When it comes to portable monitors, there are many options. While a majority are light and convenient, they often lack a variety of inputs, are limited in what they can do, and are paired with lousy solutions to prop themselves up. Luckily, there is a company out there well aware of the pain and suffering portable monitor users have had to endure, and while there might not be a whole lot of folks out there that need this, there is now a proper solution that should be able to satisfy most.
The TAIHE Gemini is a product that launched on Kickstarter towards the beginning of January and has, by now, well surpassed its initial goal of $10,000. With only a few days to go, the campaign has amassed over one million dollars and has smashed through every single one its stretch goals, which should allow the company to deliver an even better product than what was initially shown off during the launch. If unfamiliar, the Gemini is a 15.6-inch monitor that also has a battery, which means it can sustain power without it being plugged in. The monitor comes in two variants, a 1080p and 4K version, each offering a sleek design constructed from aluminum and offering various ports for input.
While Kickstarter backers won't get their units in the mail until May, we were lucky enough to acquire a pre-production model of the Gemini, unboxing and putting it through its paces to give readers our first impressions. The model delivered is the 1080p version that has a matte finish to the screen. The monitor makes use of an IPS panel and does have a slight color shift when viewed from an angle, with things getting slightly dimmer when tilted. However, those looking from an angle will still be able to see clearly what is on the display and text will be perfectly legible.
As far as construction goes, for the most part, things are extremely solid. The exterior chassis is built from aluminum and there is quite a bit of heft to it, weighing in at around 2.6 pounds. On the left side, there are ports for power, USB Type-C, two Micro USB ports, and two Mini HDMI ports. On the right side, there are various toggles for power, volume, and monitor settings. On the rear, there is a kickstand that allows the monitor to be tilted at nearly every angle. While there weren't any issues with the kickstand, it is quite a slim piece of metal and can flex when pressure is applied. Also, the edges around that area aren't as refined and do seem sharp to the touch, but there weren't any incidents with lacerations during use.
What makes the monitor stand out is its large 5,000mAh battery that is stated to provide up to five hours of power. The unit can also charge devices that are plugged into it, which is a nice and unexpected treat. The monitor also offers a touchscreen experience, relying on a ten point capacitive panel that is quite accurate and works flawlessly with supported devices. Trying to use the touchscreen on macOS proved to be less than ideal but with a smartphone or Chrome OS, it worked great. As long as your native source offers touch, the experience should be great on the Gemini. The Gemini also offers support for portrait or landscape orientation, so that is an added bonus.
For the most part, the Gemini delivers and for a relatively fair price. At the time of writing, those that back the campaign will shell out $219 for the 1080p version, while the 4K UHD model will cost $329. Perhaps best of all, the models that will ship to backers will have improved features over the pre-production model, like being able to be powered through USB Type-C, a full-sized HDMI port, and a touchscreen on the 4K model. If interested, you can hit the Kickstarter page, with shipments of the monitor starting in May.