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TCL QM851G review – the brightest mini-LED TV yet
2:00 pm | May 19, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Televisions | Comments: Off

TCL recently launched its full TV lineup for 2024, and the range includes mini-LED models as large as 115 inches, a screen size that makes them a viable replacement for a projector in a home theater system.

The step-down model from that 115-inch flagship is the TCL QM851G series. These are available in 65- to 98-inch screen sizes and have a specified brightness of up to 5,000 nits and 5,000 local dimming zones. Those are impressive specs, especially considering that the best TVs, even mini-LED models like the QM851G, generally max out at around 2,000 nits brightness and have a significantly lower number of local dimming zones.

TCL showed its full TV range at an event in NYC timed with the launch, and as part of that event, I was allowed time to do hands-on testing of an 85-inch version of the QM851G. The TV provided was a pre-production unit, and only its Vivid picture mode was approved by the company for measurements. Nevertheless, my testing session gave me a good sense of the TV’s overall performance, and I could also confirm some of TCL’s specs for the QM851G series.

TCL QM851G TV showing Google TV interface

The new TCL TVs use the Google TV smart TV system for streaming (Image credit: Future)

I’ll get into those testing details momentarily, but first some general information about the TCL QM851G series. TCL’s top mini-LED TVs for 2024 feature the company’s AiPQ Ultra processor that provides 65,000 levels of granular control over local dimming among other picture-enhancing features. They also feature a display panel with an Ultra-Wide-Angle Lens for even light distribution and Optical Distance Reduction technology to minimize backlight blooming effects by reducing the space between the backlight and the reflector.

TCL QM851G series TVs have a native 120Hz display panel and two HDMI 2.1 inputs with support for up to 144Hz VRR and FreeSync Premium Pro. A Game Accelerator 240 feature allows for 240 VRR gaming at 1080p resolution and there’s a Game mode to reduce latency. For sound, there’s an Onkyo-designed 2.1.2-channel speaker system with up-firing Dolby Atmos drivers, and the TVs also feature an ATSC 3.0 next-gen TV tuner and Wi-Fi 6 for streaming.

HDR support on the QM851G series includes Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG, and the TVs are IMAX Enhanced certified. As with other TCL TVs, the Google TV platform is used for streaming and smart home integration.

Pricing for the QM851G series is as follows:

  • 65QM851G:$1999.99 (around £1,600 / AU$3,000)
  • 75QM851G: $2699.99 (around £2,150 / AU$4,100)
  • 85QM851G $3999.99 (around £3,200 / AU$6,000)
  • 98QM851G: $7999.99 (around £6,400 / AU$12,100)

The 85- and 98-inch QM851G series TVs have support feet with adjustable height, while the 65- and 75-inch versions use a pedestal stand.

TCL QM851G TV showing image of sunset on a lake

Highlights in images with HDR, such as this sun setting on a lake, looked powerfully bright and refined on the TCL QM851G (Image credit: Future)

Picture Performance

With only the TCL 85QM851G’s Vivid picture mode approved (it was the only mode finalized at the time), there was no point in making color measurements since the Vivid mode on TVs is typically the least accurate picture preset. I was able to test HDR brightness, however, and here TCL’s TV just about met spec. Measured using a white window test pattern covering 10% of the screen area, the 85QM851G’s peak brightness was 4,793 nits and it measured 705 nits with a full-screen pattern.

To put those numbers into context, a Samsung QN900D 8K TV I recently reviewed measured 1,870 and 470 nits on the same tests. My measurements of the Samsung TV were taken in the set’s Filmmaker mode, however, which doesn’t always provide the same high brightness levels as Vivid mode. Even so, assuming the TCL 85QM851G can come close to its Vivid mode brightness when in Movie mode, it will be the brightest TV I’ve yet tested.

TCL QM851G showing image of feather on black

The TCL QM851G's precise local dimming gave challenging images such as this feather on a black background a clean look that was free of backlight "blooming" (Image credit: Future)

It may not have been fully approved by TCL for testing at the time, but the 85QM851G’s Movie picture mode nonetheless looked very accurate. Checking out the demonstration section from the Spears & Munsil Ultra HD Benchmark 4K Blu-ray disc, images of landscapes and flowers had excellent color saturation and detail. In shots with bright objects against a black background, the TV’s outstanding local dimming ensured the image was free of backlight “blooming” effects, and I noted the same result when watching a starfield motion test pattern designed to test local dimming.

