Full HD monitors have become quite affordable, even models with high-quality IPS panels. That means it's no longer too extravagant to have a couple of extra monitors on your desk, whether it's in your home office or at work.
Not all computers can support multi-monitor setups, however, and especially laptops usually don't have many display connectors. If your notebook features DisplayPort or mini DisplayPort it's now possible to connect two monitors with a single cable, courtesy of the Sapphire VID-2X. With a single DisplayPort cable you can connect two Full HD monitors via DVI.
This new Sapphire product looks similar to the Matrox DualHead2Go ME and Matrox DualHead2Go Digital SE that we reviewed last year, but there are some significant differences as well. They are similar in that they're USB connected and powered, but Sapphire also includes a power adapter which saves saves one of your USB ports. Matrox has a good reason for not doing that, as the DualHead2Go communicates with the computer and the Matrox PowerDesk software. That software adds features that allows you to customize the extra desktop space in different ways, optimizing how you use it. For example, you can divide the two screens into zones so your maximised window isn't stretched out completely and instead stays within the borders you've set.
The Sapphire VID-2X doesn't have smart software features such as this, which would appear to be a disadvantage as your OS will think you have connected one big 3,840 x 1,080 or 3,840 x 1,200 monitor and will treat it as such. Sapphire instead lets the hardware configure everything, and this could in turn be an advantage since you don't have to depend upon the OS or software. Read the rest of the review on Hardware.info (opens in new tab).