New Samsung monitor connects via USB

Monitors that double as USB hubs are common nowadays, but Samsung has gone one step further by introducing a fully USB monitor. According to a Samsung press release posted on Forbes, the new 19″ Samsung 940UX hooks up via USB instead of VGA or DVI, and it requires neither a graphics card nor any special video hardware.

To do its magic, the 940UX features an embedded graphics card with an “embedded software driver” Samsung says allows for “easy and automatic installation on any Windows XP PC.” Users can reportedly add as many as six 940UX monitors to a single PC, although such a setup won’t come cheap: the 940UX has a recommended price tag of $379, which is in the same range as 20.1″ wide-screen monitors like Dell’s UltraSharp 2007WFP.

On the specifications front, the 940UX features a 19″ 1280 x 1024 panel with a a 2000:1 contrast ratio, 300cd/m² luminosity, and rated response time of of 5ms. The monitor also has traditional DVI and VGA inputs. (Thanks to Engadget for the tip.)

Comments closed
    • Bensam123
    • 12 years ago

    Does someone else see a bandwidth issue here?

      • Hattig
      • 12 years ago

      Only for stuff that has a lot of graphical data changes per frame.

      Think of how VNC can run quite well, even over a very restricted link.

      The monitor basically contains a simple framebuffer and computer to process a proprietary protocol that contains the updates to the display.

      It’s nothing different from the old X Terminals, apart from being a different protocol and linking technology. Hell, if they had any sense they’d have implemented X11 or VNC as the protocol.

      Shame they didn’t use Firewire, it can get far closer to its advertised speeds, but not everyone has one. GigE on the other hand could have been an option, although probably not plug-and-play.

      Also very handy for when your graphics card dies, to have this option in the monitor. I think some LG monitors have had it for a while too, including some 20″ widescreens.

        • Bensam123
        • 12 years ago

        Hmmm….

        Yea, I’d only think this would work for 2D environments. Movies would probably be out of the question as well. They should’ve considered waiting for USB3. Too bad eSATA can’t be adapted for this sort of application.

          • evermore
          • 12 years ago

          Depending on your processor power, it doesn’t have to be limited to desktop apps and 2D. The only reason it wouldn’t do 3D well is because it’s not a 3D video processor doing the output. It could run software 3D just as well as any other video card (aside from framerate due to the limited bandwidth). Same for video, which is often largely processed in software anyway, but again limited in framerate. Talk about choppy, AND having it in like, 256 colors just to make it bearable.

        • evermore
        • 12 years ago

        Better option would be to have a simple standalone USB to VGA device, that you can use with any monitor you have, than to pay such a premium to have it in the one display.

        You must have very low standards to consider VNC to run “well” over very low bandwidth connections. I dread having to connect to one of our customer boxes over VNC because it takes me 10 minutes to connect, open the Network Properties, and log in to a VPN session, all while constantly force-refreshing the display. Of course this would be a good bit different from VNC, as you’re not actually waiting for a remote machine to generate and transmit every single frame.

        I’m not even sure TEN frames per second is feasible even with full USB2.0 bandwidth, if you use a 32 bit desktop (and how many people don’t these days?). If you dropped to 16 bit it would be perhaps not so bad. Not something you’d want to really sit and work on much. Heck just dragging a window would probably look awful, and depending on what task you’re actually doing, be very annoying as you wait for it to actually refresh at the real point of the cursor.

        For a dead video card, I have a handy solution. A spare video card.

    • Corith
    • 12 years ago

    The only problem is when you plug it in and you get a little task bar notification which says:

    This device could perform faster if plugged into a USB 2.0 port.

    USB 1.1 and 12MB/s FTW!!!

    • evermore
    • 12 years ago

    So they took one of these: §[<http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2000010353&Configurator=&Subcategory=353&description=&Ntk=&srchInDesc=usb+vga<]§ and built it directly into the monitor. A little more convenient maybe but you can get a 5ms 19" monitor for well under 200 dollars, plus 70 dollars for one of these adapters, and still have 120+ leftover. Either setup would be good for headless machines, cut down on power use by not having video of any sort installed (although I imagine server boards with ye olde Rage VGA chip aren't using much power for video). I imagine they could have gone with a 16ms display and gotten about the same quality out of it. Nice contrast though.

    • albundy
    • 12 years ago

    why usb? firewire is available and faster on alot of systems these days.

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 12 years ago

    For this monitors $379 suggested retail price, one could pick up *[

      • lex-ington
      • 12 years ago

      That would require someone to open the computer. If your normal, everyday computer user wants to buy a second monitor then this is perfect – just connect and turn it on. No one calling me 11:00 at night cause they’re afraid to open the computer, much less add a card.

    • king_kilr
    • 12 years ago

    Bah, for that price you could get a regular LCD plus a graphics card.

      • nonegatives
      • 12 years ago

      For that price you DO get a regular LCD plus a graphics card.

      /[

    • Vrock
    • 12 years ago

    That’s cool, in a workstation-esque kind of way.

    • morphine
    • 12 years ago

    If it’s the same USB monitor that I read a few weeks ago, then I have to point out that it doesn’t have the necessary bandwidth for fast-paced full-screen video and/or most games. Still a neat idea, though.

    • bdwilcox
    • 12 years ago

    This monitor has been out for months. Here’s a review from June:
    §[<http://www.everythingusb.com/samsung_syncmaster_940ux_11970.html<]§ The monitor won't play games and has lag for video or other bandwidth intensive activities. It's a niche solution for a niche need.

      • continuum
      • 12 years ago

      r[< It's a niche solution for a niche need.<]r Yep, that's exactly what it's for. This would have made my life a lot easier (and cheaper) in the past for a few trade shows and presentations, where equipment was already preinstalled and the conduit runs weren't big enough to fit a VGA or DVI cable, but a USB would have just fit...

        • zqw
        • 12 years ago

        Or laptop users that need a 3rd screen. But with all the limitations in this, they’re better off with a DualHead2Go.

    • Choralone42
    • 12 years ago

    Sounds like a neat idea for a secondary 2d monitor as it takes some of the guess work out of setting that at. But I have a feeling this thing would be useless to most as a primary monitor.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 12 years ago

    It’d be cool if there was a USB-TV Component out dongle.

    • lex-ington
    • 12 years ago

    Does the software drivers support linux?

      • CheetoPet
      • 12 years ago

      You’re being silly, right? Would be an excellent candidate for the Linux Driver Project.

        • lex-ington
        • 12 years ago

        Actually . . .no, I’m being quite serious. The monitor I have now is a bit fuzzy, and I’m trying to work that out. Samsung 940B (maybe I’ll try the DVI connection).

        By no means am I an experienced Linux user, quite the opposite, but this would be a great setup for virtual machines to get their own monitors instead of switching windows. I would love to get one of these for my home actually to have CAD on one monitor and my normal stuff on the other. Dual monitors make computer use so much easier.

          • CheetoPet
          • 12 years ago

          Don’t hold your breath waiting for Linux driver support from the manufacturer. Its an interesting problem given that the entire video card is emulated in software. I suppose if many more such devices ever appear an OSS driver will as well.

    • mongoosesRawesome
    • 12 years ago

    I wonder if that monitor meets the minimum specs for UT3?

      • ew
      • 12 years ago

      According to my calculations you could get at most 21 frames per second over the USB port and that is assuming…

      6 bits per channel
      All 480mbit/sec of USB bandwidth are available

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