TODO alt text

StarTech USB 3.0 to HDMI/DVI External Video Card Multi Monitor Adapter review

Turn your USB port into an HDMI or DVI

Our Verdict

For

  • Easy to install
  • Videos look great
  • Does what it says on the tin

Against

  • USB 2.0 isn't great for HD
  • Not powerful enough for games

StarTech.com returns with another snappily-named, though pretty useful, product: the StarTech.com USB 3.0 to HDMI/DVI External Video Card Multi Monitor Adapter - 1920 x 1080. It just rolls off the tongue doesn't it?

The device is a basic external graphics card that transforms a USB 3.0 port into an HDMI or DVI output, enabling you to add a second monitor, or even an HD TV, to expand the desktop of your PC or laptop.

When it comes to desktop PCs, the uses for this device are quite limited. Unless you have the most basic of integrated graphics cards, your PC should have two outputs for connecting multiple monitors. If you want to add a third monitor, however, then this is an option that is both cheaper and easier than upgrading your graphics cards.

Of course older PCs could potentially benefit from the StarTech.com USB 3.0 to HDMI/DVI External Video Card Multi Monitor Adapter, but it's unlikely that they would have a USB 3.0 port. The adapter is also compatible with USB 2.0 ports, but the results aren't as good, due to the reduced bandwidth.

Through both USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, the StarTech.com USB 3.0 to HDMI/DVI External Video Card Multi Monitor Adaptor - 1920 x 1080 did a good job of extending the desktop of our test laptop onto a 1080p-capable monitor. The colours looked good, and even though the laptop's monitor was only capable of 1366 x 768, the monitor displayed 1920 x 1080 resolutions fine.

It was easy to install, with the drivers provided on a CD. However, games couldn't be played through the adapter - it's just not powerful enough. High definition videos looked and played fantastically through the USB 3.0 port, but when plugged into the USB 2.0 port, playback was pretty choppy.

Verdict

As a cheap way to add a second display, the StarTech.com USB 3.0 to HDMI/DVI External Video Card Multi Monitor Adapter is a decent choice - as long as you have a spare USB 3.0 port.

Tech Specs

Product TypeGraphic Card
HDMIYes
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Brand NameStarTech.com
Standard Memory16 MB
Host InterfaceUSB
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Height15.5 mm
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Length78 mm
ManufacturerStarTech.com
Product NameUSB 3.0 to HDMI / DVI External Video Card Multi Monitor Adapter - 1920x1080
Manufacturer Part NumberUSB32HDE
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.startech.com/uk
Marketing Information

Connect an HDMI-equipped display through USB 3.0 for an accelerated 1080p HD external multi-monitor solution
The USB32HDE USB 3.0 to HDMI Adapter turns an available USB 3.0 port into an HDMI output, with high resolution 1920x1080 (1080p) video support - a convenient external video solution that makes it easy to add multi-monitor capability to a USB 3.0-enabled desktop or laptop computer (optimal performance from USB 3.0, backward compatible with USB 2.0).
Leveraging the high-bandwidth (5 Gbps) SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface, the adapter functions as an external graphics card to deliver smooth, high-definition content to your HDMI or DVI-capable display (HDMI to DVI Adapter included). The adapter can be used to mirror your primary desktop, showing the same image on each display, or to extend your desktop to double your workspace and increase your productivity.
Backed by a StarTech.com 2-year warranty and free lifetime technical support.

Package Contents
  • USB 3.0 to HDMI / DVI External Video Card Multi Monitor Adapter - 1920x1080
  • 1 x HDMI to DVI-D Adapter (USB32HDE only)
  • 1 x Driver CD
  • 1 x Instruction Manual
Limited Warranty2 Year
Thickness43.4 mm
Weight (Approximate)300.2 g