Notebookcheck

C-Force CF011S C-SMART Portable Monitor Review: Great for Home or Flights

Good portability with average display quality. This 15.6-inch portable 1080p touchscreen monitor feels great to hold and to carry around, but it's dragged down by a mediocre display.

The C-Force CF011S (or C-SMART) is a 15.6-inch portable monitor not unlike the C-Force CF016xT or CF015C. The CF011S differentiates itself by integrating more port options and touchscreen support.

Additional information on the CF011S can be found on its Kickstarter campaign page here. The manufacturer is aiming for a September 2020 launch window and a retail price of $239 USD.

More portable monitor reviews:

Product ModelCF011S
Case MaterialABS + PC
Screen Size15.6-inch touchscreen
Screen Ratio16:9
Resolution1080p 60 Hz
Pixel Pitch0.179 mm
Viewing Angle170 degrees
Screen TypeIPS
Color Depth6-bit
Advertised Brightness250 nits
Advertises Contrast Ratio1000:1
Dimensions369 x 222 x 6-12 mm
Input VoltageUSB-PD, 5 V, 9 V, 12 V, 15 V, 20 V
Weight750 g
TouchscreenYes
AudioYes
Price~$239 USD


C-Force CF011S
Processor
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, RTK2A3B, 60 Hz
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 12 x 369 x 222 ( = 0.47 x 14.53 x 8.74 in)
Weight
750 g ( = 26.46 oz / 1.65 pounds), Power Supply: 213 g ( = 7.51 oz / 0.47 pounds)
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Best Price
06/2020
C-Force CF011S
,
750 g12 mm15.6"1920x1080
01/2020
Auzai ME16Z01 Portable Monitor
,
650 g9.4 mm15.6"1920x1080
12/2019
C-Force CF016xT
,
990 g9.5 mm16.1"1920x1080
09/2019
MageDok Atlas Gaming Monitor
,
1 kg8.7 mm15.6"1920x1080
05/2020
MEMTEQ Type-C Portable Monitor Z1
,
770 g8.8 mm15.6"1920x1080
06/2019
Odake BladeX 4K UHD
,
853 g10 mm15.6"3840x2160
The case allows for two display angles as indicated by the indentations
The case allows for two display angles as indicated by the indentations
Chassis is mostly ABS plastic but otherwise reasonably rigid
Chassis is mostly ABS plastic but otherwise reasonably rigid
It looks like a speaker grille, but audio comes from the bottom edge instead
It looks like a speaker grille, but audio comes from the bottom edge instead
Monitor is 12 mm thick on the base and 6 mm thick everywhere else
Monitor is 12 mm thick on the base and 6 mm thick everywhere else
Faux leather case covers most of the back and all of the front
Faux leather case covers most of the back and all of the front
Adhesive on the back of the case is much more reliable than magnets
Adhesive on the back of the case is much more reliable than magnets
373 mm / 14.7 inch 219 mm / 8.62 inch 9.5 mm / 0.374 inch 990 g2.18 lbs369 mm / 14.5 inch 222 mm / 8.74 inch 12 mm / 0.4724 inch 750 g1.653 lbs368 mm / 14.5 inch 225 mm / 8.86 inch 8.8 mm / 0.3465 inch 770 g1.698 lbs357 mm / 14.1 inch 226 mm / 8.9 inch 8.7 mm / 0.3425 inch 1 kg2.22 lbs353.7 mm / 13.9 inch 229.5 mm / 9.04 inch 9.4 mm / 0.3701 inch 650 g1.433 lbs350 mm / 13.8 inch 224 mm / 8.82 inch 10 mm / 0.3937 inch 853 g1.881 lbs

Connectivity

There are plenty of ports including full-size HDMI, USB 2.0 Type-A, and two USB Type-C ports. Both of the Type-C ports are capable of Power Delivery and data transfer meaning that only one cable is all you need if your PC, laptop, or smartphone supports USB Type-C PD. For example, the monitor only needs one USB Type-C cable for both power and video when connected to our Surface Laptop 3 15, but the monitor will need its own separate power source if connected to a PC with only HDMI ports.  

