Mimo and D-Link are two manufacturers who have started shipping out mini USB monitors. These monitors measure up at about 7 inches and have pixel resolutions of about 800x480. That’s about the size and viewing area of a smartphone. These USB monitors work with Windows or Mac computers and cost between $130 and $200. So, why would you want a miniature USB monitor? Here are a few good reasons:
Save Desktop Space
By this, I mean your Windows of Mac OS desktop. Multitasking is the name of the game in this day and age, and a goodly chunk of the programs that we multitask run in the background, occasionally tossing up notifications. Constant growl notifications or status updates can get in the way of your work area or they could be just plain distracting. By offloading notifications and other windows, like chat windows or buddy lists, to your mini USB monitor, you can stay focused in your main workspace.
Save Monitor Ports
Computers rarely have more than one external monitor port or display out, which means if you already have two monitors running, you’re out of ports. A USB monitor lets you expand your screen real estate without hogging a monitor out port.
The higher end USB monitors feature touch screens, which makes them great for launching applications or controlling media playback, etc. A touch screen USB monitor doubles as both an input device and a screen.
Unlike normal external monitors, USB monitors are powered right from the computer. This makes it excellent for laptops, as you can take them on the road for some extra screen space on the go without having to search for a plug.
Digital Photo Frame
It’s common to put pictures of your family, your pets or your last vacation as your desktop background—but the only problem with that is that when you have applications open, it gets covered up. If you’re not using your USB monitor for anything important, you can use it as a digital photo frame. You can even rotate your Windows background to have a mini slide show going at all times.
At $200, the USB monitor may be a bit expensive for most users. But as the price comes down and we geeks find more cool uses, they may make an attractive gift or indulgence.