Last week I got a new Samsung laptop. You can see it to the right of the picture above. I like working with two monitors on my desktop and my previous Dell based setup isn’t compatible with Samsung. It just so happens that DisplayLink, one of our portfolio companies makes chips that power multiple displays so I thought I would try them out. DisplayLink makes chips and partners with companies that make the consumer propducts (partners include HP, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Lenovo and ASUS). A bit of research revealed that the DisplayLink powered Targus USB 3.0 Dual Video Docking Station is the most appropriate device for me. It was released in the US last November and isn’t yet available in the UK, but the folk at DisplayLink kindly brought one over for me, and I got it today. [Update: I’ve just learned that the Targus dock should come to the UK next month.] You can see my new setup in the picture above. About half of the Targus docking station is visible, circled in white next to the laptop. The white sticker you can see tells me that the device is ‘DisplayLink certified’.
The setup was pretty easy. I had to download a driver from the DisplayLink website but other than that it was plug and play. I really wasn’t sure that connecting to two monitors, a keyboard, a mouse, and a set of headphones via a single USB port would work, but it turned out fine. The laptop found the external displays and worked out the appropriate screen resolutions no problem. I played with the settings, identifying the monitor on the left as the main monitor and making it so that when I moved the cursor off the side of a display it came up on an adjacent screen, and was pleased to see the system remembered when I disconnected the laptop from the docking station and then reconnected.
So far this setup works better than my previous arrangement which would usually make me open and close the lid of my laptop a few times before it would work properly and sometimes refused to work at all without a full restart. The Targus is a nice looking piece of kit too.