When I next watched scenes from the James Bond film No Time to Die, the TCL 85QM851G’s high brightness in Movie mode gave images a bold and punchy look, with dark scenes showing plentiful shadow detail and HDR highlights popping on the screen. One scene I use to test motion handling showed a high level of judder and blur as Bond walked across a hilltop cemetery, but the issue could be fixed by using the TV’s Custom judder and blur settings.

Aside from the judder, the only possible shortcoming I saw on the 85QM851G was a degree of color and contrast fade when viewing from an off-center position. The fading effect was mild, however, and isn’t likely to be seen on an expansive 85-inch screen.

Sound performance 

The TCL 85QM851G’s 2.1.2-channel speaker system delivered solid audio quality during my test, with the TV’s up-firing speaker drivers creating a sense of spaciousness with Dolby Atmos soundtracks. Adjustable-height feet make it easy to add the best soundbars to the TV for enhanced audio performance, and TCL has also launched 5.1.2 and 7.1.4-channel Dolby Atmos soundbars along with its new TVs. Those new soundbar systems, the Q75H ($899) and Q85H ($999) are surprisingly affordable given their capabilities and will be available this summer.

TCL QM851G remote control held in hand

The TCL QM851G's full-featured remote control (Image credit: Future)

With its super-bright picture and excellent local dimming, TCL’s QM851G series TV will likely provide strong competition for premium mini-LED TVs from Samsung and Sony. And although $4,000 may sound like a lot to pay for a TV, an 85-inch mini-LED model for that price is actually a great value. The only better one I can think of is the QM851G's 98-inch version at $7,999. I’ll have more to say about the TCL QM851G series after I get a full production unit in for review, though it’s unlikely to be a 98-inch one!

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The Hisense U9N 4K TV is mini-LED taken to the max, with powerful built-in Dolby Atmos sound too – Samsung should be worried
9:00 pm | May 4, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Televisions | Comments: Off

Hisense just announced its new Hisense U9N series mini-LED TVs, and as part of that announcement, the company invited reviewers, myself included, to spend quality hands-on time with a pre-production 75-inch version of the U9N at a launch event in New York.

The Hisense U9N series TVs slot between the company’s flagship ULED X series and the new U8N series (review coming soon) TVs, and incorporate technology from the ULED X lineup. Specifically, they use Hisense’s Hi-View Engine X picture processing and a mini-LED backlight with up to 5,300 local dimming zones. That’s a strikingly high number, even among the best TVs that use mini-LED – the Hisense U8K, in contrast, topped out at around 1,000 local dimming zones.

As you might expect, the premium tech packaged in the U9N series comes with a price boost over the U8N series, with the 75-inch version selling for $2,999 (around  £2,400 / AU$ 4,530) and $3,999 (around  £3,200 / AU$ 6,050) for the 85-inch version. (Compare that to the $1,999 pricing for the 75-inch Hisense U8N.) Hisense plans to ship both models this summer, and they will be sold at Best Buy and Amazon.

HIsense U9N close up of speaker

The Hisense U9N features substantial side-firing speakers, as shown here. (Image credit: Future)

The U9N series also has a premium design that aligns closely with the ULED X series TVs. That includes an aluminum bezel and side-mounted speakers, with the latter providing the left and right channels for the TV’s built-in 4.1.2 Dolby Atmos speaker system, which gets up to 82 watts of power (on the 85-inch model).

Picture-enhancing features of the U9N series include Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ high dynamic range support, and IMAX Enhanced and Filmmaker Mode presets. An ultra-wide viewing angle feature ensures that picture quality is maintained when viewing from off-center seats and the screen also has an anti-glare coating to reduce reflections.

On the gaming front, the U9N series supports a 144Hz refresh rate, VRR with AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, and Dolby Vision gaming. 

The Google TV platform handles smart features and streaming and there’s an ATSC 3.0 tuner for receiving next-gen digital TV broadcasts.

