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Diamond USB 3.0/2.0 to HDMI/DVI Mini Ultra Dock Review

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Diamond USB 3.0/2.0 to HDMI/DVI Mini Ultra Dock Conclusion:

Overall the docking station was quite impressive. It did exactly what it set out to do, at least with USB 2.0 initially. For now, let's talk about what does work and the device itself. USB 2.0 works just fine, and it works pretty much straight from the box. A simple driver install and plugging in the device provided me with an addtional monitor and both HDM with sound as well as a direct Ethernet connection! I've always been a fan of being able to add an Ethernet connection via a USB device, especially after buying a tablet that only supports USB and WiFi.

The Ultra Dock does more than provide the Internet (which is already a $25 feature on its own). The Ultra Dock also provides the addition of up to two monitors per device. You could in theory have up to six monitors if you were to purchase three of these docking stations. The concept is sound, you can come home, plug in your laptop (from school/work/etc), and plug in to two montiors to get to work.

My biggest frustration with the whole setup was the lack of ability to have additional ports built in for a mouse and keyboard. On some smaller laptops/tablets/etc., you may have only one or two USB ports, which obviously get taken up by the Ultra Dock. For a true "docking" feel, ideally I'd have a mouse and keybord already setup and my laptop would just be "docked" like a desktop unit.

Overal, I am impressed, but I think there is some room for improvement.

USB 3.0 Update: 

With USB 3.0 up and working, the Ultra Dock still gave me rather mixed feelings. It was nice that it no longer appeared "broken," but the performance wasn't quite what I was hoping for. The tablet, as expected, was limited a bit by the Bay Trail CPU in it, but it did quite well considering. Having a full on beast of a machine, the numbers were just sad. The reads and writes were at least better than straight up wireless, which I guess is the real purpose and convinence. It is plenty enough for surfing the Internet and is actually good enough for in-home streaming and gaming; it just won't be as fast as you might expect. Perhaps it's just some bug that needs to be worked out on Diamond's end still, but at least it is all functional upfront. 

Pros:

  • HDMI (with sound) and DVI supported natively 
  • Provides an Ethernet connection for laptops/tablets/PCs without an Ethernet port
  • Allows you to "upgrade" from your laptop's screen to at least two monitors (up to six with additional devices)

 

Cons:

  • USB 3.0 isn't working on our unit (it was just a dud as the second one did connect up!)
  • USB 2.0 Ethernet speeds are a bit slow; they work well enough, but it might make you whine a bit
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  1. Diamond USB 3.0/2.0 to HDMI/DVI Mini Ultra Dock: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Diamond USB 3.0/2.0 to HDMI/DVI Mini Ultra Dock: Closer Look Cont'd
  3. Diamond USB 3.0/2.0 to HDMI/DVI Mini Ultra Dock: Specifications & Features
  4. Diamond USB 3.0/2.0 to HDMI/DVI Mini Ultra Dock: Setup and Testing
  5. Diamond USB 3.0/2.0 to HDMI/DVI Mini Ultra Dock: Conclusion
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