Other World Computing (OWC), a maker of various hardware, peripherals and accessories, has unveiled the industry’s first USB graphics adapter that is compatible with both Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X operating systems. The device is designed to add displays to computers that do not support multi-display capabilities natively.
OWC USB 2.0 display adapters allow to add up to six monitors to a PC running Microsoft Windows XP SP2, Windows 2000 SP4, or Windows Vista with Aero support or up to four displays to Intel-based Macintosh computers running Mac OS X 10.4 or newer. Like many USB 2.0 display adapters, OWC’s has 1600x1200 limited resolution support; hence, it is not capable of supporting high-resolution large panels.
Besides, since OWC’s USB 2.0 adapter comes with DVI to D-Sub adapter as well as DVI to HDMI swivel adapter, it can also enable support of outdated monitors with D-Sub connectors or modern displays with HDMI connector.
USB 2.0 display adapters are aimed primarily at professional users who need to view a lot of data from many displays simultaneously. Studies have shown productivity gains of 10% to 50% with multiple monitor use, because users are able to perform more work in less time and with fewer errors.
The OWC USB 2.0 display adapter is priced at $99 MSRP from Other World Computing. Since each device only supports one monitor, it will be a rather costly task to add four to six display to a computer that does not natively support them.