titleWhen it comes to the craziness that is CES, you see so many interesting devices, accessories, and gadgets that it sometimes takes a little while for it to sink in. We had a chance to take a look at a new adapter for the Nexus 4 while we were there, the Analogix SlimPort adapter SP1002. Their demo was a Bluetooth game controller tied to a Nexus 4 playing a game with the SlimPort cable pushing the signal to a TV. It wasn’t until later after they had given us a sample to check out that I realized that a SlimPort cable, controller, and a Nexus 4 could give me something to do while trapped in a hotel next time I am traveling.  

Product Name: Analogix SlimPort adapter with the Nexus 4

Review Sample Provided by: Analogix

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes


Specifications

Video output

HDMI 1.4 female connection to TV

Supports resolutions up to 1080p @60Hz, 24bpp

HDMI 1.4 3D support

HDCP 1.3 content protection

Audio support to HDMI monitors (up to 7.1 channels)

Standards Compliance

SlimPort® Certified

VESA MyDP™ 1.0 Compliant

HDMI 1.4 Compliance

FCC Part 15 Class B EMI Compliance

CE Certified

RoHS II Compliant

Halogen Free

Electrical Requirements

CoolHD reduces power required from mobile device to almost zero

Optional 5V (±10%) phone charging

Other Features

400k hours MTBF

1 year guarantee

0 to +45C operating temperature

-5 to +75C storage temperature

5 to 95% relative humidity

0. 05Kg

Plug and play functionality

± 4kV ESD contact

± 8kV ESD air

Physical Spec

HDMI molding: 4.26cm * 2.21cm  * 0.99cm

Micro-USB molding: 1.9cm * 1.26cm * 0.73cm

Color CMYK: black - 10:10:10:100, white -0:0:0:0, DP Logo red - 0:80:90:00

Length: 15cm

Packaging

Sealed ESD Protected Plastic Bag

21cm*16.5cm

Bar code identification sticker



Packaging

Analogix actually gave us two different models of their SlimPort adapters but one of them was a pre-release sample of their full SlimPort to HDMI cable and it didn’t come in a package. The SlimPort to HDMI adapter however did come in its packaging. We didn’t expect much with the packaging, a lot of times when you order an adapter like this they actually come in an unmarked bag, so when compared to that the packaging this time around was an improvement. The HDMI Adapter was sealed up in a static free bag and reminded me of a piece of jerky. Up top the SlimPort brand name was right on top along with the DisplayPort logo as well, beyond that there wasn’t much for info to be found other than a basic diagram on the back that shows that the cable plugs into a phone then into an HDMI cable, then television.

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Performance

I had originally planned on testing all of this out while we were still in Vegas, but as you can see, the time was never available. Once I got back home I was excited to give SlimPort a try, especially considering the SteelSeries Free Wireless Controller I had waiting for me at the office when I got back. While I had both the SP1002 HDMI Adapter cable and the upcoming SP1101 SlimPort to HDTV Cable (a full HDMI cable), before I could get into performance testing I did have to get everything setup. Rather than fuss with my HDTV, I put one of the many monitors sitting around the office to use, specifically an ASUS monitor with an HDMI plug. With an HDMI cable already hooked up to the back of the monitor, all I had to do was plug the cable into the SlimPort adapter and then plug the adapter into my Nexus 4. They also give you an option with the adapter to also plug your power cable in to charge while you use it, but it’s not a requirement, the adapter works without external power.  

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With everything up and running, I went on to play a couple games of ShadowGun Deadzone, a third person online shooter available on Android. The game itself looks amazing, especially when pushed up onto my 23 inch monitor. Paired with the SteelSeries Free Wireless I was blown away by what was basically a console in my pocket. The only disappointing part really was the lack of games that go well with a controller/tv setup like this but I suspect with the Ouya coming out soon we might see more compatible games.

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Once I finished gaming I flipped through my other apps looking for others that would work well with this same large screen format. The most obvious was the ability to download and play movies and TV shows on the Google play store itself. My Nexus 4 came with a copy of the newest Transformers movie in HD. While hooked to a screen via the SlimPort adapter, I was able to watch this HD film while controlling it on my phone, I can only imagine the possibilities for  someone who doesn’t want to charge a movie to their hotel room or maybe who was only able to see the first half of a movie on their flight. You can kick back in your hotel and finish up your movie before playing a game or two.

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Facebook and some other apps like the Google Play Magazines were much easier to see with the larger monitor but were obviously not designed for this situation, requiring lots of input on the screen as you read.

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My experience wasn’t perfect of course, this is still a new technology and it did show at times. At first I had trouble with the Adapter and my HDMI cable cutting out when moving my phone around. I had better luck with the all in one cord they also provided, but it didn’t allow me to charge my phone while doing this. My HDMI cable itself was most likely the cause but it was a reminder that a lot of moving around with this plugged into your phone and you might damage the connection or your cable. Most HDMI cables aren’t really made to be moved around all of the time.

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I mentioned the ability to charge on the Adapter a few times before. The adapter did a good job of charging while in use but I did find that overall the charges were slower, even with the signal turned off. I’m guessing there is a little loss of power when going through the adapter. I also wasn’t a fan of trying to charge my phone while doing this when I was trying to do things that required me to touch and interact with the phone.

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Overall and FV

As a whole, this is a design that is best used with other accessories like a controller or keyboard. But it was well worth my time playing with it.  My mind was opened up to the fact that mobile phones and tablets are slowly taking place of things like the consoles that we grew up on. They have already replaced portable gaming for most, having the SlimPort that uses the charging port on your phone is a way to hook your television up to your phone is only going to make this more prevalent. Wireless Displays like Miracast will push this even further as well, but for now at least wired is still the way to go.

Even beyond the gaming, I was extremely impressed with the ability to be able to watch a movie on a flight and pick up where I left off in HD on the TV at my hotel while relaxing. By now some of you might be yelling at your screens that there have been phones able to do this for a long time with MHL - HDMI connection and you would be right. Where SlimPort fits into all of this is it’s an open standard (DisplayPort). There aren’t any licensing fees or royalty’s to drive the cost of products up for example. It also requires less power meaning It doesn’t require a power connection to function as well. SlimPort also supports 1080p60 and 3D at 1080p30, this is a nice improvement over MHL’s 720p60 and 1080p30.

It’s hard to tell how well SlimPort is going to take off at this time simply because they are just getting started. The Nexus 4 was the first phone on the market that supported it; hopefully we see more coming soon. But if you are looking for a way to put your new Nexus 4 up on the big screen, this is the best option. 

Click to check it out on Amazon

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Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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