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GMK KD1 14-inch 4K portable monitor is pricey, but it gets a lot of things right

GMK KD1 14-inch 4K portable monitor is pricey, but it gets a lot of things right
GMK KD1 14-inch 4K portable monitor is pricey, but it gets a lot of things right
For $300 USD, you can buy a really good 24-inch or 27-inch display these days with fast refresh rates or accurate colors. However, GMK thinks it can persuade you to spend $300 on a 14-inch monitor instead. Let's find out what makes it so special.
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We've checked out a handful of portable monitors in the past ranging from 15.6-inches up to 17.3-inches in screen size. Such models, however, walk a fine line between what can be considered truly portable. The 14-inch GMK KD1 is the smallest monitor we've seen thus far to be much easier to carry around. GMK has sent us a sample for our impressions and measurements as shown below.

The high price of the monitor reflects the high quality chassis and display. Unlike the Auzai and other cheap 15.6-inch solutions, the metal skeleton and glass front reinforce the display and add rigidity. The integrated hinges are better than expected as well since they don't slip as easily.

Our least favorite aspect of the monitor is that the packaging includes no carrying case. For $300, at least a solid screen protector would have been nice. GMK offers a carrying sleeve separately for $32 USD, but the manufacturer will sometimes include it for free during sales through its official website here. The mini-HDMI port can also be irksome because most people have multiple full-size HDMI to HDMI cables whereas mini-HDMI cables are more uncommon.

The GMK KD1 is now shipping on Amazon. Though it's pricier than some alternatives from Auzai or Vissles, the KD1 is one of the better portable monitors we've seen especially after calibration.

ProsCons
+ Small, portable, and relatively sturdy
+ Rigid hinges
+ Full sRGB coverage and native 4K resolution IPS touchscreen
+ FreeSync compatible
+ Aluminum body and glass front
+ Can operate with no dedicated power cable
+ Easy to use touch OSD
+ Only 5 mm thick at its thinnest point
- Does not come with a carrying case or screen protector
- Mini-HDMI port instead of full-size HDMI
- Colors and grayscale are not well-calibrated out of the box
- Slow black-white and gray-gray response times
- PWM present on almost all brightness levels
- Integrated 2x 2 W speakers are weaker than laptop speakers
- Fingerprint magnet
- Slight backlight bleeding
- Pricey
The monitor can be used with just a single USB-C cable if the source can output enough power. If the source power is too weak, brightness will be limited to about 30 percent maximum
The monitor can be used with just a single USB-C cable if the source can output enough power. If the source power is too weak, brightness will be limited to about 30 percent maximum
Edge-to-edge glass. Images are crisp and with minimal graininess
Edge-to-edge glass. Images are crisp and with minimal graininess
Rubber feet on bottom edge of display to prevent sliding when standing
Rubber feet on bottom edge of display to prevent sliding when standing
Build quality is better than the Auzai with minimal warping and creaking when attempting to twist its corners
Build quality is better than the Auzai with minimal warping and creaking when attempting to twist its corners
OSD button, Micro-USB, and 3.5 mm audio jack on right edge
OSD button, Micro-USB, and 3.5 mm audio jack on right edge
2x USB-C and mini-HDMI on left edge. The USB-C ports support Power Delivery passthrough
2x USB-C and mini-HDMI on left edge. The USB-C ports support Power Delivery passthrough
Matte back and glossy front surfaces are very prone to fingerprints. The packaging includes no protective case or cover
Matte back and glossy front surfaces are very prone to fingerprints. The packaging includes no protective case or cover
Stand can open up to 90 degrees
Stand can open up to 90 degrees
Hinges are actually much sturdier at propping up the monitor when compared to the folio cases on most other portable monitors
Hinges are actually much sturdier at propping up the monitor when compared to the folio cases on most other portable monitors
Packaging includes AC adapter, 2x USB-C cables, HDMI-to-mini HDMI cable, USB-C to USB-A adapter, USB-C to USB-A cable, screen wipe, and manual
Packaging includes AC adapter, 2x USB-C cables, HDMI-to-mini HDMI cable, USB-C to USB-A adapter, USB-C to USB-A cable, screen wipe, and manual
318
cd/m²
355.6
cd/m²
322
cd/m²
318.2
cd/m²
325.3
cd/m²
305.4
cd/m²
305.5
cd/m²
306.3
cd/m²
291
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 355.6 cd/m² Average: 316.4 cd/m² Minimum: 7.68 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 82 %
Center on Battery: 325.3 cd/m²
Contrast: 1084:1 (Black: 0.3 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.75 | 0.59-29.43 Ø5.6, calibrated: 2.19
ΔE Greyscale 6.2 | 0.64-98 Ø5.8
94.6% sRGB (Argyll 1.6.3 3D)
65.4% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 1.6.3 3D)
71.12% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
94.43% sRGB (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
69.57% Display P3 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
Gamma: 2.31
GMK KD1 Portable Monitor
14.00, 3840x2160
Vissles Monitor 15.6
15.60, 1920x1080
AirTab Portable Monitor 15.6-inch
15.60, 1920x1080
C-Force CF011S
RTK2A3B, , 15.60, 1920x1080
MEMTEQ Type-C Portable Monitor Z1
15.60, 1920x1080
Auzai ME16Z01 Portable Monitor
15.60, 1920x1080
Display
-31%
-39%
-39%
-37%
-28%
Display P3 Coverage
69.57
47.33
-32%
40.72
-41%
41.08
-41%
42.03
-40%
48.53
-30%
sRGB Coverage
94.43
66.39
-30%
61
-35%
60.33
-36%
63.2
-33%
72.04
-24%
AdobeRGB 1998 Coverage
71.12
48.6
-32%
42.11
-41%
42.44
-40%
43.44
-39%
50.24
-29%
Response Times
-8%
-2%
-12%
-19%
-5%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
62 (28.4, 33.6)
41.2 (22.8, 18.4)
34%
36 (18, 18)
42%
41.2 (20.4, 20.8)
34%
52 (26, 26)
16%
38.8 (20.8, 18)
37%
Response Time Black / White *
45.6 (30.8, 14.8)
35.2 (22.4, 12.8)
23%
31.2 (19.6, 11.6)
32%
40.8 (26.8, 14)
11%
42.5 (25.2, 17.3)
7%
25.2 (16, 9.2)
45%
PWM Frequency
5000 (99)
1000 (99)
-80%
1042 (20)
-79%
1000 (99)
-80%
1000 (31)
-80%
201.6 (23)
-96%
Screen
-43%
-31%
-45%
-30%
-68%
Brightness middle
325.3
248.1
-24%
206.5
-37%
205
-37%
198
-39%
300.7
-8%
Brightness
316
237
-25%
198
-37%
193
-39%
198
-37%
267
-16%
Brightness Distribution
82
91
11%
88
7%
88
7%
85
4%
77
-6%
Black Level *
0.3
0.28
7%
0.33
-10%
0.25
17%
0.2
33%
0.66
-120%
Contrast
1084
886
-18%
626
-42%
820
-24%
990
-9%
456
-58%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.75
6.85
-44%
4.25
11%
8.01
-69%
6.9
-45%
10.26
-116%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
8.09
20.8
-157%
18.11
-124%
19.93
-146%
15.9
-97%
22.93
-183%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2.19
5.69
-160%
4.08
-86%
4.3
-96%
4
-83%
5.05
-131%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.2
5.8
6%
3.1
50%
8.3
-34%
5.5
11%
9.5
-53%
Gamma
2.31 95%
2.34 94%
2.31 95%
2.1 105%
1.59 138%
1.51 146%
CCT
6691 97%
6402 102%
6994 93%
6106 106%
7310 89%
8200 79%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
65.4
42.8
-35%
38.7
-41%
38.7
-41%
40
-39%
45.8
-30%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
94.6
65.8
-30%
60.8
-36%
59.8
-37%
62.9
-34%
71.5
-24%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-27% / -34%
-24% / -27%
-32% / -38%
-29% / -30%
-34% / -50%