A spring-loaded MicroSD slot is included on the rear of the monitor, but we cannot get it to work for one reason or another. At one point, our card was almost stuck inside of the slot.

Top: No connectivity
Top: No connectivity
left: 2x USB Type-C w/ DisplayPort support, HDMI
left: 2x USB Type-C w/ DisplayPort support, HDMI
Bottom: No connectivity. Speaker grilles
Bottom: No connectivity. Speaker grilles
Right: USB 2.0, 3.5 mm headphones, Input switch/OSD button, Volume/Brightness rocker
Right: USB 2.0, 3.5 mm headphones, Input switch/OSD button, Volume/Brightness rocker

Accessories

Included in the box are the following. An HDMI cable was not included in our pre-production packaging, but it will come standard in retail units.

  • User's manual
  • 45 W USB Type-C AC adapter
  • HDMI cable
  • Bluetooth VR remote controller
  • Arm handle
  • USB Type-C to Type-C data and power cable
Case must be removed to access MicroSD reader
Case must be removed to access MicroSD reader
The AC adapter is not needed depending on the PC
The AC adapter is not needed depending on the PC

Display

The best part of the 1080p display is its good contrast ratio of 820:1 according to our own measurements against the advertised claim of 1000:1. Otherwise, this is a budget panel from its narrow gamut to the relatively dim backlight and slow black-white response times. Colors aren't deep enough for professional artists and ghosting is too prevalent for fast-paced 3D games like shooters. The screen is somewhat grainy as well due to the matte overlay.

Pulse-width modulation is present on all brightness levels up to 99 percent. If your eyes are sensitive to flickering, then you may want to avoid this particular monitor or keep it at 100 percent brightness at all times.

Grainy subpixels due to the matte overlay
Grainy subpixels due to the matte overlay
No edge-to-edge glass. Touchscreen is still supported
No edge-to-edge glass. Touchscreen is still supported
Relatively thick bezels
Relatively thick bezels
Heavy uneven backlight bleeding along the bottom corners and edges
Heavy uneven backlight bleeding along the bottom corners and edges
187.9
cd/m²
197.6
cd/m²
184.2
cd/m²
184.5
cd/m²
205
cd/m²
186.4
cd/m²
192.7
cd/m²
208.3
cd/m²
194.1
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
RTK2A3B
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 208.3 cd/m² Average: 193.4 cd/m² Minimum: 24.66 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Contrast: 820:1 (Black: 0.25 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 8.01 | 0.6-29.43 Ø5.8, calibrated: 4.3
ΔE Greyscale 8.3 | 0.64-98 Ø6
59.8% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 38.7% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.1
C-Force CF011S
RTK2A3B, , 15.6, 1920x1080
Auzai ME16Z01 Portable Monitor
15.6, 1920x1080
C-Force CF016xT
16.1, 1920x1080
MageDok Atlas Gaming Monitor
15.6, 1920x1080
MEMTEQ Type-C Portable Monitor Z1
15.6, 1920x1080
Odake BladeX 4K UHD
15.6, 3840x2160
Response Times
-12%
862%
181%
-10%
22%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
41.2 (20.4, 20.8)
38.8 (20.8, 18)
6%
20.4 (12, 8.4)
50%
10.4 (6.4, 4)
75%
52 (26, 26)
-26%
40 (20.4, 19.6)
3%
Response Time Black / White *
40.8 (26.8, 14)
25.2 (16, 9.2)
38%
16.4 (10.8, 5.6)
60%
11 (7.6, 3.4)
73%
42.5 (25.2, 17.3)
-4%
24.4 (12.8, 11.6)
40%
PWM Frequency
1000 (99)
201.6 (23)
-80%
25770 (42)
2477%
4950 (99)
395%
1000 (31)
0%
Screen
-16%
34%
-7%
11%
44%
Brightness middle
205
300.7
47%
214.3
5%
144.9
-29%
198
-3%
371.9
81%
Brightness
193
267
38%
206
7%
146
-24%
198
3%
366
90%
Brightness Distribution
88
77
-12%
90
2%
91
3%
85
-3%
88
0%
Black Level *
0.25
0.66
-164%
0.23
8%
0.78
-212%
0.2
20%
0.31
-24%
Contrast
820
456
-44%
932
14%
186
-77%
990
21%
1200
46%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
8.01
10.26
-28%
4.34
46%
5.79
28%
6.9
14%
6.36
21%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
19.93
22.93
-15%
6.45
68%
8.43
58%
15.9
20%
10.34
48%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.3
5.05
-17%
1.12
74%
2.12
51%
4
7%
5.89
-37%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
8.3
9.5
-14%
5.5
34%
6.7
19%
5.5
34%
3.7
55%
Gamma
2.1 105%
1.51 146%
2.51 88%
1.96 112%
1.59 138%
2.19 100%
CCT
6106 106%
8200 79%
7115 91%
6295 103%
7310 89%
6474 100%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
38.7
45.8
18%
60.6
57%
58.2
50%
40
3%
91.7
137%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
59.8
71.5
20%
96.2
61%
90.7
52%
62.9
5%
100
67%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-14% / -15%
448% / 212%
87% / 33%
1% / 7%
33% / 41%

