The market for USB monitors is very much still in its infancy, so much in fact that the majority of what you would consider the main players in the industry haven’t even bothered turning up yet as you don’t see the likes of the LG LED monitors using a USB connection.
Is this to say that it’s market that really isn’t worth entering in to? Is the demand for 7-10″ secondary monitors really there? Or should we just use tablet devices?
Well Mimo is one company who seem to think so and their range just keeps getting better. So, here then we have the iMo eye9 USB touchscreen and it has some interesting new additions on top of its predecessors.
The 9-inch monitor connects, as you would expect, via a single USB cable from your Mac or PC and will output a solid 1024×600 resolution with full resistive touch technology. To accompany this almost archaic touch-technology you have a stylus, which doubles as a kickstand. Would you rather have a capacitive touchscreen tablet that works well with your fingers or even use a iPad stylus instead?
The monitor has a swivelling base as have many have gone before it and can operate fully in both portrait and landscape modes. You can of course detach the screen from the stand and use as an almost tablet like device as an extension of your desktop machine.
An interesting feature of the eye9 is the 1.3 megapixel camera, though it is far from discreet as it is integrated into a large circular module protruding from the side of the screen, but in this way it is fully operable in both portrait and landscape modes along with the display itself.
All in all, a decent effort and an improvement over what has gone before, though the jury is still out on this whole USB monitor thing as I have previously owned one before returning it within a few days.
Prices are relatively high and functionality is limited, however with Mac OS X 10.7 ‘Lion’ confirmed to run proper full screen apps consistently, it may become a little easier to function with such a small display, particularly for something such as Coverflow in iTunes.
With pricing listed as $229.99 I really can’t see this being a huge seller, but may just give the nudge to potential entrants to the market that they so desperately need. There is a lot of room for innovation in USB monitors for sure.
Do you think there is a even need for a USB monitor of this kind of size? Surely in the coming year as more Android tablet devices are released as well as the larger screen Apple iPad, you’ll be able to connect these up to your computer and use as a secondary display should you need to, while also having the benefit of their own built-in processing/graphics chips should they be needed?
Are USB monitor displays of this size a little like digital photo frames, a technology product that tablet devices have just rendered obsolete?
Via – Engadget