DisplayLink technology migrates to projectors

The DisplayLink technology that allows users to connect computer monitors to their PC's via USB is now migrating to projectors.

The N1100 showing off its smallness InFocus

Tired of spending hours frantically trying to get that projector connected to your PC before your guests become incredibly disinterested in your summer driveway movie party? Or maybe you're having flashbacks to that last presentation you gave. You know, the one that just wasn't much of a presentation. I mean granted, you had no charisma or stage presence, but that's usually nothing a 90-page PowerPoint slide show can't fix. No, your real problem was that your assistant working the projector didn't know his VGA port from his LAN port.

Even if you're like me and you know everything there is know about everything (well between my brother and I, that is) and you'd never be caught in a situation like the above, the fact that DisplayLink technology has migrated from Displays to projectors may still interest you.

In our reviews of the Samsung SyncMaster 940UX and the LG Flatron L206WU, we talk a bit about DisplayLink technology. Basically, DisplayLink allows you to connect devices (like displays) to PCs simply via USB. This also allows you to daisy-chain up to six displays together if you ever found the need (would-be world conquerors might want to look into this).

So, DisplayLink for projectors. InFocus has just announced two new projectors featuring the technology. The IN1100 and the IN3100. The IN1100 is a small, 2.75-pound solution that's being aimed at business users and educators who need to give presentations on the go. The IN3100 is a larger unit that features InFocus's LiteTouch keypad, which stays hidden when not in use and is only visible upon touch. The N3100 includes HDMI support and wireless connectivity via InFocus' LiteShow IItechnology. In addition, each projector features DLP Brilliant Color technology, which, according to InFocus, will allow them to display color as good as an LCD does. Each also includes wide-screen support, which is a rarity for projectors.

The N3100 InFocus

The main selling point for adding DisplayLink to projectors is to increase the ease of use of these peripherals. InFocus' thought is that the technical hurdles involved in getting a projector to work correctly keeps more users from using them. They estimate that 15 minutes are wasted every meeting because of problems involved in getting projectors connected correctly. InFocus hopes that the intimidation of projectors can be significantly lessened if all you have to do is plug it into a USB port and start using it. There are other advantages as well to using DisplayLink. For one, it's an all digital connection (compared with VGA, which is analog). Also, the drivers install themselves once you connect the projector the first time. According to InFocus, you won't even have to worry about screen resizing or function key toggling.

The N3100 releases June 30 and starts at $1,499. The N1100 will be available August 8, starting at $1,099.

About the author

Eric Franklin is a section editor covering how to and tablets. He's also co-host of CNET's do-it-yourself and how-to show, The Fix and is a 20-year tech industry veteran.

 

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