Color test pattern shown on the Hisense U9N TV

The U9N's off-axis viewing performance is excellent as demonstrated by this color test pattern shown straight on and at an extreme angle. (Image credit: Future)

Picture Performance

Along with its massive dimming zone count, Hisense has made dramatic brightness claims for its U9N series and the other new Hisense TVs announced for 2024. With the TV in its Filmmaker Mode picture preset, I measured around 3,000 nits peak brightness on a 10% white window pattern – a result that bests even the new Samsung QN900D flagship 8K TV, which measured around 2,400 nits on the same test. Dramatically high brightness confirmed!

Brightness with a fullscreen white test pattern in the same mode was 600 nits, a result that also bests Samsung’s flagship TV. On other tests, the 75-inch U9N managed a very impressive 99.3% coverage of the UHDA-P3 color gamut and 82% of the BT.2020 color gamut, and a measured input lag of 15.2ms when in Game mode. That level of input lag isn’t the best we’ve measured – some of the best gaming TVs clock in under 10ms – but it’s still considered good enough.

Along with its stellar measured performance, the QN9 has excellent off-axis uniformity. Looking at a pattern from the Spears & Munsil Ultra HD Benchmark 4K Blu-ray disc designed to test off-axis performance, the TV’s ultra-wide viewing angle feature ensured that color and contrast were perfectly uniform even at a far off-center viewing position.

Hisense U9N showing screen reflections

Although this picture exaggerates the effect, screen reflections could be seen on the U9N with overhead lights on. (Image credit: Future)

With 5,300 local dimming zones, you’d expect to see detailed reproduction of shadows in dark scenes, and the UN9 didn’t disappoint. Watching the scene in Dune: Part One where Paul Atreides is tested by the Reverend Mother (Question: “What’s in the box?” Answer: “Pain”), backgrounds in the dim environment had a high level of clarity, and the mesh covering her face was a deep, solid black tone.

While I didn’t notice anything off with movies, I did note some “black blotching’ effects on a starfield test pattern on the Spears & Munsil disc designed to test local dimming performance. Basically, with local dimming switched off, I could see plenty of stars in the pattern, and when switched to the Filmmaker Mode’s default High setting, large patches of stars disappeared. Hisense told me the issue is something they had also noted, however, and it will be fixed before the UN9 ships this summer.

Turning to No Time to Die, another demo 4K Blu-ray and one that I use to test motion handling, there was a high level of motion judder in a shot where the camera pans across a cemetery on a craggy hillside. Adjusting both the Custom Judder and Blur settings in the Motion Clarity menu to +4 remedied the issue, and it only added a very slight amount of “motion smoothing” to the image.

Although the U9N is touted as having an anti-glare screen, I could see a fair amount of screen reflections when I turned on the overhead lights in the room I tested it in. It certainly wasn’t the worst instance of this I’ve encountered, but having seen the new Samsung S95D OLED TV’s Glare-Free technology in action, which proved completely immune to room lighting, I’m starting to have higher expectations for glare-reduction tech.

Sound performance 

Most high-end TVs now arrive with built-in 4.1.2 Dolby Atmos speaker systems, which use actual upfiring speaker drivers on the TV’s top edge rather than virtual processing to deliver Dolby Atmos soundtracks. Hisense’s U9N managed to play loud during the action scenes in both Dune and No Time to Die without sounding overly strained and there was good bass and dialogue clarity. Built-in TV speakers typically aren’t a match for the best soundbars, but anyone wanting spacious Dolby Atmos sound from a TV alone will not be disappointed with the U9N’s performance.

Hisense U9N TV remote control held in hand

The Hisense U9N comes with a much improved new remote control with a backlit keypad. (Image credit: Future)

Mini-LED to the max 

The Hisense U9N’s high brightness and impressive local dimming make it a hot prospect to land among the best TVs of 2024. And even though the 75-inch model’s $2,999 price could be considered high for a TV, it’s still quite reasonable compared to the mini-LED competition – it's lower than the 75-inch Samsung QN90D, for example, which costs $3,299.

Does the Hisense U9N leave room for improvement? Its motion handling isn’t the best, and when I measured it in Filmmaker Mode, both gamma and white balance were less accurate than what I usually expect from a premium TV. Even so, I walked away from my encounter with the U9N impressed, and could see it making serious waves this summer once it arrives.

