Targus Universal USB 3.0 Dual Video Docking Station with Power Review

Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power (Back)

Review of Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power (RM919) with two video output, six USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet port and more.

Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power (Back)
Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power (Back)

Laptop input/output ports have been sacrificed for a slimmer and lighter laptop design. Most laptops only have 2 USB ports and supports only one external display. It is okay for on-the-go usage, but you will feel limited when you try to use your slim laptop as a desktop station — your laptop does not have enough ports for computer accessories and cannot have dual-monitor setup.

A docking station will solve the problems by extending single port to many input/output ports via a single cable from your computer. Unplug the cable and you are ready to go with your slim laptop.

In this article, I reviewed the Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power (long name, I know) which retail at RM919 (inclusive of GST 6%) in Malaysia. The powered docking station provides two video output, six USB ports (two USB 3.0, four USB 2.0), a Gigabit Ethernet (LAN) port. It is ideal for workstation users, hot-desking, conference rooms, and connect monitors larger than 30-inch.

Sounds cool? Read on to find out more.

Unbox & Design

Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power package includes the docking station with power tips, a DVI-O to VGA converter, a HDMI to DVI-D converter, a USB 3.0 SuperSpeed cable, and two power adapter cable (docking station & laptop).

Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power package
Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power package

The package is complete at the first glance before you realize that a power plug cable for the docking station is not included. You will need to use your laptop’s power plug cable for the docking station. You can pre-order the power plug cable at RM25 each.

The docking station is a black colour wedge shape plastic case with blue colour inside. The dimensions are 16.75″ x 6.69″ x 3.15″ and weight 1.36KG. A rubber stripe on the top will hold your device in place and provides a comfortable typing angle.

Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power: power tips
Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power: power tips

At the back, you will find ports for power switch, power (in/out), a USB 3.0 uplink, a USB 3.0, three USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, a DVI video out and a HDMI video out. On the left side, you get microphone jack, speaker out jack, and a USB 2.0 port. Another USB 3.0 port and a security lock slot are at the right side.

Open up the cover, you will find 8 power tips for most laptop brands, such as Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo and more. It can charge your laptop while docking.

Setup & Performance

Before you connect Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power to your computer, it is very important that you have visited http://www.targus.com/us/usb3/setup to update drivers for your computer. It supports most laptop brands in the market: ASUS, Dell, HP, Samsung, Toshiba, as well as Apple computers.

Your computer needs to have the latest drivers for USB 3.0 host controller, video card, DisplayLink and Ethernet driver. The docking station installation is easy after updating all the necessary drivers:

  1. Connect power plug cable to docking station’s power adapter.
  2. Connect power cable from the power adapter to the docking station’s power in port.
  3. Connect docking station’s power out to laptop using a compatible power tip.
  4. Connect all peripheral devices (dual monitors, mouse, keyboard, printer, speaker, etc) to the docking station.
  5. Connect your laptop to the docking station with the included USB 3.0 uplink cable.
Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power (setup)
Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power (setup)

Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power is the first USB 3.0 docking station to deliver laptop power. It provides 8 different power tips, but none is compatible with my laptops — Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro and ASUS Vivobook S400C. Without a compatible power tip, the docking station will still work but cannot charge your laptop.

If your power tip is not included, you can find all available power tips using Targus Tip Configurator. You can pre-order additional power tips from any Targus’ reseller or distributors listed here, each extra tip is RM19.

Power tips
Power tips

Windows will automatically install all the necessary drivers when you switch on the docking station for the first time. For an unknown reason, the DisplayLink did not work for my laptop running Windows 10. It only works after I manually download and install the latest DisplayLink driver and restart laptop.

DisplayLink USB graphics technology is designed to connect computers and displays using USB, Ethernet, and WiFi. It also allows multiple displays to be connected to a single computer.

Now, your laptop’s single USB 3.0 port becomes 6 ports USB hub, dual video out and a Gigabit Ethernet port on docking station! The DisplayLink icon in the system tray provides quick display settings, such as screen resolution, screen rotation, mirror and more. For business users, the Wi-Fi AutoSwitch Utility will auto switch computer Wi-Fi connection to wired LAN and reduces redundant network connections.

Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power (setup)
Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power (setup)

I connect a 42-inch Full HD TV to the docking station and it works flawlessly. Laptop’s desktop is extending to the TV smoothly and no lag when streaming full-screen video. Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power supports dual video output (DVI-I and HDMI 1.4 with 5.1 audio) with resolution up to 2048 x 1152 pixels each. With the converters, the docking station can output videos to any display that supports DVI-I, HDMI or VGA.

Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power connects to TV
Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power connects to TV

The docking station also supports Windows, Mac OS X and Android operating systems. Targus offers a three-year warranty. For more information, visit www.targus.com

Photo gallery

 

Conclusion

After setup correctly, Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power instantly turns your laptop into a complete workstation with dual-monitor, 6 ports USB hub and a Gigabit Ethernet port — all using only single USB 3.0 port on your laptop and performance is good. Want to go out? Simply unplug the USB cable and pack your laptop.

The docking station includes many cables but, for its price tag, it should include a power adapter cable, too. It can charge your laptop but make sure you check the power tip compatibility. You may need to pre-order an extra tip or, in my case, no power tip available for your laptop.

I would recommend Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power if your laptop is your main machine and you want to have a dual-monitor setup and connect to many peripheral devices at office/home.

