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DisplayLink Software is Horrible, And Ethernet Won't Work Without IT
on June 1, 2013
I'm very disappointed. I got this over the comparable Acer for the WebCam and the Ethernet port. Find out the Ethernet port doesn't work unless you install the DisplayLink Software. The DisplayLink software is horrible. I'm using the monitor as a secondary display to extend the desktop of my laptop. Basically, I want this to serve as a pseudo-docking station: plug in one USB cable and one HDMI cable, and my keyboard, mouse, scanner, speakers, and Ethernet are ready to go.
Everything worked great except Ethernet. Dug through the OSD menus and found out Ethernet comes disabled by default. Enabling it triggered installation of DisplayLink. As soon as that happened, my sound stopped working. Turned out, sound was now being routed over the USB port. No obvious way to change that in Audio Settings. So I used the OSD screen, set the audio input to USB (which takes up bandwidth on the USB), and heard fuzzier-sounding audio. Finally found the setting to revert to HDMI audio, but then the OSD menu had disabled the option for HDMI/DP audio. So I left it on USB.
Next, I found out that when the monitor sleeps, it comes back up with a blank screen (showing the solid color I use as a desktop background). The mouse cursor disappears when I move it off the edge of the laptop display. The only way to get it back is to reboot or to go into display settings, set the monitor to Main Display, then set it the laptop screen to Main Display.
I think I figured out the problem. Display settings shows 3 displays when DisplayLink is installed: the laptop display and the Dell monitor twice. One instance is the HDMI version, the other a USB version. I don't want to send graphics over my USB. There's no need for it. I have an HDMI cable. I got so fed up, I uninstalled DisplayLink. Everything just worked, except for Ethernet. I got clever and installed DisplayLik, then uninstalled the graphics portion while leaving the "core" portion. No luck: Ethernet is still dead.
So now I'm using a USB dongle for Ethernet, one of the main things I wanted to avoid by getting this monitor. It's much slower (since it's USB 2) and it wastes a USB port. Fortunately, speed only matters sometimes. But it's still annoying.
Also, the touch aspect doesn't work well: touching the monitor registers on the laptop screen. I'm hoping this is a Windows 7 problem, and that when I get Windows 8, the touches will register on whichever screen I'm actually touching.
Bottom line: IT SHOULD NOT TAKE ALL DAY TO CONFIGURE WHAT IS ESSENTIALLY A MONITOR AND A USB HUB. There's no reason the Ethernet port can't work just as the USB ports do. The software is plain awful, and makes the user experience worse while offering not a single benefit. Just give me a device driver for the Ethernet port, and I'll bump this to 5 stars. I gave it 2 because the monitor is nice and sharp. But the things that distinguish it from it's principle competitor--and justify the higher price--simply don't work well.