A Portable Monitor for My Raspberry Pi 400

portable monitorAs I mentioned when I started blogging once again, getting a high-resolution computer monitor was something I needed to do. At the time, I had to resize my web browser to check the display. I finally rectified the situation by buying a portable monitor, not really designed for the Raspberry Pi computer.

The GMKtec Xpanel 4 Portable Monitor

GMKtec is a Chinese company and the Xpanel 4 is a portable monitor made in China. I avoid buying Chinese products as much as possible, but I couldn’t find a better deal anywhere. I spent around $100, including tax and shipping, when I purchased it at Amazon.com.

This YouTube video is what got me interested in it months ago: The New GMKtec Xpanel 4: The Best Steam Deck Accessory You Can Get!

I’m not a gamer, but I figured it would probably work pretty well for my Raspberry Pi 400. The only extra thing I needed was an HDMI to micro HDMI adapter, so I could plug the cable into the keyboard port. I actually bought this thing a couple of weeks ago and had it shipped to my son’s house in Washington State. That’s where I am right now, in fact, after a full day of airline travel.

You can watch the video for more details about it than I care to explain. I have both an HDMI and a USB-C charging cable plugged in and that’s it. I’ll probably use some kind of headset later on, since it has a 3.5 mm headset jack. It defaults to a 1920×1200 display, which is uncomfortable for my eyes. I had to reduce the resolution to 1440×900 to keep from having to get closer to the screen.


The only thing I don’t like is having wires and cables cluttering my desktop, but I can live with it. I’ve spent less than $300 for everything since I bought the Raspberry Pi 400. I have a solid-state drive connected, as well as a wireless mouse. My USB-C power supply cable has an inline power switch, so I can turn the power on properly. I could probably use the provided USB-C to USB-C cable, but I would just be trading one cable for another.

It took me longer to get everything set up because I had to set up a new mobile phone as well, which I needed for multifactor authentication. I couldn’t get into some services without it.

My keyboard computer never gets hot, and the only noise that comes from it is the noise it makes when I’m tapping the keys. The only noise that comes from the portable monitor is what comes through the speakers. The entire setup uses so little electricity, I could probably leave it on all the time, but I won’t. It only takes a minute or two to boot everything up.

I only used one large piece of luggage for everything I brought with me from the Philippines. My wife, Josie, used three. That was mainly because she brought back a lot of “pasalubong” (souvenirs). I’m sure we’ll use all four when we return to the Philippines in a few months, although I’m also sure they’ll be a lot lighter. The portable monitor weighs very little.

Image by Amazon.com

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