The SyncMaster 940UX is a PC monitor with a USB interface and it really worked via USB in our tests. It cannot replace the traditional D-Sub and DVI interfaces because the software emulation of the graphics card cannot replace the true hardware and because Windows didn’t react normally to our trying to boot up with the USB monitor only (the OS probably found no display to output to until the virtual graphics card’s driver was loaded).
What are possible applications for the 940UX? First of all, it is for people who need to have multiple monitors on their desk but cannot use ordinary models due to technical or cost-related reasons (e.g. if you need to install a lot of graphics cards to have the desired amount of video outputs). The SyncMaster 940UX can be easily connected to any computer with a USB 2.0 port whether it is a notebook, an office computer with an integrated graphics card, or even a more exotic piece of computer hardware.
A special application the 940UX is most appropriate for is the organization of information systems in trade halls, at exhibitions, etc. The USB cord can be quite long (we tested the monitor with a 5-meter cord from a no-name manufacturer and had no problems with it), making it possible to connect half a dozen monitors to a single system case with a modest configuration. If you have to quickly set up a temporary exposition, you can even connect multiple monitors to an ordinary notebook and each monitor will be working individually, in its native resolution, and with perfect image quality.
Here is a photo from CeBIT where this model was first showcased: a row of monitors is connected to a single USB port.
Our tests showed that the CPU load was not too high. Our single-core processor easily coped with a pair of USB monitors. Considering that junior models of dual-core CPUs are as cheap as $60-70 today, the CPU load is not an issue.
On the downside of the USB connection is the total lack of any 3D acceleration (by the way, we wonder how this monitor is going to work under Windows Vista whose interface requires 3D acceleration). However, the target audience of the SyncMaster 940UX consists of people who want a multi-monitor configuration for little money or within technical limitations. Such people are not supposed to be interested in latest 3D games. And when it comes to work only, the SyncMaster 940UX is going to fully satisfy them.