John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

Microsoft Wireless display adapter mini review

I’ve been eyeing one of these for a while now. It allows you to add a remote display to a Windows or Android tablet (in theory) using an industry standard called Widi or Mircast. In Windows the display can be completely configured to shadow, replace or extend your existing display. In Android it is a mirroring of the display. The adapter is a little larger than a USB stick and has a USB jack on one end (for power) and an HDMI jack on the other end. If your TV has a USB jack then all you do is plug this in both ends and your done. If not then you will need a USB power adapter.
The adapter itself has a power LED on the end and that’s it. No switches nada. The adapter powers up and displays a nice little screen comes up to show you how to connect. And that’s about it. The info is really intended only for Windows.
Let’s talk about the best case I saw with this device. I only had it for a short period of time so could not do extensive testing. On my Asus T100 Atom powered Windows 8.1 tablet it saw the Microsoft display adapter, connected to it and I could configure Windows anyway I wanted to use the display. There were occasional digital corruptions and very slight lag but it was very usable. Even with the mouse. I did not get a chance to try movie playback so can not comment on it. There is a Windows Store app to support the adapter and update the firmware, but even when connected it kept saying it wasn’t connected so that was a bust. All in all if this was the only experience I had with the device I would have been impressed (other than the store app).

Sadly it was not … Next up I tried an Asus Vivotab Note 8 running Windows 8.1. Oddly the hardware is extremely similar to the T100. It would see the adapter, try and connect and then eventually give up. I tried about 5 times and of that once it connected. And when it did the orientation on the screen and the orientation on the tablet were off by 90 degrees? Odd. So all in all not great.

Next up I tried my Samsung Note 3 running Android 5.0. This looped and looped trying to connect before it gave up and never did work.

So all in all the device is interesting but still not ready for main stream. A whole lot better than the uber cheap one I bought on ebay a couple years ago, but still not worth the time. Bring on the HDMI cable! Another prod that if your tablet does not have an HMDI port of some kind your limited in options.

April 16, 2015 - Posted by | Android, Other reviews, Windows tablets

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