* ... smaller is better

Color space is narrow at just 60 percent of sRGB to indicate a budget panel. Colors are not as deep or accurate as most Ultrabooks in the market or even the C-Force CF016xT.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB

Calibrating the display ourselves would improve grayscale dramatically, but color accuracy remains average at best due to the narrow color space mentioned above. We recommend applying our ICM profile above to get the most out of the display.

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
40.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 26.8 ms rise
↘ 14 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 97 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
41.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20.4 ms rise
↘ 20.8 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. » 53 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (39 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 detected 1000 Hz ≤ 99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 1000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 99 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 1000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 17927 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 2500000) Hz was measured.

Viewing angles are wide and mostly a non-issue since this is an IPS panel. The main problem will more likely be glare from ambient lighting due to the relatively dim backlight.

Emissions

Temperature

Hot spots are closest to the bottom left corner of the monitor where the USB power source is located. Surfaces can become as warm as 41 C after an hour of use.

Temperature map (front)
Temperature map (front)
Temperature map (back)
Temperature map (back)

Speakers

Pink noise at maximum volume. Audio is lacking in bass. Maximum volume is sufficient for one or two users
Pink noise at maximum volume. Audio is lacking in bass. Maximum volume is sufficient for one or two users

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The monitor consumes about 5.8 W and 9.2 W when on the minimum and maximum brightness setting, respectively. 

Minimum brightness level
Minimum brightness level
Maximum brightness level
Maximum brightness level

Verdict

In review: C-Force CF011S C-SMART. Test unit provided by C-Force
In review: C-Force CF011S C-SMART. Test unit provided by C-Force

C-Force advertises the CF011S as a portable monitor for presentation, multitasking, gaming, photo editing, working out, and life style environments. Based on our time with the test unit, however, the monitor is best fit for indoor web browsing, multitasking, video playback, and casual gaming or editing. Response times are too slow for intense gaming, colors are not accurate enough for professional photo editing, and brightness is too dim for presentations or most outdoor conditions. This is the type of display you would find on an inexpensive HP Pavilion 15 or Dell Inspiron 15 rather than a high-end HP Spectre, Dell XPS, or Apple MacBook.

Versatility is the key benefit of owning the CF011S. It carries more port options than most other portable monitors and it is one of the few in its category with a matte touchscreen panel. Even so, the mediocre display quality and average brightness are hard to overlook.

Pricecompare

static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > C-Force CF011S C-SMART Portable Monitor Review: Great for Home or Flights
Allen Ngo, 2020-06-10 (Update: 2020-06-10)
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.