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Paying 200 bucks for a monitor doesn’t sound like a big deal does it? If you wait out one of the techie online retailers long enough, you might come across something. Now paying $200 for a touchscreen monitor is a whole different story. That’s why I think the Mimo electronics company is a little bit off their collective rockers. They’ve been putting out a line of small and inexpensive add-on displays for a while now and it’s a mystery why everyone isn’t talking about them.

I was fortunate enough to test out their latest release the iMo Touch. Ok, it does sound Apple-ish but whatever, it’s a damn good monitor. 

The iMo isn’t intended to be used (at least I don’t think) as a replacement for a primary monitor. It’s a secondary device that plugs into your computer’s USB port. The added space can then be used as somewhere to keep instant messenger windows, music player, video window, photo or whatever you can think of. You’re not limited to using the iMo Touch for that but to me, that’s what it came in extra handy for.

How Does It Look?

It looks just like a mini computer monitor. The body has a smooth shiny body with a detachable stand. I chose to keep the stand on to give it that control room feel with my other monitor.

The screen is nice and bright. Even though it’s a small monitor, you can still read stuff on it without squinting. On the back of the device, you have an off/on switch, brightness level buttons and a screw hole (giggity) to add in a small metal kickstand. The screen also swivels in the event you want to go vertical instead of the standard horizontal position. Finally there’s a compartment towards the top where you’ll put in the two supplied AA batteries. 

How Does It Work?

This can be a little tricky at first but nothing dramatic enough to make you want to send it back. 

If you’re running Windows on your computer you’ll have no problem at all setting up the iMo Touch. Just pop in the CD that comes with the packaging, install the drivers and turn it on. Bang you’re done. However, if you’re a snooty Mac user (like me) you might run into a few snags depending on which version you’ve got. With Leopard and below, the CD should set you up fine. Snow Leopard users will have to go to the Mimo website (see at the end) to download the updated drivers. I was able to find them in FAQ section. Here’s the link my Mac folks. Install all of that stuff and be sure to calibrate the monitor using the ‘Touch Tool Kit’ program so that you can take advantage of the touchscreen. Otherwise, you’ll just have a monitor. Not like that’s a bad thing anyway.

 

 

Once the setup is out of the way, plug the iMo Touch in to a USB port. There’s two USB plugs on the iMo Touch cable just incase you don’t have enough power coming from one port. In other words, most laptops and notebooks will require that you use two USB ports to power the monitor. Desktops shouldn’t have a problem. If all else fails, pick up a powered USB hub (the ones you can plug into an outlet). All hooked up, the monitor works flawlessly. The pressure sensitive screen has no lag time and does just what you want it to do. On Windows you’re able to adjust the sensitivity of the screen, a feature not available on the Mac yet. It doesn’t matter if you use your fingers or a stylus it’ll still work but if you’re funny about fingerprints on the screen, go for a stylus.

For a device like the iMo Touch, $200 is well worth it. If you don’t believe me, go look for a touchscreen monitor in that price range. Here’s a hint, you won’t find it. That is, unless it just fell off of