Notebookcheck

A Truly Portable 15-inch Monitor: Odake BladeX Pro 4K UHD Review

Allen Ngo 👁, 06/26/2019

Incredibly useful. There's almost no excuse to not have a secondary display anymore. The Odake BladeX makes adding a display even easier no matter where you might need it including at the office, on the couch, or even on the plane.

Launched earlier this month as an Indiegogo project, the Odake BladeX is a battery-powered 15.6-inch monitor designed to be taken on-the-go. Its array of ports allows users to connect PCs, Macs, Android phones, gaming consoles, Intel PC sticks, and more to be a jack-of-all-trades display. As of this writing, the project has already passed its initial goal of $20000 USD not four hours after it went live.

Odake plans to launch two main SKUs come November 2019: a 1920 x 1080 FHD touchscreen BladeX model and a 3840 x 2160 4K UHD non-touch BladeX Pro model. Connectivity and chassis features will otherwise be identical between both options. Early bird adopters can pre-purchase the BladeX and BladeX Pro before they launch for $180 and $280, respectively.

The model we have today is a BladeX Pro pre-production unit that should be representative of the final product in terms of performance and impressions. We'll be going over its core features to see if the display can really deliver on all its promises.

See the official product page for the BladeX here and the Indiegogo page here to learn more about the system.

BladeX vs. BladeX Pro specifications
BladeX vs. BladeX Pro specifications

Case

It's obvious that the creators focused heavily on the visual design of the BladeX. It's very thin (~4.5 mm to ~9 mm), lightweight (867 g), and photogenic all at the same time. The narrow bezels further modernize the chassis to be reminiscent of the latest narrow bezel laptops like the Dell XPS 15.

The sleek look, however, comes at a heavy cost. The unit is quite flexible especially around the thin display. This is partly due to the lack of edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass protection, but it's also because of the thin plastic skeleton holding everything together. It's definitely the next step Odake should take to improve its BladeX series even further.

Unit can be positioned in Landscape or Portrait
Unit can be positioned in Landscape or Portrait
Battery, PCB, and ports are all integrated onto the stand
Battery, PCB, and ports are all integrated onto the stand
The base is only about 9 mm thick while the display portion is just half that
The base is only about 9 mm thick while the display portion is just half that
Plug in an Intel or Android HDMI stick and you have a fully functional PC or Android display
Plug in an Intel or Android HDMI stick and you have a fully functional PC or Android display
The integrated battery makes this perfect for plane rides or when a quick secondary display is desired
The integrated battery makes this perfect for plane rides or when a quick secondary display is desired
Stereo speakers along the rear of the base
Stereo speakers along the rear of the base
While the hinges are satisfactory, they could have been firmer and stiffer for better longevity
While the hinges are satisfactory, they could have been firmer and stiffer for better longevity
Base opened to maximum angle. It cannot pass 90 degrees
Base opened to maximum angle. It cannot pass 90 degrees

Connectivity

There are more ports options on the BladeX than on many newer Ultrabooks these days. Users have full-size HDMI and four USB ports distributed along the left and right edges to work with. Note that recharging can only be done via one of the USB Type-C ports along the left edge.

2x Micro-USB, 3x buttons for volume and navigation
2x Micro-USB, 3x buttons for volume and navigation
3.5 mm earphones, 2x USB Type-C (1x USB Type-C Power Delivery), HDMI
3.5 mm earphones, 2x USB Type-C (1x USB Type-C Power Delivery), HDMI

Accessories

The box includes a host of extras like a USB Type-C to Type-C cable for video and data, HDMI cable (not shown), 2x Micro-USB to Type-A adapters, a faux leather case, and a small 24 W (12 V, 2 A) USB Type-C AC adapter. Note that this AC adapter can also be used to recharge other USB Type-C devices including smartphones and tablets. If we could ask for one more extra, then a velvet cleaning cloth would be appreciated since the display will inevitably collect smudges over time.

While a remote and battery are also included, our unit would not work no matter what we tried. The screen would not respond to any of our remote inputs.

Display

Much like the high quality visual design of the chassis, the panel itself is also of high quality. The display is reasonably bright at about 360 nits with a high measured contrast of 1200:1. Results are comparable to the displays of many flagship Ultrabooks including the HP Spectre x360 15 in this regard. Response times are average meaning that ghosting will be more noticeable especially if playing fast-paced FPS games. For practically everything else, however, this will not be an issue.

Drawbacks to the visual experience include the slightly grainy matte panel and the moderate uneven backlight bleeding on our unit as shown by our screenshots below. Texts and images are subsequently not as sharp when compared to a glossy display and the backlight bleeding becomes noticeable when viewing videos with black borders. These are generally minor complaints that don't detract from the versatility of the BladeX.

Note that our measurements and comments reflect only the 4K UHD model. The less expensive FHD touchscreen model utilizes a different panel with potentially different black levels, brightness levels, and response times than what we've recorded below.