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Samsung Q990D review: the best Dolby Atmos soundbar, and now perfect for PS5 and Xbox Series X, too
8:00 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Soundbars Televisions | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Samsung HW-Q990D review: Two minute review

The Samsung HW-Q990D follows in the footsteps of one of the best soundbars in recent years, the Samsung HW-Q990C, but adds gaming features including 4K 120Hz and VRR pass-through, along with a more refined and controlled sound profile. 

Filled to the brim with features, the Q990D offers plenty of settings for those who like to experiment. AI enhancements including Adaptive Sound and SpaceFit allow the Q990D to analyze sources and the viewing environment to create the best possible experience. Alongside these, the new gaming features enable users to get the most from their PS5 or Xbox Series X. And for those with a Samsung TV, there’s also Q-Symphony and a wireless Dolby Atmos option.

Carrying 22 speakers across four units, with an 11.1.4 channel configuration, the Q990D confirms Samsung's continued domination of the soundbar market, especially when it comes to immersive Dolby Atmos sound. But, it’s not just immersive sound where it succeeds, as bass levels are punchy yet refined and trebles and mids can breathe easy over the bass.  The Q990D also serves as an excellent music streaming option whether over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, with its wide soundstage giving every aspect of a song the space it needs.

Although on the bulkier side, the Q990D feels every bit its premium price thanks to its solid build quality, and it has a sleek, modern look. The main soundbar’s size may be an issue for some and its front LED display is not the most user-friendly, but for many, it will beat the mess of cables you get with a wired home theater setup.

With a variety of control options including a supplied remote and the Samsung SmartThings app, the Q990D is easy to use and tailor settings to how you like. Initial setup is a breeze, making it simple to get great sound. 

The Q990D may be a premium soundbar, and there are cheaper options such as last year’s Samsung Q990C and this year’s Samsung HW-Q930D, but neither of those carries the full range of features or the performance found in the Q990D. Although pricey, it delivers the best Dolby Atmos soundbar experience you can get today. 

Samsung HW-Q990D soundbar, subwoofer and rear speakers

The Samsung HW-Q990D comprises a soundbar, subwoofer and two surrounds, with 11.1.4 channels across 22 speakers. (Image credit: Future)

Samsung HW-Q990D review: Price & release date

  • Release date - March 2024 
  • Price - $1,799 / £1,699 / AU$1,995 

The Samsung HW-Q990D is Samsung’s flagship Dolby Atmos soundbar for 2024. Released at $1,799 / £1,699 / AU$1,995, the Q990D is a premium soundbar package.

For context, that’s roughly $400 more than the JBL Bar 1300X, an older soundbar that includes wireless rear speakers and a powerful subwoofer, but is roughly $500 more than the most widely available Sonos home theater package, which features the Sonos Arc, Sonos Sub (Gen 3) and a pair of Sonos Era 100s as rears.

Samsung HW-Q990D review: Specs

Samsung HW-Q990D in front of the Samsung S95D

The Samsung HW-Q990D (connected to the Samsung S95D TV) now has gaming features including 120Hz and VRR. (Image credit: Future)

Samsung HW-Q990D review: Features

  • 11.1.4 speaker channels 
  • HDMI 2.1 with 4K 120Hz support  
  • Wireless Dolby Atmos  

The Samsung Q990D has many of  the same features as its impressive predecessor, the Samsung HW-Q990C, including 11.1.4 speaker channels and 22 speakers spread across the four units (soundbar, subwoofer and two rear speakers).

One new feature is HDMI 2.1 ports for gaming, with both HDMI inputs supporting 4K120Hz and VRR. Both HDMI ports also pass through HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR formats.

Supported sound formats include Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, Dolby 5.1, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD. 

The Q990D is stacked with sound-enhancing features including Adaptive Sound, which analyzes what you’re watching and intelligently adjusts audio levels; SpaceFit Sound Pro, which analyzes your environment and tunes the Q990D’s audio output for the space; and Game Mode Pro, which tailors directional sound to optimal levels when gaming.

Wi-Fi streaming on the Q990D supports hi-res audio formats including ALAC, FLAC and WAV and also Dolby Atmos music tracks found on streaming services such as Apple Music and Tidal. Speaking of streaming, there is also Spotify and Tidal Connect support. 

