Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter Review

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter which retails for S$110 in Singapore can be mistaken for Microsoft’s version of Google Chromecast. In fact, both of them are quite different. Despite their differences, I don’t think their prices should vary that much. So I am not too sure why Microsoft would priced the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter at US$59.95 when the Google Chromecast is only retailing for US$35.

Microsoft Wireless Display will work with Windows devices and Android devices but not iOS devices, whereas Google Chromecast will work with Android devices and iOS devices but not Windows devices.

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter uses Miracast technology which basically streams or rather mirrors your phone’s screen to the television.

Miracast is a groundbreaking solution for seamlessly displaying multimedia between devices, without cables or a network connection. Users can do things like view pictures from a smartphone on a big screen television, share a laptop screen with the conference room projector in real-time, and watch live programs from a home cable box on a tablet. Miracast connections are formed using Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct, so access to a Wi-Fi network is not needed – the ability to connect is inside Miracast-certified devices.

Your Miracast’s enabled device connects directly to the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter via Wi-Fi Direct and mirrors it’s screen on to your television. This is is good for presentation, sharing photos or giving a demo of an app. But when it comes to watching videos, there is latency between your device and the television.

With Google Chromecast, it needs to be setup to be connected within the same wi-fi network so any devices within the same network can cast to your television. The advantage of that is your Chromecast can communicate directly with the source without streaming it from your device. This is particular useful for videos such as watching YouTube, Plex or Netflix because it reduces the latency between your device and the television.

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - Box Front
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – Box Front

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - Box Back
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – Box Back

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - Box Left
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – Box Left

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - Box Right
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – Box Right

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - Box Open
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – Box Open

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - Box Contents
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – Box Contents

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - HDMI Extender
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – HDMI Extender

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - Plugged To TV
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – Plugged To TV

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - Plugged To TV
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – Plugged To TV

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - Plugged To TV
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – Plugged To TV

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - Switched On
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – Switched On

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter will work with any Miracast’s enabled device and that includes Surface 2, Surface 3, Surface Pro, Pro 2, Pro 3 and selected Lumia phones. I tested it with my Lumia 930 and Surface 2 and it works fine.

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - Windows Phone - Project My ScreenMicrosoft Wireless Display Adapter - Windows Phone - Project My Screen
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – Windows Phone – Project My Screen

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - Using Lumia 930
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – Using Lumia 930

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - Using Lumia 930
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – Using Lumia 930

For Android, it will work with Miracast’s enabled Android devices running Android 4.2.1 (Jelly Bean) and above. Google seems to be removing support for Miracast going forward because their Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 doesn’t support Miracast. I tested it with my Nexus 6 and it doesn’t work, however it works fine with my Nexus 7 (2013).

If your Android devices supports Miracast, be sure to check “Enable wireless display” under settings as shown in the screenshot below, if not the device will not appear.

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - Android - Cast ScreenMicrosoft Wireless Display Adapter - Android - Cast Screen
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – Android – Cast Screen

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - Using Nexus 7
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – Using Nexus 7

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - Using Nexus 7
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter – Using Nexus 7

Conclusion
The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter is easy to setup and it doesn’t need an Internet connection because it uses Wi-Fi Direct which is a peer-to-peer connection. The only complaint I have with the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter is that it is rather expensive.

Both Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter and Google Chromecast have different use cases targeted at different groups of people. For me, I still prefer Google Chromecast because I watch a lot of videos and it is much cheaper.

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