Microsoft is primarily a software company, but it also makes plenty of hardware: the Surface series, the Lumia smartphones and of course the Xbox console. Another piece of hardware is the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, where we are today the second version of the test. The promise is to connect a second screen wirelessly and seamlessly, but also fulfilled?
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter is similar in appearance very similar to the Chromecast from Google. On the primary side is an HDMI connector, which can be stabbing in a television or monitor. The other side ends via a short cable in a full-size USB port, from which the current dongle clouds.
As you can infer from the name, it is the second version of this adapter. Compared to the original version, the housing on the side of the HDMI port which shrunk, making it easier on him almost all TVs can connect. Microsoft also claims that the latency is improved.
Microsoft adapter is actually a Miracast dongle. This standard comes from the Wi-Fi Alliance and is intended as a wireless alternative to HDMI. It must use the WiFi Direct standard, which is being set up without using a router, a peer-to-peer connection. You do not need a password; the connection is automatically established via WPS.
What happens under the hood is that an H.264 stream with up to Full HD resolution is set up. For that you need a device with Miracast- or Intel WiDi support. Include all Surface Pro tablet and the Surface Book covered by it, but many phones offer support. Android became clear already built in 2012. At Samsung, the support from the Galaxy S3, Google’s own phones do since the Nexus 4 and HTC is that from the One M8. Apple does not support.
Update: A user reports that Google Miracast support in Android 7.0 for at least has disabled the Nexus 5X, and you need a root to get it to work.
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter Installation is plug-and-play: you can do in Windows 10 connection “Connecting Devices” from the action center button. There you simply click on the adapter to connect. You can then use it as a second screen, where you can switch between Windows + P duplicate and expand.
Samsung phones can use the “Connect devices”, which in recent gears underneath the box with quick toggles. With Nexus 5 was just looking for: the settings, go to View and tap Cast. By default, only Chromecasts shown, but you can ‘Wireless Display Enable from the menu button. Then Miracast dongles may also be shown. Android is just the mirror display possible.
Windows display settings betray Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter operates at a maximum refresh rate of 30 Hz. Great for watching videos and presenting a PowerPoint, but gaming will soon fall off. There’s also been some delay. Relatively fast games like Subway Surfers or Riptide GP2 not play nice way.
With Galaxy S6 phone went streaming screen significantly less supple. In the interface it was still there, but the extra compression when watching YouTube videos was clearly visible and the display did not quite smoothly also. When selecting a lower quality video playback was smoother, but you will of course not watch 480p videos on your HD TV.
We want to emphasize that under Android is available only mirror mode, the image of your phone is duplicated on your screen. Unlike the Chromecast, Microsoft dongle does not have Internet access, you can use not only your phone as a remote control. Do you look for a long time a movie, you can not phone and that obviously requires much more battery. For media consumption deserves a Chromecast clearly preferable.
Starting the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter lasted more than 28 seconds from the time the power went out. In practice are still a part of that time your television or monitor to boot, but we can imagine that the charging time is annoying if you want to show you something here.
How saw Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter as an alternative to the Google Chrome Cast, will be disappointed. For streaming media is the ease of use much lower, as was the quality. The machine does not work as a whole with iOS devices, while you can only mirroring the screen in Android. Nice for a demo of an app if you’re a developer, but for consumers it offers little added value.
In Windows, the adapter offers a lot more functionality. It is a convenient solution for example, giving a PowerPoint presentation. Because you operate wirelessly connected television or monitor as a second display, you can just use the presenter display on the screen of your laptop and view the presentation itself via Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.
For other desktop tasks the device less suitable. Thus, the resolution is limited to full HD at 30 Hz, so that the image display is simply not smooth. The lag is present gaming anyway excluded. Give your regular presentation, the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter is a great alternative to a meter long HDMI cable. But mainstream consumers will have much more to eg Chromecast.