There are some Samsung-exclusive enhancements alongside these features (meaning they only work with compatible Samsung TVs). The first is Q-Symphony, where the Q990D works with the speakers of a Samsung TV to boost sound even further. The next is wireless Dolby Atmos, where a Samsung TV can stream Dolby Atmos soundtracks - albeit a compressed version - to the Q990D.

Last is Tap Sound, where you tap your Samsung smartphone on the Q990D and it starts playing the music you’re streaming. 

Control options include a hardware remote control and the Samsung SmartThings app. With the app, you can make EQ adjustments, activate voice and bass enhancement, and select Night Mode, which adjusts the sound to a suitable level for late-night viewing or listening. The app also isn’t just for the Q990D, but can control any compatible Samsung product.

  • Features score: 5 / 5

Samsung HW-Q990D main bar

The Samsung HW-Q990D main soundbar  (Image credit: Future)

Samsung HW-Q990D review: Performance

  • Exceptional immersive sound
  • Powerful, yet detailed audio 
  • Impressive gaming performance 

For years, Samsung’s flagship soundbars have continually impressed, serving as a pinnacle of what a soundbar-based home theater audio system is capable of, and the Q990D continues this trend. 

With 22 speakers across the four units, including four height channels, in an 11.1.4 channel configuration, the Q990D creates an outstanding immersive experience, with expert reproduction of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks and real surround sound.

Watching Star Wars: A New Hope on Disney Plus, the final attack and ensuing space battle involving the Death Star was every bit as cinematic as it should be. As X-Wings and Tie Fighters shot across the screen from every angle, the direction of the soaring engines glided across the speakers impeccably and John Williams’ iconic score in the rear speakers kept the tension high without drowning out other effects. Dialogue was crisp and clear, cutting through the densely packed mix of engines, lasers and music. Watching this, I truly felt like I was in the cockpit, as the iconic screech of the Tie Fighter passed over my head. 

Although immersive sound is where the Q990D succeeded the most,  bass levels from the weighty subwoofer also impressed. The rumble of the Batmobile’s engine in The Batman during the Penguin car chase sounded meaty with plenty of low-end punch. On previous Q990 generations, the bass could get carried away on occasion, but the Q990D’s bass feels more nuanced and controlled - dynamic but without overwhelming the rest of the mix.

Even when watching movies with a stereo soundtrack such as The Amazing Spider-Man on DVD, the Q990D boosted the sound through upmixing and gave more oomph to every fight sequence and web swing through NYC. 

Other parts of the audio mix are well-balanced on the Q990D. High notes come across without being too shrill whilst mids sit comfortably where they should in the mix, with everything combining to create a full, detailed sound. 

Although it’s not as impressive with music as with movies, the Q990D is still a triumph. When I streamed tracks from Tidal and Spotify in uncompressed hi-res and compressed formats respectively, the Q990D did a good job of balancing instruments and handled every genre well. Listening to Tears for Fears’ Everybody Wants To Rule The World, the bass and drums sounded punchy, and the trebles of the synths and guitars sliced through evenly.

Listening to Dolby Atmos music tracks via Tidal, the Q990D again showed its prowess. Thelonius Monk’s Monk’s Dream (Take 8) spread out across the Q990D’s speakers, with every instrument given equal room to breathe - from the twinkling piano to the bright sax and the warm bass notes. 

Sometimes the mix would sound forced on these Dolby Atmos tracks, with some instruments pushing a little too hard. But the Q990D generally continued to shine and even tracks streamed over lower quality Bluetooth sounded good. 

The Q990D was connected to a Samsung S95D TV during my testing, with Samsung-centric features such as Q Symphony available. And while this did provide an extra layer to the sound, adding a greater sense of space and power, the Q990D gave a great cinematic experience without it. 

As for gaming performance, when playing Battlefield V with an Xbox Series X, gaming was smooth, as switching between targets felt easy and the action suitably pacy. 

The most surprising element of the Q990D’s gaming performance was the low 9.2ms input lag time, meaning its HDMI pass-through didn’t add any latency. For those needing 4K 120Hz, VRR and low input lag for their console, the Q990D can provide. 

