Hardware

Review: Diamond BVU195 HD USB Display Adapter

The Diamond BVU195 HD USB Display Adapter (aka the Diamond USB Display Adapter Pro) is an easy way to add an additional monitor to your system.

The Diamond BVU195 HD USB Display Adapter (aka the Diamond USB Display Adapter Pro) is an easy way to add support for an additional monitor to your system. With its support of high resolutions, DVI monitors, and widescreen resolutions, it is also a great way to support a newer monitor on an older system.

Note: This review was performed based on a unit that was purchased by the author.

Specifications

  • Requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, or Mac OS X
  • Maximum Resolution: 2048 x 1152
  • Output Ports: DVI-I
  • Included in Package: USB display adapter, DVI-to-VGA adapter, USB cable, drivers CD and instructions
  • Cost: $72 on Amazon
  • Additional Information: Product Web site
  • TechRepublic Photo Gallery

Who's it for?

Anyone who wants to connect another monitor to their system but has run out of output ports on their video card can use the BVU195 HD. It can also be used as a way to get a system that is normally not capable of driving large or high-definition monitors to be able to work with them.

What problems does it solve?

Few computers are shipping with support for multiple monitors. And it is often not possible to install multiple video cards into a computer, especially on a laptop. So what are you to do if you need more monitors? This is where the BVU195 HD comes in. It acts as another video card, but one that uses a USB connection. Unlike nearly every other similar device on the market, the BVU195 HD can drive extremely high resolution monitors, and it supports DVI output.

Standout Features

  • Cost: The BVU195 HD is very well priced given its feature set.
  • Laptop owners: The BVU195 HD is a great way to add high resolution or digital output to a laptop at a low cost.
  • Expansion: You can connect up to six of these devices to a single computer.
  • Low Power: The BVU195 HD uses up to 80% less power than a video card.

What's wrong?

  • Cost: The BVU195 HD is significantly more expensive than a dirt cheap, dual DVI output video card.
  • Performance: The BVU195 HD is not going to win any performance benchmarks anytime soon.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

The BVU195 HD is a great device for laptop owners. Many laptops only have VGA output, and many monitors only have DVI-D (digital) input; the alternative to the BVU195 HD when connecting such a laptop to such a monitor would be an extremely expensive analog-to-digital converter, which can cost many hundreds of dollars. In addition, if your laptop is too weak to drive your new monitor, the BVU195 HD is a great choice.

For desktop computers, the story is much less compelling. A cheap video card with dual DVI outputs costs half as much as the BVU195 HD and has similar performance. It does not make sense to get the BVU195 HD unless you simply cannot add any more video cards to a system and need even more display adapters, which is a fairly rare occasion.

What separates the BVU195 HD device from the other USB display adapters is its supported resolutions. It can power ultra-high resolution monitors. If you have a situation where you need to connect a device to a large monitor, and that device cannot have any additional video cards added to it (like a laptop or a full PC), then the BVU195 HD is a great, and possibly the only, choice for you. However, if you are looking for high performance or still have expansion room, an internal card is probably your better option.

User Rating

Have you encountered or used the Diamond BVU195 HD USB Display Adapter? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

1 comments
OmydaZX1
OmydaZX1

I am curious to know though. Is the BVU195 simply a rebranded DisplayLink DL195? They both seem to support the same resolutions and the 80% power claims. Only difference is that the DL195 never mentions any ability to play high def movies.

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