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Mimo UM-740 monitor review: Mimo UM-740 monitor

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Editors' note: The Mimo UM-740 is an accessory and therefore was not put through CNET's usual rigorous monitor testing. Its performance rating should not be compared with other CNET-reviewed monitors.

OVR
6.4

Mimo UM-740 monitor

The Good

Compact and portable; plug and play; great for applications that don't require lots of space or high resolutions.

The Bad

Expensive; screen flickers a little; USB port is obscure; could be brighter; Webcam doesn't turn with the screen.

The Bottom Line

The Mimo UM0740 7-inch LCD screen fits in a unique niche where portability matters over size. It's a good add-on to your main screen as long as you have use for it and don't mind the hefty $200 price tag.

It's not a monitor for everyone. It's definitely not for hardcore gamers. If you use Microsoft Word a lot or are a frequent Photoshop user, however, you'll find that this 7-inch UM-740 LCD is useful. It basically works as an annex to your main screen and provides some extra space for toolboxes, chat clients, or even a media player such as iTunes. It's for any application that you want up all the time, but you don't want to have to choose between it and another as your main app. So if you'd like to have iTunes up and playing at the same time as when you're writing a document or fixing a photo in another program, this is the monitor for you.

The strongest selling point of the UM-740 is that it's compact, light, and highly portable. You'll have to pay for that, however, since it costs about the same as some 20-inch LCD monitors. But then again, you can't carry a regular size LCD around.

The Mimo UM-740 comes in a package that includes the monitor, a USB 2.0 cable, a software CD, and a well-illustrated color manual. The software and drivers that came with the device states that it supports only the UM-430, UM-710, UM-730, and UM-750. After a quick call to the vendor, we found out that the software for the UM-750 is compatible with the UM-740 as well.

Other than that confusing ordeal, the setup was a snap. The monitor connects to a PC via USB cable, which provides both power and connectivity and comes with an extra USB plug to use in an additional USB port, just in case the first one doesn't provide enough juice. Luckily, we never had to use the second plug. The USB port on the monitor itself is in a rather obscure place, making it more difficult than we would like to plug the cable in.

The UM-740 is flexible when it comes to adjusting its position. You can tilt it, rotate it, adjust its height and even quickly disconnect the LCD from the collapsible stand if you want to stick it in your laptop bag.

Once plugged in and set up, the UM-740 worked as we expected. It can be set as an extension of your main LCD, either to the left, right, above, or below. In each case, in order to use an application on the display we only needed to drag its window from the main display to the UM-740's screen.

In addition, the mini monitor is able to mirror your main LCD display. There isn't much use for this, though, since it max resolution is only 800x600. As such, it can only display a portion of our main monitor's 1,920x1,200 resolution. You can rotate the UM-740's image left, right, or upside down. The Webcam proved useful during video chat sessions where we had the small monitor display only the Web chat video. It's important to note, however, that the Webcam will not rotate with the screen; you will need to use the Webcam's software control to rotate it separately if you don't want your image to look upside down or sideways.

The touch-screen function of the UM-740 worked well, too. You can choose to control either the UM-740 itself or the main screen or a potion of the main screen. When the first option is not picked, the UM-740 will work more like a mouse: you move your finger on the UM-740 screen to control the mouse on the main screen.

Each time we changed the touch-screen function's area of control or rotated the UM-740, we had to recalibrate it to get it to work correctly. The calibration process was easy and involved consecutively touching the four cross-shaped dots displayed at corners of the controlled area. We did notice that once in a while it took a few calibrations for the touch-screen function to work correctly again.

Though we didn't test the UM-740's image quality thoroughly like we do with other regular LCDs, it was easy to spot some image flickering when looking at a bright screen. The flickering gives the impression that the screen is vibrating at a high rate. Still, we found the UM-740's display quality acceptable especially for such a small screen although we do wish it were a little brighter.

Overall, we liked the UM-740 for its portability and unique features like the Webcam and touch screen. The $200 price tag is just asking too much, however, for what you're getting. Hopefully the price will come down soon. In the meantime, check out the UM-710. It's virtually the same thing, minus the Webcam and touch-screen functionality and it only costs $130, which is still a little too expensive..

The Mimo Monitor UM-740 is available in the U.S. and is backed with a one-year warranty. At the support Web site, you can download drivers for both PC and Mac.

OVR
6.4

Mimo UM-740 monitor

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 6Performance 6Support 6