Price: $39.95 Standard, $49.95 Professional, $99.95 Mirror Pro
Pros: Extends desktop to one or more secondary PCs via network link; compatible with native Windows Vista/Windows 7 graphics drivers
Cons: Aero effects disabled while program runs; Windows Media Player 12 doesn't play video on extended displays
When we first reviewed Bartels Media's MaxiVista utility a little over a year ago, we found it to be a handy way to (among other things) extend a PC's desktop to another system's monitor courtesy of a network connection.
But the innovative program had an Achilles heel in its lack of support for native Vista graphics drivers, which meant that the only way to extend the desktop of a Vista system was to burden it with antiquated XP drivers. The just-released MaxiVista v4 addresses this major limitation, and is compatible with standard graphics drivers for 32- and 64-bit Windows Vista, or for that matter, Windows 7. (There are still a few caveats, which we'll talk about in a moment.)
MaxiVista v4 is available in three versions: Standard ($39.95), which offers screen extension to a single secondary system, Professional ($49.95), which includes remote control and clipboard synchronization features as well as support for up to three secondary displays, and Mirror Pro ($99.95), which adds the ability to mirror a desktop as well as extend it. You can download a limited-feature trial version of MaxiVistano mirroring, and only one extended screenthat's good for 14 days or 50 program launches.
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