  • Performance score: 5 / 5

Samsung HW-Q990D front display

The Samsung HW-Q990D's front display isn't the easiest to read... (Image credit: Future)

Samsung HW-Q990D review: Design

  • Solid, premium design 
  • Front display isn’t easiest to read
  • Slightly wider than a 55-inch TV  

The Q990D comprises four units: a soundbar, subwoofer and two rear speakers. The subwoofer is sizable and hefty, but its wireless connection allows it to be placed anywhere in the room (as long as there’s a mains socket nearby to plug in for power). The rear speakers, meanwhile, have a compact yet sleek design. 

The soundbar itself measures 1309.0 x 595.0 x 277.0 mm, making it slightly longer than a 55-inch TV (which roughly measures 1200mm). At 595mm, it isn’t the tallest soundbar, but could still cut off the bottom of a lot of TVs. The soundbar is also weighty, although that demonstrates its premium quality. 

The soundbar and rear speakers sport a gray/navy matte finish that gives them a minimalist, modern appearance. A mesh grille on the soundbar’s front makes it quite difficult to see what input you’re using and other information provided on the front panel LED display, however.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Samsung HW-Q990D supplied remote

The Samsung HW-Q990D can be controlled with the above supplied remote, the Samsung SmartThings app or your TV remote via HDMI-CEC. (Image credit: Future)

Samsung HW-Q990D review: Setup & usability

  • HDMI eARC connection to TV
  • Wireless connection between units  
  • Remote or SmartThings app for control  

With four separate, wireless units, setting up the Q990D seems like it would be daunting, but the Q990D makes setup almost effortless. Once all units are plugged in and the soundbar is connected to the TV by HDMI eARC, the subwoofer and rear speakers connect by simply pressing a button on the back and you’re ready to go.

You can either use the supplied remote or the Samsung SmartThings app for control, with adjustments for boosting voice, bass and more. The Q990D can also be controlled via the TV remote using HDMI-CEC. Finally, there are control buttons and an LED display on top of the soundbar. 

For those looking to optimize audio based on their room’s layout, there is also the SpaceFit Pro calibration system, which can be performed during initial setup or on the fly using the SmartThings app. 

  • Setup & usability score: 4.5 / 5

Samsung HW-Q990D soundbar

The Samsung HW-Q990D is pricey, but you get an entire Atmos experience across four units. (Image credit: Future)

Samsung HW-Q990D review: Value

  • Premium price 
  • Best home theater soundbar option
  • Samsung Q990C still available   

Priced at $1,799 / £1,699 / AU$1,995, the Q990D is a premium soundbar. And although its features and excellent all-around performance justify the price, it is no doubt going to push some people’s budgets.

The Samsung HW-Q990C, the Q990D’s predecessor, is still available and sells at a reduced price that’s only going to fall further - I’ve seen it selling for roughly $400 / £600 cheaper than the Q990D. It does miss out on the Q990D’s gaming features, but if they’re not relevant to you, the Q990C is fine. Another option is the Samsung HW-Q930D, the step-down model from the Q990D which comes with fewer channels and features. 

Still, in terms of features and performance, the Q990D offers a Dolby Atmos home theater experience no other soundbar can offer. To beat it, you’d need to look at full AV setups that don’t allow for the same tidy installation or ease of use.

  • Value score: 4 / 5

Should I buy the Samsung HW-Q990D?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Samsung HW-Q990D review: Also consider

How I tested the Samsung HW-Q990D

Samsung HW-Q990D in front of TV

(Image credit: Future)
  • Connected to the Samsung S95D 
  • Tested with variety of sources 
  • Both surround sound and stereo sound tested

To test the Samsung HW-Q990D soundbar, I connected it to the Samsung S95D - the flagship 2024 OLED TV from Samsung. The majority of testing was done with Q-Symphony and any other Samsung-centric features turned off to see how the Q990D would fare if connected to sets from other brands. 

After some run-in time, I selected reference scenes from both streaming and 4K Blu-ray to test spatial sound, mainly Dolby Atmos. I then used lower-resolution sources such as DVD to test the Q990D on its handling of non-surround movie audio. I analyzed the Q990D's spatial sound but also bass, trebles, mids, and dialogue clarity. 

After this, I streamed music through both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to test the Q990D's music playback quality. I played hi-res audio and Atmos music tracks from Tidal and lossy quality tracks via Bluetooth from Spotify. 

