Thanks, what a curious item, I've never heard of it. Are you saying I can use this to drive 3/4 monitors instead of using a graphics card for the purpose?
That's what is advertised and is what you get. The port replicator actually contains a graphics chipset which drives the display, named DisplayLink (DL3900).
Will it run three separate sessions / programs on the workstation?
I use it at work with DVI and DP from the Esprimo Q920 and DP output from the port replicator. It runs flawlessly Notepad and Chrome on screen #1. Chrome, OneNote, Excel and Skype on screen #2 and Word, Outlook and a database software on screen #3. I can certainly plug in a 4th monitor on the extra DVI-I port but I don't have any more space on my desk
Call me old fashioned but what are the pros and cons of this compared to a graphics card?
It's not the same as the powerful Nvidia or AMD processor so it could have some issues with complex DirectX 3D applications (according to a review by notebookcheck
The device really is designed to extend connectivity and extend the desktop for the office user.
ps: you can see how it works on the Displaylink website, it's quite a nifty tool, basically the dp chipset is like a modem, piping the raw pixels via the USB data link with some form of optimization in the frame buffer to minimize latency: http://www.displaylink.com/small-office/how