* ... smaller is better

Black-white and gray-gray response times are relatively slow and so users should expect a lot of ghosting if playing fast-paced games. Pulse-width modulation is present as well at up to 99 percent brightness setting.

Black-whit response times
Black-whit response times
Gray-gray response times
Gray-gray response times
Pulse-width modulation
Pulse-width modulation
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The monitor consumes about 6.7 W when on the minimum brightness setting up to about 12.9 W when brightness is turned to its maximum. Note that this will be much higher if the monitor is also being used to recharge the laptop or smartphone that it is connected to.

Minimum brightness from 0s to 10s and maximum brightness from 10s and onward
Minimum brightness from 0s to 10s and maximum brightness from 10s and onward

X-Rite colorimeter measurements show a poorly calibrated display with an overly warm color temperature out of the box. Calibrating the panel ourselves would improve grayscale significantly from an average DeltaE of 6.2 down to just 0.9. We recommend applying our calibrated ICM profile above.

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

Surface temperatures are not an issue. Hot spots are nearest the bottom of the display as expected where areas can be as warm as 36 C.

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

GMK advertises full sRGB coverage which our independent measurements have proven. Nonetheless, some backlight bleeding is present on our test unit as shown by our picture below. It's fortunately not noticeable until you start watching movies with black borders.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
Subpixel array
Subpixel array
Moderate uneven backlight bleeding
Moderate uneven backlight bleeding

The integrated speakers sound "tinny" due to the weak bass. Though that is to be expected, we feel they could have been louder. Regular laptop speakers do a much better job than the speakers in the monitor.

Pink noise at maximum volume. The steady roll-off at 1k Hz shows poor bass reproduction
Pink noise at maximum volume. The steady roll-off at 1k Hz shows poor bass reproduction

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Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - Lead Editor U.S. - 4594 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2011
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.
contact me via: @AllenNgoNBC
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 12 > GMK KD1 14-inch 4K portable monitor is pricey, but it gets a lot of things right
Allen Ngo, 2020-12-26 (Update: 2021-01- 5)