[box type=”note”]I would like to thank Targus for the opportunity to review Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station with Power. This is a free product review with honest write-up. Contact me to review your products, too![/box]

Acer XR341CK 34-inch Ultra-wide Curved Monitor Now Available in Malaysia

Acer XR341CK curved monitor
Acer XR341CK curved monitor
Acer XR341CK curved monitor

Acer XR341CK 34-inch curved monitor, despite the difficult-to-type model name, is a beautiful and powerful computer monitor that I would like to own.

Beautiful Design

Acer XR341CK curved monitor
Acer XR341CK curved monitor

The first thing I noticed (and love) about the monitor is its futuristic aluminum metallic base that looks like a robot’s 3 claws foot.

Thanks to the genius design, the thin metal base has no problem to firmly holding the big and wide monitor. The monitor stand is height adjustable of up to 130mm, and tilt from -5 to 35 degrees.

Acer XR341CK curved monitor
Acer XR341CK curved monitor

The shining glossy back panel has two built-in 7w speakers with DTS sound facing up and down, instead of placing at left and right.

Its thin bezels or “zero frame” according to Acer, allowing maximum viewing area and perfect for multi-monitor setup and daisy chaining for a broader view.

Acer XR341CK curved monitor
Acer XR341CK curved monitor

The ambient lighting at the bottom of the monitor is surprisingly entertaining. You can change the LED color and the lighting style (solid, ripple, flash, breathing, etc), as well as its brightness.

The practical use of it that came to my mind would be light up your no backlit keyboard in a dark room. Yes, you can turn off the ambient lighting.

Powerful Features

Acer XR341CK curved monitor
Acer XR341CK curved monitor

As for the monitor specifications, Acer XR341CK is 34-inch curved monitor with QHD (3440 x 1440) resolution in ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio. The IPS panel provides 178-degree viewing angle and supports 100% sRGB and 6-axis colour adjustment.

Acer XR341CK accepts a wide range of input signals via HDMI 2.0, MHL, DisplayPort and mini DisplayPort. It has a DisplayPort out for daisy chain and built-in 4 ports USB 3.0 hub (USB cable not provided).

Acer XR341CK supports Adaptive-Sync Technology that GPU controls the display’s refresh rate to eliminate tearing and stuttering, and reduce mouse dormancy.

Acer EyeProtect technology in Acer XR341CK includes flicker-less technology and blue-light exposure filter to reduce your eye strain.

The ultra-wide big monitor means multitasking friendly. It supports Picture-By-Picture (PBP) and Picture-In-Picture (PIP).

PBP allows two inputs to Acer XR341CK and views side-by-side on one screen; PIP displays an input in full screen and the second input in a smaller size at a corner on the same monitor.

The sexy Acer XR341CK monitor offers great viewing experience for everyone, especially designers, photographers and gamers.

Price in Malaysia

Acer XR341CK curved monitor price in Malaysia is RM3,699.

For more information, please visit Acer Malaysia Facebook.

Amazing! Intel Compute Stick Turn Your TV into a Computer

Intel Compute Stick
Intel Compute Stick
Intel Compute Stick

Intel Compute Stick is 4-inch long plug-and-play device which transforms any HDMI display or monitor into a computer. It was officially launched in Malaysia on May 21, 2015 at the Intelligent Generations showcase in Intel Penang.

“What we’re unveiling today is a culmination of the work we’ve built on a foundation laid down by 50 years of Moore’s Law. In fact, the Intel Compute Stick was a brainchild of local engineers here in Intel Malaysia and we are extremely proud of having brought this game changing idea to fruition,” said Sumner Lemon, Country Manager, Intel Malaysia and Singapore.

Simply plug the Intel Compute Stick into any HDMI port of your TV or monitor, connect wireless keyboard & mouse, and you have a fully functional computer.

Intel Compute Stick specs and price

Intel Compute Stick features
Intel Compute Stick features

Intel Compute Stick is powered by Intel Atom Z37735F Quad-core 64-bit 1.33GHz (up to 1.83GHz) processor with Intel HD Graphics.

Despite the small body (103mm x 37mm x 12mm), Intel Compute Stick has a full size USB2.0 port to connect your peripherals, a micro SD card slot for memory expansion. For connectivity, the stick supports WiFi 802.11bgn and Bluetooth 4.0.

Intel Compute Stick output audio via HDMI. The attached display needs to have speaker/audio output, else you will not getting any sound from the stick computer.

Intel Compute Stick is available in two operating system: Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu (Linux). The Windows version has higher spec of 2GB RAM and 32GB eMMC storage space. 1GB RAM and 8GB storage for Ubuntu version.

HDMI port does not provide enough power, Intel Compute Stick needs to draw from external power adapter. HDMI extension cable and power adapter with USB cable are included.

Intel Compute Stick price in Malaysia is RM599 (Windows 8.1) and RM499 (Ubuntu).

Thought

I like the idea of having a full functional computer in a 4-inch stick. It is portable and convenient. I like Intel Compute Stick includes a USB port and memory card slot.

I have a Chromecast stick but it is limited to media streaming. I have smartphone and laptops, wireless mirror is not reliable, and wired HDMI connection exposes ugly cable. Intel Compute Stick will easily upgrade my home’s dumb “Smart” TV into a powerful computer. Sounds great, right?

But, do you know that, for RM600, you can buy a mini Windows 8 tablet with HDMI output? The competition from low-cost Windows tablets make Intel Compute Stick seems like an expensive gimmick gadget.

If Intel willing to slash Compute Stick’s price, it would be great to use as thin client in a large scale.

Do you like the Compute Stick idea? Will you buy an Intel Compute Stick?