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Connectivity Limitation on "E-Port Plus Replicator"

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by WiseFreeman, Nov 6, 2009.

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  1. WiseFreeman

    WiseFreeman Notebook Enthusiast

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    Dear members of NBR & owner of Dell E-Port Plus docking station,


    I would like to know the configuration on this E-Port Plus Replicator before making my purchase.

    Q1:
    Does the laptop's on-board peripherals (all input & output ports: e.g. USB, VGA, DisplayPort) on the laptop will be turned off & switched to the docking station after docked? Meaning that when I docked my laptop, will I still be able to use all the USB & other ports on my laptop?


    Q2:
    Since this docking station comes with 1x VGA, 2x DVI & 2x DisplayPort (total of 5 visual output), will I be able to hook up 5 monitors display? Or maximum are only limited to 2 monitors output with either source? (2x DVI or 1x DVI & 1x VGA)

    I'm planing to hook up 3 monitors ("Samsung SyncMaster 2343BWX" at 2048 x 1152 resolution each) via the E-Port Plus Replicator docking station, currently my M4400 only able to connect to maximum 2 monitors via laptop's on-board 1x DVI (DisplayPort>DVI) & 1x VGA (D-Sub), both able to achieve native resolution at 2048 x 1152.



    Advise is much appreciated, thanks in advance ;-)
     
  2. ziesemer

    ziesemer Notebook Consultant

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    When docked, all the USB ports work (both on the system and the dock).

    DisplayPort and network: no. These functions seem to be transferred to the dock, which makes sense given their placement on the system and how they are practically covered by the dock.

    VGA: Again, I haven't tried it, but my guess is that works the same as the DisplayPort, and is transferred to the dock and becomes disabled on the system.

    Limited to 2 monitor outputs: Either the system LCD and one external (DisplayPort or VGA, etc.), or 2 externals. I'd also be interested in connecting to a 3rd display, but I've never found a way to do this, or read about anyone else that has, short of using a special expansion card (ExpressCard or USB).

    (I have a Latitude E6500 with the E-Port Plus.)
     
  3. WiseFreeman

    WiseFreeman Notebook Enthusiast

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  4. ziesemer

    ziesemer Notebook Consultant

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    Do you have this device? I've looked at similar items, but not this one. In particular, do you know if it works properly with Windows Vista under it's WDDM driver model without having to downgrade to XPDM drivers? As I recall, WDDM only supports one active video driver. So with that driver being nVidia in my case, how can the Kensington driver be used as well?
     
  5. Greg

    Greg Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Running video through USB is definitely NOT an ideal solution, so do not even think about it if you ask me.

    You might be able to use the Matrox DualHead2Go or TripleHead2Go, which would allow you to 'merge' two or three displays into one for the computer.
     
  6. ziesemer

    ziesemer Notebook Consultant

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    Agreed - especially not for anything graphics intensive. However, if it's the only available option for some extra screen space for an extra text editor or web browser window, I'll consider it.

    I'm sure the Matrox products you mentioned are better from a performance perspective. However, my understanding is that Windows won't see the "split output" as multiple monitors. A common impact of this is that maximized applications or even the Windows taskbar will span across both connected monitors instead of resizing to only one. (span mode vs. extended mode).
     
  7. Greg

    Greg Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    At least with dual monitors, you can use Windows 7's Aero to snap to one half of the screen or the other to effectively get dual monitors. I've been using that for my multi-monitor remote desktop setup.
     
  8. WiseFreeman

    WiseFreeman Notebook Enthusiast

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    @ziesemer: Nope, I haven't try that device before.

    @Greg Ross: Will reconsider Matrox products.
     
  9. ziesemer

    ziesemer Notebook Consultant

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    I just received one of the referenced Kensington Universal Multi-Display adapters, # K33928US, and I am very impressed. I can't find any issues to note, including the WDDM concerns I mentioned above, at least under Windows 7. This is going to work great for powering a 3rd monitor for complex software development work. Right now, I have my E6500 internal display at 1920x1200, a 2nd at 1280x1024 connected through DVI, and a 3rd connected at 1920x1080 through this DisplayLink adapter. This adapter even does a very respectable job at handling HD video, though I certainly wouldn't recommend it as a regular use. The drivers (using version 5.2) are very clean and stable, and completely transparent - only making the additional display available in the regular Windows' Display control panel. It even passes the EDID, allowing the display to properly be identified.

    If anyone else is looking to purchase one of these and has any questions, I'll do my best to answer!
     
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