There are no buttons, switches or anything of that sort on this device. Instead, all you see are three simple indicator lights on the front. There is a visibly noticeable "light bleed" across these indicators, which isn't the end of the world, but it can be a little irksome.
In any case, these three lights make it easy to see if you have power, for starters, and whether you have a detected monitor connected to the HDMI port and to the DVI port. These lights are particularly necessary, per se, but they could come in handy if you have to do any troubleshooting.
Extending the Desktop
To test the performance of the DV100, I tried two configurations, both running on my Fujitsu Lifebook UH572 ultrabook. First, I connected it to a pair of HDTVs. Then, I connected it to a couple of 21.5-inch LED computer monitors. There was a difference in clarity, particularly for text, but that can be attributed more to the monitors/HDTVs than the adapter.
As far as extending or mirroring the desktop for productivity purposes, the Diamond DualView worked like a dream. I had no trouble with having a spreadsheet opened full screen on one monitor, a Chrome browser on the other monitor, and a word processor opened on the laptop screen directly. Similarly, as shown above, I could run three web browser windows concurrently too. This is fantastic for productivity, allowing you to take your ultrabook on the road, but coming home (or back to the office) with a multi-screen setup. I experienced the occasional lag or stutter, but it was largely negligible.
Performance with any kind of video content, on the other hand, is a different story. While I was able to go on YouTube (via Google Chrome) and play a full screen 1080p HD video without any trouble, I did get a noticeable kink in performance when I tried multitasking on the other monitors.
The audio may continue to play, for example, but the video content would hang or lag behind. Similarly, if I tried to play two or three different videos--either offline or online--across the different monitors, I would get the same kind of degraded performance. Given this, it's probably not in your best interest to do much gaming on here either.
However, we need to approach this with the right kind of mindset. It's possible that part of the performance lag is due to other factors contained in the ultrabook itself and these can be overcome with a more powerful laptop. Even if that is not the case, we have to remember that the Diamond DV100 was never meant to be a powerful graphics card and it is priced accordingly.
Without a doubt, the Diamond Multimedia DualView DV100 PC-to-TV USB 3.0 Dual Display Graphics Adapter has its faults. The video performance, while bearable for mono-tasking, will degrade with a certain level of multitasking. This can get annoying, to be sure, but I feel that the advantages of this product far outweigh its negatives.
For starters, it's remarkably simple. The software installs itself and runs seamlessly, integrating with Windows and letting you use the native screen resolution utility for tweaking. The external monitors look just like you connected them directly to your computer via on-board graphics. The dual monitor arrangement, plus your laptop screen, make for the easiest way to get a triple display arrangement.
Perhaps more importantly, it's really affordable. You can find it for $70 to $90 through a variety of retailers and e-tailers. Considering that all it needs is a single USB connection and you get a very workable configuration for multi-monitor multitasking, that's a serious bargain. It may not be for gamers or heavy video content, but for everyday tasks, the Diamond DV100 is a gem.
- Dual 1080p full HD output via DVI and HDMI
- Very simple and straightforward installation
- Adequate performance for daily tasks
- Audio output via HDMI too
- Low price point
- Laggy video performance
- Somewhat cheaper plastic build quality
- Light bleed on indicator LEDs
Overall Rating: 8.0/10
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