Skip to main content

The Taihe Gemini will sell you on battery-powered monitors

The Taihe Gemini will sell you on battery-powered monitors


If not necessarily this battery-powered monitor

Share this story

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been running out of HDMI ports for as long as they’ve existed. 

Beats me why no TV manufacturers ever equip their sets with more than four. Maybe it’s only a problem for people who perpetually feel the need to own every modern gaming console and a streaming box. But right now I have all four ports occupied, the fourth by a five-way splitter that itself is entirely occupied.

What this means is that each time an enticing new TV-adjacent gadget comes out, I have to make a tough decision about what to remove from my setup. Until this past week, I’d barely touched the PlayStation Classic I bought on a Boxing Day fire sale, simply because I didn’t have anywhere to plug it in. Half its value as a product is as a cute ornament, sure, but I should at least be able to play the odd round of Ridge Racer Type 4.

Then I took delivery of a pink battery-powered monitor and everything was fine.

The Taihe Gemini is a 15.6-inch monitor raising funds on Kickstarter and is currently at more than 100 times over its target. Portable monitors aren’t altogether new, but good ones are; we saw a few at CES, and it’s starting to be the kind of thing that pretty much any small Chinese company can pop onto the market. 

What makes the Gemini stand out is its useful design and flexibility. It’s basically a big Surface Pro without a computer, or a tiny TV without a tuner. The 8mm-thick metal chassis (in my case rose gold), 5,000mAh battery, built-in speaker, and Surface-style kickstand mean it can be carried and placed everywhere — including a laptop sleeve in a bag — while its versatile connectivity options let it work with pretty much any device you can think of. 

The pre-production version I tested has a matte 1080p touchscreen. It’s not the most beautiful display in the world, with pedestrian color reproduction at 72 percent of the NTSC gamut, but it is at least an IPS panel with solid viewing angles. There’s also a 2mm-thicker 4K model that omits touch functionality but achieves a claimed 100 percent of Adobe RGB coverage. I wasn’t able to test that version, so I can’t speak to its supposedly better color performance.

The touch functionality on the 1080p model sadly doesn’t extend to its janky button-operated settings menu, but it’s actually pretty cool if you have a compatible phone with a desktop mode, like a Samsung Galaxy Note with Dex or a Huawei device that supports Easy Projection. I tried plugging the Honor View 20 into the Gemini over USB and it immediately brought up the desktop view while charging the phone. Everything was controllable with the touchscreen or by using the phone as a trackpad and keyboard. I’m still not convinced anyone ever uses these modes for anything, but it feels more practical with the Gemini than it would as part of a full-on desktop setup. 

The other big difference with the two Gemini models is, for some reason, their connectivity. The 4K model has a full-sized HDMI port, a Mini DisplayPort, one USB-C port, and two USB-A 3.0 ports. But the 1080p model has two Mini HDMI ports and two Micro USB ports alongside the USB-C port, which seems much less useful to me. There really ought to be a full-size HDMI port on this thing, and USB-A 3.0 would be a good match too — you could theoretically plug something like an Amazon Fire TV stick into the HDMI port and power it over USB from the same device. Taihe does include an HDMI-to-Mini HDMI cable and a Micro USB-to-USB-A adapter, among other accessories, but it’s unfortunate that the 4K model’s I/O is so much better — you basically have to choose between that and touch functionality.

Still, if you have the right cables you can use the Gemini with basically anything. I mentioned the PlayStation Classic earlier, because the Gemini is a particularly good fit for retro consoles; you can power them off a USB battery pack and play anywhere without a wall outlet. Taihe claims five hours of battery life, and I managed to use it for about that long playing through a bunch of the original Metal Gear Solid — which is to say I nearly finished the game. I’ve also used it hooked up to my MacBook Pro over USB-C, and if the weather hadn’t been so cold recently I’d consider it a pretty good two-monitor solution for my roof terrace.

It’s a classic gadget

I don’t know why there haven’t been a million devices like this already, because it’s an obviously convenient design that I think most people could find a use for. I don’t think the Gemini is the best possible iteration, however; the 1080p model’s panel is mediocre, its I/O situation is weird, and its menu system is fiddly. But it’s good enough, particularly for the $219 it’s been selling for on Kickstarter, to untether me from my couch and my desk in certain situations. It’s a classic gadget; it is what you make of it.

