If the Nanovision Mimo UM-720S had a much lower price point, I'd be willing to recommend it. As it stands at $230, it's simply not worth it. The 7-inch minidisplay that act as an ancillary screen to your main screen, has narrow viewing angles, a confusing setup process, and a touch-screen feature that simply does not work. The screen has a sleek design, weighs less than a pound, and can be useful for viewing IM clients, but not much else. If you're in the market for an additional screen we recommend the $125 19-inch Gateway HD1900 and an external DVI video card.
Design, features, and performance
The 7-inch Nanovision Mimo UM-720S is a USB-powered minidisplay with a sleek and compact design similar to the previously reviewed Mimo UM-740. Its chassis is a smooth, matte, and dark gray with intermittent punctuations of glossy black on the inner bezel and the neck of the panel.
When the screen is folded down--similar to a laptop--it measures 7.25 inches by 5.5 inches and is only 1 inch high. On the back of the panel is a USB port for connecting the display to a USB slot--on your computer or main display--to power it. The neck of the display has a hinge that the screen rotates on, which can then lock the screen into an upright position resting on a plastic plate at about 80 degrees. The panel can pivot 90 degrees to the left, but once pivoted, you'll have to access the DisplayLink system tray to adjust the orientation.
The side of the USB cord that connects to the computer has two connectors, just in case your computer doesn't meet the minimum power requirements and you need to connect another. We found the device's USB cord to be too short. Especially given that if the display becomes unplugged--something that happened far too often during our testing--the open window has to be moved back to the Mimo from the main screen.
The smooth matte screen has a native resolution of 800x480 and the viewing angle on the screen is narrow and unforgiving. Looking at the screen from below while viewing a chat window in Trillian, for example, yields a noticeable amount of flickering on the edges of some of those graphics. We recommend placing the monitor to the right or left of the main display. If you place it above or below, the narrow viewing angle makes it too hard to see.
On the top left of side of the bezel is the power button and "plus" and "minus" buttons for controlling the luminance level. Each button gives and satisfying click when pushed. The brightness can be adjusted through eight levels but never got as bright as we would have liked.
Mimo claims that the UM-720S can be used as a touch screen; however, this is somewhat misleading. The screen can be used as a tablet to control your cursor on the main screen. And by "control" I mean you'll be lucky if the cursor ever does anything you want it to. Calibrating the screen was an exercise in frustration. Launching the calibration software brings up a white screen with blue crosshairs on the main screen. This screen doesn't scale to 800x480, so it only fits on the main screen. By looking at the placement of the crosshairs on the main screen, you'll have to estimate where they'd be on the Mimo and then touch that area. Not the most accurate way to calibrate.
Once "calibrated," using the Mimo's screen to navigate on the main screen felt useless. The cursor hardly corresponded to our finger movement and seemed to jump around and randomly highlight text. We recommend sticking with your mouse.
There aren't many applications that scale to an 800x480 resolution well. We first tried using Chrome and Firefox on it, but those apps required more scrolling than we desired. Instant messenger (IM) clients however, seem perfect for the screen. We used Trillian, maximizing its window on the screen, and found it to work as well as we could have expected.
|Nanovision Mimo UM-72
|Included video cables?
Service and support
The Nanovision Mimo UM-720S carries a one-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship from the manufacturer. Mimo says defective products will be replaced or refunded at the company's discretion. We could not find PC drivers for the UM-720S online and were only available on the included disc.
Installing the included drivers allows the touch-screen feature to work with Windows; however, to use it on an Intel-based Mac requires an extra $30. We didn't test the display on a Mac.