UV Plus (UV-12)
An extra monitor without an extra graphics card.
A simple USB device that allows the connection of an extra monitor while still using a single graphics card, EVGA’s UV Plus (UV-12) is a convenient and inexpensive way to run multiple displays. However, it hasn’t been designed for graphically intense applications or gaming.
- Simple, effective, easy to set up and use, no issues with Vista’s Aero interface
- Only supports resolutions of up to 1280x1024 and 1440x900, not recommended for video use
So long as you’re not planning to use this for video or other graphically intense applications, EVGA’s UV Plus + 12 is a simple and effective way to increase productivity, especially for notebooks.
The premise of the UV-12 is fairly simple: this small box is a USB-based video adapter allowing Windows machines to run an extra monitor for improved productivity. And before you ask, the answer is no: the UV Plus hasn’t been designed with gaming in mind. This is purely for office productivity, including basic word processing and Internet browsing.
Aesthetically, there isn’t much to say. The compact device is silver coloured and feels reasonably well built, while the orange EVGA logo and power/status light add a refreshing touch to an otherwise bland device. Conveniently, the base of the unit is fitted with an anti-slip rubber surface, which means it holds firmly to a desk.
The unit offers both DVI and VGA support, with a DVI-to-VGA adapter included in the sales package. A DVI port and a mini-USB connection are the only ports on the unit. Our UV12 review unit supports resolutions of up to 1280x1024 and 1440x900, but EVGA also has a UV16 model on the market that ups the ante to 1600x1200 and 1680x1050 resolutions.
Set up is a fairly simple process that involves installing the included drivers and restarting your computer. Then just connect the UV Plus to a spare USB port and run the DVI cable (or DVI-to-VGA adapter) to your second monitor. The software supports Windows Vista Aero and uses a virtual driver.
Once connected, options are fairly straightforward. An EVGA UV Plus icon that appears in the Windows Taskbar can quickly be used to adjust any settings. Here you can choose to mirror or extend the primary display — the latter provides options for extending the display to a specific direction including right, left above and below. You can also check for any software updates, adjust the screen resolution and colour quality. The software also supports rotation to the left or right or upside-down.
We had minimal issues with our extra display when connected, though speed is noticeably slower. Watching a DVD, we noticed a dropped frame every few seconds using Windows Media Player, though it was certainly still watchable. Using Windows Vista we had no issues with the Aero interface; word processing, Internet browsing and spreadsheets using Microsoft Excel were near perfect.
For many PC users, the cost of the UV Plus means they would be better off just purchasing another video card. But for notebook owners the UV Plus could be appealing.
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