Review of the Elecrow 10.1 IPS HDMI Touch Screen (with RGB Animated light)
As you may know, I’m a big fan of the Elecrow CrowPi (1 and 2) as they contain many electronic components combined with a Raspberry Pi to allow quick tests. I use them a lot in Pi4J projects, and presentations I give about #JavaOnRaspberryPi.
Recently I saw a tweet of Elecrow, looking for testers for their new “Meteor Screen 10.1” IPS Capacitive Touch Screen with RGB Animated light compatible with Raspberry Pi, Jetson Nano, Beaglebone." As I love trying out new stuff, I volunteered and received such a display.
NOTE: I received a free evaluation product from Elecrow, and the links to the Elecrow Shop include an affiliate code. If you click on one of them and purchase, I’ll receive a commission.
Features and Technical Info
As provided by Elecrow:
- Product Model: CMS01101D
- IPS HD 1280*800 resolution and 178°Full Viewing Angle present you with an excellent visual experience.
- RGB water lights on the back create a cool atmosphere, 19 kinds of customized LED Flow the mode can be switched freely.
- Support backlight control
- Capacitive 5-Point Touch, smooth, accurate and fast response
- Use HD communication, touch-free drive, plug and play, and easy to use.
- Support Windows, Linux, Ubuntu, Kodi, etc.
- Compatible with Raspberry Pi 3/3B+/4B, Jetson Nano, Beaglebone
The displays comes in a solid box with the right amount of foam to protect the display. Also in the box: two bags with cables, two stands, and screws to mount a Raspberry Pi at the back of the screen.
The device has two push buttons and a selection wheel:
- Button 1: change the backlight level in steps of 10%
- Button 2: put the LEDs on or off
- Selection wheel: select one of the 19 LED effects
I’ve connected the display to a Raspberry Pi 4. Thanks to the included Micro HDMI to HDMI converter, I didn’t have to search in my cable box, as everything is included with the display. No configuration changes were needed on the Raspberry Pi, which is required for many smaller displays with smaller resolutions. Although the website mentions a separate power supply is needed, I first tried with only an USB connection to the Raspberry Pi. It works, but in some cases, depending on the color of the LEDs the screen turns dark. When connected to a power supply, it appears it requires up to 0.7A.
According to the specs, the Raspberry Pi detects a resolution of 1280x800. But you can set it to 1920x1080, and the resizing gives a clear result. You can adjust the backlight with one of the push buttons between 10 and 100%. In my feeling, the lowest setting of 10% is still about 50%.
The LEDs on the back give a fancy effect. Unfortunately, they don’t follow the actual content on the display, like an ambient light television can do. That would have been even more fancy. But what disappoints me is the lack of a connection to control the LEDs with software. There is no connector to allow this. An I2C, SPI, and/or serial connector would have been a big plus and would have been very useful for many applications. An example could be using this screen as a home automation display, with the LED strips blinking when someone rings the doorbell.
I asked Elecrow about this, and Annie Xie of the marketing team replied: “If you are familiar with the programming of the STC15W1K24S master control, you can program it by removing the case and connecting the UART port inside.” I’ve unscrewed the backside to take some pictures, and as you can see, TX, RX, VCC, and Ground solder points are indeed available on the LED board. It would be great if Elecrow could provide a basic example in their documentation to control the LEDs with a Raspberry Pi via this connection.
- Good quality build.
- Good packaging.
- Enough cables and connectors.
- WOW effect of the RGB LEDs.
- Nice image quality, even when rescaling 1920x1080.
- Touch works perfectly without a need to calibrate.
- LEDs don’t react to the HDMI signal, known as “ambient light system” from some television brands.
- No documentation is available on how to control the LEDs with software.
This is a very nice display for an affordable price! It’s a pitty you can’t control the LED strip from software, hopefully this will be included with a next version…
Elecrow launched a Kickstarter campaign for the “CrowView 14inch FHD 1080P IPS Mechanical Clamping Dual Display Portable Monitor”. I’m really curious to see the results of it!