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C-FORCE is a company founded in 2013 and they sell plenty of portable monitors, through their online store and on Amazon. The monitor model I am reviewing is the CF011X Pro, a portable 1080P IPS LCD monitor that supports HDMI and USB-C.
These are the things included.
A 1m USB-C cable with USB 2 speed.
A 1.5m USB-C cable. It’s labeled as a “full featured” cable but I’m not exactly sure what that means.
There’s no HDMI cable included and there’s a full-sized HDMI port on the monitor.
A double flat pin wall power adaptor with USB-C port.
If you take a look at C-FORCE’s website, not all products come with a list of items included. So if you want to be sure what you’re getting, contact them to ask first. Accessories included in product photos may not always be included.
The monitor comes with a flip-case already installed, attached to the back of the monitor with, possibly, double-sided tape. The flip case is not removable which is actually good because I have used removable flip case from other portable monitors and they have a tendency to come loose.
The texture of the case interior feels like a mouse pad but without that bouncy movement. The case does provide sufficient protection for the monitor should you want to just throw it into a bag.
A foldable monitor stand.
You can prop up the monitor with the flip-case but the foldable monitor stand can be deployed at more angles/positions.
The CF011X Pro is a 15.6-inch 16:9 monitor. It’s about the size of the 15.6-inch Macbook Pro but the aspect ratio is different.
The monitor is quite thin. The top, together with the case, is thinner than the laptop but the monitor base is thicker, slightly thinner than my laptop. Overall, it’s quite compact, and certainly easy to bring around together with the laptop.
The monitor has a matte surface.
Just like typical matte surface LCD monitors, the display is not flushed to the frame that holds it. Bezels are quite thin, except for the bottom.
These are the ports on the left, from top to bottom, there are 2x USB-C and a full-sized HDMI ports.
If you connect the monitor to USB-C wall socket, you can use the other USB-C port for charging your USB-C device.
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Ports on the right side, from top to bottom, are OSD toggle, power, USB type A.
You can use this monitor as a USB hub. The USB-C ports are for video, audio, power, 3.5mm audio jack and file transfer. The USB type A port is just for file transfer.
File transfer speed looks like USB 2 speeds to me.
OSD menu allows you to change backlight, brightness, contrast, sharpness, colour temperature, gamma and other visual settings. When you’re not OSD mode, that toggle can be used to adjust volume.
Here’s the C-FORCE monitor connected to the laptop with my own HDMI cable and USB-C cable (to wall socket for power).
During colour calibration, I measured colour support for 66% sRGB, 47% NTSC, 49% AdobeRGB, 49% P3. Colours look alright but not the best. It’s certainly not the right type of monitor for colour accurate work, eg graphic design, photo or video editing.
Maximum brightness is said to be 250 nits but I measured 184 nits. Brightness is sufficient for indoor use.
Outdoor use will be challenging because of the anti-glare from the matte surface display. Light is everywhere outdoors and it’s going to create the white haze which affects contrast significantly.
If you’re just using the display indoors, anti-glare is not a problem. Viewing angles are alright. Colours don’t shift much from the side.
The colour support on this monitor means this is a monitor meant for general purpose work, eg. to have an external display to view documents. 1080P resolution is sufficient on a 15.6-inch display.
Having an external monitor can improve productivity significantly. For my workflow, I handle a lot of changes to graphic design work and emails come in frequently. So having a separate monitor just to check emails means I don’t have to constantly switch windows. I’m using an external desktop monitor in my office precisely for this purpose, checking emails, while I do graphic design on my big monitor.
In the photo above, I’ve used the monitor stand instead of the flip case. The monitor stand props up the display and allows me to move the monitor much closer to the laptop. To do the same with the flip case means I have to place the monitor on top of the HDMI cable coming out of the laptop.
You can do light gaming too. When connected to an Android phone or Nintendo Switch, you can play on a much larger display.
In the photo above, the monitor is connected to the 10.5-inch Samsung Tab S6 tablet. 10.5-inch vs 15.6-inch isn’t as big a difference as a 6-inch phone vs 15.6-inch.
This monitor does not support touch so you will not be able to use any finger gestures. C-FORCE do sell other monitors that feature touch. If you have the budget, I do recommend getting a touchscreen monitor because it can be quite convenient, especially when you’re connected to Windows or Android which both support touch, but only through USB-C.
Here’s another possible setup: connected to an Android phone that has desktop mode. This allows you to have a really portable computer on the go without bringing your laptop. However, please check if your phone is able to provide enough power to power the display, and also in this mode, it’s going to drain your phone’s battery fast. But you can always bring a portable USB-C battery power bank to power the display, which can also be used to charge your phone.
In the photo above, I’ve also attached a USB thumb drive to the monitor and was able to transfer files.
You can also connect to iPads and Apple laptops that have USB-C. It doesn’t make sense to connect to iPad if your iPad display is already big, and iPadOS do not support touch even if you have a touchscreen monitor. MacOS also does not support touchscreen monitors so you can only use the monitor, well, just as a simple external monitor.
Price of the C-FORCE CF011X Pro is quite competitive to other portable 15.6-inch monitors I’ve reviewed.
At the time of this review, the monitor is priced at US $179 on Amazon and the reviews are quite positive.
And it’s $199 on C-FORCE website:
If you get the monitor from C-FORCE website, you can get a $20 discount if you use this coupon code TYC-$20
So price comes up to be around the same on both Amazon and C-FORCE website.
Having an extra monitor improves productivity significantly. And that may be worth the price alone.
As to whether you should get a touchscreen model, if you have the budget and you’re going to use the monitor with Windows and Android, I actually recommend getting one. C-FORCE is selling a touchscreen monitor called C-SMART which will ship in September. It’s not out yet so there are no reviews. You may want to wait for it to appear on Amazon if it ever appears there.
My only quibble with this monitor is the 66% sRGB colour support. I wish it could be better. C-FORCE do have other monitors with better colours, such as CF016xT, 4K CF015C and 4K CF015xT, all of which are more expensive. You get what you pay for.
The CF015C in particular has my attention because it’s a 4K portable monitor at US $219 but C-FORCE list it as only supported by Thunderbolt 3 Macs and iPad Pros.
If you want good colours, touchscreen and 4K, CF015xT is the one to get but it’s US $309.
To see all available models from C-FORCE, visit https://cforcedesign.com/collections/frontpage
Overall, at US $179, the CF011X Pro is quite worth the money.
Pros and cons at a glance
+ Compact, lightweight, portable
+ 2x USB-C ports, 1x USB-A, full-size HDMI
+ 2x USB-C cables included
+ USB-C wall adaptor included
+ Flip case and monitor stand included
+ Can be powered by single USB-C cable if USB port has enough power
+ Adequate brightness
+ Competitive pricing
+ 1080P resolution sufficient for 15.6-inch display
– Downward facing speakers are loud but sound hollow
– 66% sRGB colour support. Colour accuracy could be better
– HDMI cable not included
– No touchscreen
C-FORCE (get $20 off with coupon code TYC-$20):