Review Index:

Mini LCD Monitor Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Displays
Manufacturer: General

Usage and Conclusion

This content was originally featured on and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.

What you can do with the display really depends on what video signal you can provide. Any standard composite video source will suffice, such as a camcorder, game console, VCR, etc. To display information from your computer, you will require a dual output video card. My main system has an ATI 7500 Radeon All-in-Wonder, which is quite capable of handling two displays.

What follows is a brief summary of the things you can do when mating this display with the AIW card. The AIW card allows you to drive two displays with either the same information, or independent information on both. In the former, what you will see on the secondary screen is a shrunken copy of your main monitor’s display. Simply due to the low resolution, you will not be able to make out fine details on the secondary monitor. Honestly I can’t see any practical reason to run in this manner. After all, why look at something on a 4” low resolution monitor when the same information is on your regular monitor.

The picture above shows a 15” NEC LCD monitor running 1024 by 768 resolution. The picture is at 640 by 480 resolution and I’ve shrunk it for display on this page. Even so, you can easily tell I’m in Yahoo mail and may even be able to tell that it was 10:28pm. Sitting here looking at the little display, I can tell I’m in Yahoo mail, but can’t read any of the text.

A much more practical use of the monitor comes when you enable the “expanded desktop” feature in Windows. This effectively stretches your desktop over the area of both monitors. You can drag a window from one monitor onto the other with your mouse. Even though the little guy’s resolution is limited, there are still some handy things you can do. This photo shows motherboard monitor running in front of a Winamp visualization.

I’m leaving this photo larger to show that you can read the data displayed by MBM despite the resolution. Sure it’s a little fuzzy in the photo, but it is more clear in real life. This gives you the opportunity to continuously monitor your computer without having the data intrude onto your main display.

If you’ve got a digital camera or scanner, there’s another handy thing you can do with this monitor. You can use it to run a slideshow flipping through all of your favorite photographs. Between the family and the pets, I’ve got all sorts of photos I can scroll through. It can help relieve the stress level a little to have pictures of the important things so close at hand.

One final thing the display can do is assist with video editing. It makes a handy preview screen to use before pulling your video into the computer.

One thing that I was not able to do was display a television window on the small monitor. This is a limitation caused between the AIW and the display’s properties. While the channel and show name would display, the television program would appear as nothing more than a black box.

Miscellaneous Notes and Conclusion

This four inch LCD qualifies as a neat toy with a few practical uses. These uses are not limited to computer applications. Any composite video source and acceptable power source will run the display. Personally, I’ll be placing the display in its own desk enclosure and powering it from an old Sparq drive power supply. This gives me the flexibility to mount the display anywhere and makes it semi-portable. What you do with it is entirely up to your imagination.

My thanks to Scot (outlaw) of CPUFX for providing the monitor for review.