Taihe says the 1080p model will retail for $299 while the 4K model will cost $499, though they’re available to backers for $219 and $329 respectively on Kickstarter right now. As ever, you should exercise caution with small companies on crowdfunding sites, but in this case I can at least confirm the product’s existence and performance.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 15 minutes ago The tablet didn’t call that play by itself

Emma Roth15 minutes ago
There’s a surprise in the sky tonight.

Jupiter will be about 367 million miles away from Earth this evening. While that may seem like a long way, it’s the closest it’s been to our home planet since 1963.

During this time, Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye (but binoculars can help). You can check where and when you can get a glimpse of the gas giant from this website.

Emma RothTwo hours ago
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.

Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther Wang12:00 PM UTC
External Link
Russell BrandomTwo hours ago
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?

Richard LawlerTwo hours ago
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.

External Link
Emma Roth4:13 PM UTC
Netflix’s gaming bet gets even bigger.

Even though fewer than one percent of Netflix subscribers have tried its mobile games, Netflix just opened up another studio in Finland after acquiring the Helsinki-based Next Games earlier this year.

The former vice president of Zynga Games, Marko Lastikka, will serve as the studio director. His track record includes working on SimCity BuildIt for EA and FarmVille 3.

External Link
Andrew J. Hawkins3:37 PM UTC
Vietnam’s EV aspirant is giving big Potemkin village vibes

Idle equipment, absent workers, deserted villages, an empty swimming pool. VinFast is Vietnam’s answer to Tesla, with the goal of making 1 million EVs in the next 5-6 years to sell to customers US, Canada and Europe. With these lofty goals, the company invited a bunch of social media influencers, as well as some auto journalists, on a “a four-day, multicity extravaganza” that seemed more weird than convincing, according to Bloomberg.

James Vincent3:17 PM UTC
Today, 39 years ago, the world didn’t end.

And it’s thanks to one man: Stanislav Petrov, a USSR military officer who, on September 26th, 1983, took the decision not to launch a retaliatory nuclear attack against the US. Petrov correctly guessed that satellite readings showing inbound nukes were faulty, and so likely saved the world from nuclear war. As journalist Tom Chivers put it on Twitter, “Happy Stanislav Petrov Day to those who celebrate!” Read more about Petrov’s life here.

Soviet Colonel who prevented 1983 nuclear response
Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images
The Verge
James Vincent3:03 PM UTC
Deepfakes were made for Disney.

You might have seen the news this weekend that the voice of James Earl Jones is being cloned using AI so his performance as Darth Vader in Star Wars can live on forever.

Reading the story, it struck me how perfect deepfakes are for Disney — a company that profits from original characters, fans' nostalgia, and an uncanny ability to twist copyright law to its liking. And now, with deepfakes, Disney’s most iconic performances will live on forever, ensuring the magic never dies.

External Link
Elizabeth Lopatto2:41 PM UTC
Hurricane Fiona ratcheted up tensions about crypto bros in Puerto Rico.

“An official emergency has been declared, which means in the tax program, your physical presence time is suspended,” a crypto investor posted on TikTok. “So I am headed out of the island.” Perhaps predictably, locals are furious.

The Verge
Richard Lawler2:09 PM UTC
Teen hacking suspect linked to GTA 6 leak and Uber security breach charged in London.

City of London police tweeted Saturday that the teenager arrested on suspicion of hacking has been charged with “two counts of breach of bail conditions and two counts of computer misuse.”

They haven’t confirmed any connection with the GTA 6 leak or Uber hack, but the details line up with those incidents, as well as a suspect arrested this spring for the Lapsus$ breaches.

The Verge
Richard Lawler1:00 PM UTC
Green light.

Good morning to everyone, except for the intern or whoever prevented us from seeing how Microsoft’s Surface held up to yet another violent NFL incident.

Today’s big event is the crash of a NASA spaceship this evening — on purpose. Mary Beth Griggs can explain.

David Pierce12:54 PM UTC
Thousands and thousands of reasons people love Android.

“Android fans, what are the primary reasons why you will never ever switch to an iPhone?” That question led to almost 30,000 comments so far, and was for a while the most popular thing on Reddit. It’s a totally fascinating peek into the platform wars, and I’ve spent way too much time reading through it. I also laughed hard at “I can turn my text bubbles to any color I like.”