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Mimo UM-740 monitor: 7 inches could be a huge deal

New monitor is only 7 inches, but offer a niche that's hard for writers and designers to resist.

Here is the Mimo UM-740 monitor in action in CNET's Labs. Dong Ngo/CBS Interactive

During CES earlier this year, I raved about D-Link's SideState and whined that it wouldn't be available soon. Well, it's still not going to be available any sooner than the second part of the year, but now I don't need to wait for it anymore.

I just received Nanovision's newly announced Mimo UM-740 7-inch USB-powered monitor. The unit is very similar to the SideStage, plus it has touch-screen support and a Webcam with a built-in microphone.

The Mimo UM-740 uses a single USB 2.0 connection for both power and connectivity. Once plugged in, the 7-inch monitor provides an instant 800x480-pixel secondary display. Though it's small and holds no appeal to gamers, this unit is great for instant messaging, e-mail clients, streaming media, and especially Photoshop toolboxes. You then can use the main screen for other tasks that require more space.

The unit is compact and weighs 1.3 pounds. It can be folded into a relatively small package and carried around in your backpack.

I tried the unit out with my workstation and it worked very well. It looks kind of cute, too. The setup was straightforward and everything seems self-explanatory. Overall, after an hour of use, I like the unit. I'm not sure if it's worth the $200 price tag, though, considering you can buy a 20-inch monitor for that cost. On the other hand, you can't carry a normal-size LCD around.

There's a cheaper version ($130) of the unit called the UM-710 that's exactly the same minus the Webcam, mic, and the touch-screen functions. The prices above include shipping.

I'll check this one out more in coming days to see if it's really worth $200. Stay tuned for a review of the unit.