The matte screen is susceptible to fingerprints
The matte screen is susceptible to fingerprints
Narrow bezel edges for a very compact form factor
Narrow bezel edges for a very compact form factor
Light-moderate uneven backlight bleeding along the top left corner and bottom edge
Light-moderate uneven backlight bleeding along the top left corner and bottom edge
Subpixel array. Note the grainy matte overlay obscuring the crispness of each pixel
Subpixel array. Note the grainy matte overlay obscuring the crispness of each pixel
363.3
cd/m²
388.1
cd/m²
375.6
cd/m²
356.7
cd/m²
371.9
cd/m²
364.1
cd/m²
341
cd/m²
376.2
cd/m²
354.3
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 388.1 cd/m² Average: 365.7 cd/m² Minimum: 40.36 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 371.9 cd/m²
Contrast: 1200:1 (Black: 0.31 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.36 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1, calibrated: 5.89
ΔE Greyscale 3.7 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
100% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 91.7% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.19
Odake BladeX 4K UHD
15.6, 3840x2160
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
LQ156D1, IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
HP Spectre x360 15-df0126ng
AU Optronics AUO30EB, IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Asus ZenBook 15 UX533FD
BOE07D8, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
LP156WF9-SPN1, IPS LED, 15.6, 1920x1080
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
APPA040, IPS, 15.4, 2880x1800
Response Times
-31%
-35%
-33%
9%
-18%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
40 (20.4, 19.6)
52.4 (27.6, 24.8)
-31%
57 (26, 31)
-43%
45 (21, 24)
-13%
34.3 (16.4, 17.9)
14%
43.2 (20.4, 22.8)
-8%
Response Time Black / White *
24.4 (12.8, 11.6)
31.6 (18, 13.6)
-30%
31 (16, 15)
-27%
37 (23, 14)
-52%
23.7 (13.1, 10.6)
3%
31.2 (16.4, 14.8)
-28%
PWM Frequency
1000 (25)
117000 (75, 150)
Screen
-10%
1%
0%
9%
35%
Brightness middle
371.9
451.9
22%
330
-11%
311
-16%
349
-6%
520
40%
Brightness
366
414
13%
310
-15%
303
-17%
331
-10%
492
34%
Brightness Distribution
88
81
-8%
87
-1%
81
-8%
84
-5%
88
0%
Black Level *
0.31
0.36
-16%
0.37
-19%
0.24
23%
0.32
-3%
0.39
-26%
Contrast
1200
1255
5%
892
-26%
1296
8%
1091
-9%
1333
11%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.36
5.62
12%
4.03
37%
5.1
20%
3.1
51%
1.2
81%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
10.34
19.1
-85%
6.74
35%
8.91
14%
6.6
36%
2.3
78%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
5.89
2.69
54%
1.96
67%
2.48
58%
1.5
75%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.7
6.9
-86%
4.49
-21%
4.93
-33%
3.3
11%
1.3
65%
Gamma
2.19 100%
2.2 100%
2.57 86%
2.44 90%
2.16 102%
2.18 101%
CCT
6474 100%
6254 104%
6744 96%
7641 85%
6973 93%
6738 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
91.7
71.8
-22%
61
-33%
58
-37%
61.46
-33%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
98.5
-1%
94
-6%
88
-12%
96.05
-4%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-21% / -13%
-17% / -5%
-17% / -5%
9% / 9%
9% / 25%

* ... smaller is better

As promised by the manufacturer, color space for the 4K UHD model does indeed cover AdobeRGB almost in its entirety. Color accuracy is average out of the box and additional calibration will be required to make the most out of the wide gamut. Color temperature in particular is slightly warmer than it should be.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
24.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 12.8 ms rise
↘ 11.6 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 38 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
40 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20.4 ms rise
↘ 19.6 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 44 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (40.2 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9429 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Emissions

Temperature

Surface temperatures can be quite warm at almost 45 C on the rear of the unit nearest the HDMI port as shown by our temperature map below. While noticeable when handling the BladeX like a tablet, we don't find the warm temperature to be an issue when the unit is on a desk.

Surface temperature (front)
Surface temperature (front)
Surface temperature (back)
Surface temperature (back)

Speakers

Monitors with integrated speakers typically have poor audio quality and the BladeX is no different. Bass is lacking as one would expect even though maximum volume is decently loud. The main problem is that audio becomes increasingly more distorted at higher volume settings which impacts the multimedia experience. Nonetheless, the fact that such a compact and portable monitor can have built-in speakers in the first place is still respectable. A 3.5 mm audio jack is thankfully available.

Speakers face backwards for even lower volume during use
Speakers face backwards for even lower volume during use
Pink noise at maximum volume
Pink noise at maximum volume

Battery Life

The integrated 22.2 Wh battery allows for only one hour of use when the brightness is set to maximum. Charging from empty to full capacity with the included AC adapter takes over twice as long at about 2.5 hours. Annoyingly, there is no way to know the exact battery percentage; four LED indicators along the edge of the unit only show capacity at 25 percent intervals.

Pros

+ high contrast ratio and relatively bright panel
+ remote control and USB adapters included
+ small, lightweight and very portable
+ attractive narrow bezel design
+ integrated 3000 mAh battery
+ full AdobeRGB coverage
+ plenty of OSD options
+ wide range of ports

Cons

- very flexible chassis; light-moderate creaking
- calibration required for more accurate colors
- no detailed battery life indicator
- only 1 to 2 hours of battery life
- display is prone to damage
- poor bass audio quality
- base can be very warm
- slow recharge rate
- slightly grainy
- fragile

Verdict

In review: Odake BladeX 4K UHD. Test model provided by Odake
In review: Odake BladeX 4K UHD. Test model provided by Odake

The versatility of the BladeX is undeniable. We didn't think a 4K UHD 15.6-inch display could ever so be light and portable, but Odake has hit a home run by bringing the concept to life. The integrated battery, speakers, and surprisingly wide port options make this even more impressive for work, play, or travel.

The biggest drawback of the BladeX is its lack of rigidity. There is no edge-to-edge glass on our unit and the chassis skeleton is incredibly thin and flexible. It may look like a tablet, but most tablets are far firmer and tougher than what the BladeX has to offer. It's good that Odake throws in a free faux leather sleeve because you're going to want to keep the BladeX stowed and protected between uses. We're hopeful that a potential BladeX revision in the future would improve the chassis and make the onscreen settings easier to navigate.

Pricecompare

Read all 2 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > A Truly Portable 15-inch Monitor: Odake BladeX Pro 4K UHD Review
Allen Ngo, 2019-06-26 (Update: 2019-06-27)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.