Now we get to the interesting part of the review; the micro-USB charging port also doubles as a SlimPort connector. For those who don't know: SlimPort acts much like a DisplayPort; you can plug in any number of adapters and get VGA, HDMI, or DVI output.
We've covered SlimPort a number of times in the past, with our own Anthony Garreffa reviewing one of their HDMI adapters, and explaining how the technology works.
Let's just put it right out there: SlimPort is awesome. In the race for ever-slimmer laptops, the need to combine ports into smaller and smaller forms is paramount. The SlimPort-enabled micro-USB port retains the ability to charge the notebook, and also output resolutions up to 4K.
While micro-USB charging isn't ideal for a notebook (it takes entirely too long), the idea of having a SlimPort-enabled USB port is highly attractive. It allows you to make use of an adapter to connect your laptop to whatever screen you may have, rather than being limited by the display output ports that the manufacturer chooses to use. This technology would be wonderfully at home in those slim Windows 8 tablets that feature only a micro-USB port for charging.
But just how well does it work? Very well. Simply plug the adapter in, and plug a monitor into the adapter, and you can instantly get crisp video output on another monitor. Lag is not noticeable at all, and the system can either mirror the display, or output to it as a second display.
The technology works just like any other video out port, but can output to VGA, HDMI, and various other formats, while still charging your system. Why this technology hasn't been implemented into everything that has a USB port isn't clear, but manufacturers definitely need to get onto it.
While I'm not too sure whether or not this is needed on notebooks as of yet, the technology should definitely be added into all devices that make use of micro-USB for charging; so, Windows 8 tablets, Android tablets, and Android phones should all feature SlimPort technology. It's just so easy, and it works so well that it's a no-brainer for manufacturers. And, the ability to use the same adapter across multiple devices makes the technology that much more appealing. Imagine being able to unplug the adapter from your computer, and plug it into your phone. With SlimPort technology, you can do just that.