Read more about how we test

  • First reviewed: May 2024
BenQ X300G review: a budget 4K projector for gaming and movies
4:00 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Home Theater Projectors Televisions | Tags: | Comments: Off

BenQ X300G 4K projector: one-minute review

If you love to sit back and enjoy movies but also like to lean in and get sweaty with the latest competitive games, the BenQ X300G could be just the projector for you. This short-throw model combines impressive capabilities in a compact package that rivals Xgimi’s Horizon Pro and Horizon Ultra

The BenQ X300G manages decent color from its LED light source, and puts on a strong show with bright, 4K visuals. But it can also dial up the speed, switching to a 1080p/240Hz mode for fast, responsive gaming. We’ve seen this trick in action on the BenQ X3100i, and it’s a real treat for gamers. 

Between its cinematic capabilities and gaming prowess, the BenQ X300G has a lot to offer. There’s room for improvement — the limited ports and so-so audio come to mind — but at $1,799, this projector puts up a respectable value, especially with its ability to play dual roles, something that not all the best 4K projectors can do. 

BenQ X300G 4K projector review: price and release date

  • Release date: December 2023
  • MSRP: $1,799 (around £1,400 / AU$2,720)

The BenQ X300G is a fairly new model in BenQ’s lineup. With an original price of $1,799 (around £1,400 / AU$2,720), the projector hasn’t yet seen any discounts, though its price is reasonable for a 4K model. 

BenQ X300G projector on table

Focus and keystone adjustments on the X300G can be made automatically, making setup quick (Image credit: Future)

BenQ X300G 4K projector review: Specs

BenQ X300G projector top surface controls

The projector has basic control buttons located on its top surface (Image credit: Future)

BenQ X300G 4K projector review: design and features

  • Compact and flexible design
  • Built-in speakers and streaming stick
  • Rare DisplayPort over USB-C support

The BenQ X300G takes up less than a cubic foot and has roughly cube-like dimensions. Inside that small footprint, it packs a 2,000-lumen DLP projection system, 2.1-channel speakers, an internal streaming dongle, and the necessary hardware for optical zoom. 

It’s an impressive package and not an unsightly one. Like many of BenQ’s recent designs, the BenQ X300G has a mostly white, plastic chassis complemented by a glossy black face with orange accents. In this case, those accents also extend to little LED fins that protrude from the projector’s back edges. That orange glow calls to mind heat – not a good thing for a projector – though the BenQ X300G deals with that well. Its internal fans do emit a light buzzing noise, but the sound is easily drowned out by its speakers. 

The whole unit sits on rubber feet for grip. The front foot is especially wide and built around a hinge for propping the front of the projector up to adjust its projection angle, though the feet don’t offer any horizontal tilt adjustment if the projector is set on an uneven surface. There is also a threaded hole for mounting onto a tripod or ceiling mount. 

The BenQ X300G includes a few ports on its side and uses an external brick for power. There’s an HDMI 2.0 port with eARC, a USB-C port with DisplayPort support — a rarity among projectors – and a USB 2.0 port. I found it regrettable to see neither a 3.5mm audio jack nor an optical audio output. The rear of the BenQ X300G hides a small compartment that hides BenQ’s included streaming stick. This has a built-in mini HDMI cable and micro USB cable for charging, and this fairly unusual design offers limited options for swapping the dongle out for a different unit such as a Roku or Amazon Fire TV streaming stick down the line. 

A large remote control operates both the included dongle and the projector. This has similarities to typical Android TV remotes but also quite a few shortcuts to projector settings. Backlighting provides helpful visibility in the dark, and activates after a button has been pressed. In addition to the remote, a set of controls is on top of the unit. Manual adjustments are made electronically, including focus, zoom, and keystone. Focus and keystone adjustments can also be made automatically, making setup quite quick.

The streaming stick BenQ includes is a first-party model running Android TV OS 11, which is a little behind the times now, though at least it saw a recent February 2024 security patch. The dongle still provides quick and easy access to the best streaming services like Disney Plus, Max, Netflix, and Prime Video. While Hulu also loaded onto the system without issue, I couldn’t successfully use it as all clicks on the Sign In button failed to register. 

