bring any OLED television to demo, much less bring to market this year. Fortunately, LG and Samsung have the OLED TVs covered. The question of how Sony plans to compete with the OLED competition seems to be in improved LED TV technology.

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Speaking of LED TV technology, while Sony did not bring an OLED TV to CES, they did bring a new LED TV that they claim is much improved over current LED back-lit televisions. They are calling this technology "Crystal LED," and it is powering a 55" prototype television at this years CES. The 55" television uses very small RGB (red, green, and blue) LEDs to create the picture. This is an important distinction as current "LED TVs" are really just LCD televisions with LEDs as the back-light; where the LEDs shine light through the LCD pixels to create the picture. This Sony prototype is an actual LED TV, not just a branding misnomer as the LED lights are what creates the picture and not just a light source.

According to Engadget, Sony claims their true LED TV is greatly improved over LED-back-lit LCDs and offers 3.5 times the contrast, a 1.5 times wider color gamut, and is 10 times faster than LCDs. Although these are Sony's numbers and should be taken with a grain of salt (until independent reviewers can verify), they at least seem reasonable and plausible. The contrast improvement and true blacks should be readily possible thanks to the panel tech being self emitting. If done right, it should come close to the contrast offered by OLEDs which share the self-emitting property. The ability to be 10 times faster than LCDs may be the most questionable number, but still not an outrageous claim.

Stay tuned for more information as we get it! Do you think Sony's Crystal LED prototype has a chance against OLED?

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Engadget