We've previously written at length about the productivity benefits associated with multiple desktop screens and the latest offering to cross our desk in this arena is the ViBook from Village Tronic. Bundled with its exclusive desktop managing software, this device allows the user to extend their desktop onto five additional screens, utilizing the USB port instead of the DVI socket on the back of your graphics card.
The ViBook is designed to provide a very simple method of adding and adjusting additional monitors. A tiny ViBook that plugs into the DVI socket of the monitor drives each display and the other end of the cable goes to the USB port of the desktop or notebook. The specs say it allows one Windows based computer to present over six screens, and up to four screens for a Mac OS computer. This dramatic increase in the amount of screen area available can significantly increase productivity, as many different programs can be open and visible at the same time.
Village Tronic have also bundled this product with its own particular multi-display software. This package enables users to surround themselves with an extended desktop of independent applications, each running on their own dedicated screen or alternatively the user could to decide to surround themselves with one huge desktop spanning across several screens. Users are provided with several methods of organizing the screen that have not previously been available in Windows. The software system is known as VT MultiDisplay for Windows and VT Voilà for Mac.
Physically, the ViBook is extremely small at only 1.7”x 2.8” x 0.9” (4.3cm x 7cm x 2.4cm). On the technical side, it can support displays up to 22” in size, with a resolution of 1680x1050 (widescreen) and 1600x1200 (standard) in both 16 and 32-bit color. It draws its power from the USB port, which means it requires no additional power adapters. Additionally, the ViBook can be used with, or independently of, the video card already installed in the computer and can even drive projectors and HDTV displays. It is supplied with a DVI to VGA cable for high quality analogue output to displays, a VESA mounting cradle and the previously mentioned multi-screen software to enhance user experience.
The ViBook is available now with an end user price of €108 in Europe or USD$129 in the USA.