I just received a few EVGA USB VGA Adapters from Amazon.com and installed them so that I could hook up two more external monitors to my MacBook Pro. Now that I’ve done that, I may just add a couple more for no reason other than the fact that… I can!
The EVGA USB VGA Adapter lets you add monitors to your PC or Mac at up to 1600×1200 Resolution (or 1680×1050 for widescreen monitors like mine). This is actually a big deal, because there are a few other USB video adapters out there, but they have lower resolution capabilities – like 1280×1024. It’s also a big deal because most of the other adapters out there only have Windows drivers! For some reason, the manufacturers just ignore the Mac population.
Don’t get me wrong, EVGA didn’t start out with a Mac driver either. But the underlying chipset manufacturer, DisplayLink, finally released a Mac driver which enables it on this device.
Now, before you go thinking that all of the USB video devices with a DisplayLink chip in them will work with Mac, be warned:
- Only the ones on this list are supported by the Mac driver.
- Not all of them actually support 1600×1200 resolution. So don’t make a mistake and get one that isn’t going to replicate what I’m showing you here.
Well, what’s there not to like about being able to sit here writing this blog post while staring at a 24″ 1920 x 1080 monitor, flanked by two 22″ 1680 x 1050 monitors on the sides? I mean, my desktop resolution is effectively 1680 x 3180!!! I can have all my applications open without shuffling through windows! And if I need more screen real estate, I’ll just add a couple more monitors.
When I unplug my laptop and take it with me, then plug it back in, the system doesn’t remember the configuration of the monitors correctly and I have to take like 1 minute to reset the monitor preferences. This doesn’t really bother me that much, but would be nice if they could fix it.
There is a list of known bugs for applications that won’t work properly on a display fed by the USB video. In that case, move those apps to your primary monitor and you’ve got no problem!
Although video and motion type objects do work on the USB powered monitors, it’s not quite as smooth as a regular connection. So you aren’t going to play games on them.
I had ordered three of these units. For two days everything was fantastic using two of them. For some reason all of a sudden one unit just would not work any more. Luckily I had the other unopened unit, and I opened it and plugged it in and was back in business. I suppose any product could have some defective ones, but in this case I was lucky to have a spare.
Overall, I highly recommend that people pick up one or two of these bad boys and get your Macs situated! You can use them on an iMac, a Mac Mini, a regular MacBook or the MacBook Pro. Have fun!