  • Design and features score: 3/5

BenQ X300G projector showing Super Mario movie

The BenQ X300G is designed for gaming, but it also does a good job of displaying movies (Image credit: Future)

BenQ X300G 4K projector review: picture and sound quality

  • Short throw provides big picture in smaller rooms
  • Good image with movies and games
  • Average sound quality

The BenQ X300G is a capable little projector that’s ready to beam a big and bright picture without much fuss. It’s plenty bright for a dim room and excels in the dark, where it can readily produce a gorgeous, large image. In fact, you’ll likely have a hard time getting anything less than a huge picture due to the projector’s short throw. 

This projector is better suited for small rooms or coffee table installations. During setup, I already had a 77-inch diagonal image at a little under 4 feet from the screen. The projector’s optical zoom can shrink that down a bit, but if you place the projector at the back of a room, you’ll be sacrificing image quality quickly as it relies on digital zoom to shrink images down beyond the optical zoom range.

Once positioned, the BenQ X300G is a strong projector. Color rendition isn’t the best I’ve seen – BenQ rates it for 84% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut – with that crown going to triple-laser models like the Hisense PX2 Pro and LG Cinebeam HU915QE, but it’s not far off. The Na’vi looked plenty blue when I watched Avatar: The Way of Water, and the colorful world of Final Fantasy VII: Remake Intergrade was presented quite well throughout my testing. 

A main perk of the BenQ X300G is its flexibility. It can provide a cinematic image with 4K HDR movies and shows at 24 or 60Hz, but also dial up the speed by dropping to 1080p at 240Hz for gaming. The projector’s DLP chip not only provides a high refresh rate but a stunning pixel response time that’s virtually free of ghosting. If competitive gaming is your speed, the BenQ X300G can keep up. 

Speed is a critical advantage for the BenQ X300G, as it has competition from other models like the JMGO N1 Ultra and Hisense C1. Both models come in at similar prices and use triple-laser light sources to provide 4K visuals with far more stunning color, but they lack the option to ramp up to 240Hz in game mode. 

The BenQ X300G speakers complement the imagery. While not amazing, they do a decent job, pumping out plenty of sound in the small rooms this projector is ideal for. They’ll fall flat unless you’re sitting close in larger rooms, and the sound is grating at high volumes. But at middle volume, they sound clear and full. 

  • Picture quality score: 4/5

BenQ X300G projector rear panel ports

Ports include HDMI with ARC, USB type-C, and USB type-A (Image credit: Future)

BenQ X300G 4K projector review: value

  • Has major competition at $1,799
  • Powerful for the price

The BenQ X300G is a strong all-around option. Cinema-focused projectors like the Hisense C1 can do better for the same price but lack the gaming capabilities that set the X300G apart. The BenQ X300G does a great job with both, upping its value for anyone who wants that flexibility. It does cut some corners on the hardware front, so it that’s a concern, the BenQ X3100i offers extra hardware adjustments and image upgrades, but costs $600 more. 

  • Value score: 4/5

BenQ X300G projector remote control

The BenQ's large remote control has a backlit keypad (Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the BenQ X300G 4K projector?

Buy it if...

Don’t buy it if… 

Also consider...

BenQ X3100i
The BenQ X3100i has the same gaming features as the X300G but provides a higher level of visual quality. It also has useful hardware for setup, but comes at a considerable uptick in price. 

Here's our full BenQ X3100i review

BenQ X300G projector showing Avatar 2

(Image credit: Future)

How I tested the BenQ X300G 4K projector

  • Tested at home in multiple, real-world viewing conditions
  • Viewed with a variety of media and formats
  • I have tested numerous projectors and displays over the last half-decade

I tested the BenQ X300G at home, in real-world conditions. This saw it challenged by ambient light coming in from numerous windows, in-room lighting, and ambient noise that the projector’s speaker system had to overcome. The projector was tested on both a bare, white wall and an Akia Screens CineWhite screen and was presented with streamed HDR and non-HDR content and console gameplay. 

My testing evaluates the projector’s performance and takes into consideration its price and competition from other models.

I have been testing projectors since 2021 and displays for even longer. 

First reviewed: May 2024

LG CineBeam Q review: a portable 4K projector with style
2:00 pm | April 28, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Home Theater Projectors Televisions | Tags: , | Comments: Off

LG CineBeam Q: Two-minute review

The LG CineBeam Q is an ultra-compact portable projector that, like Samsung's super-popular Freestyle, features the same streaming platform found in the company’s TVs – in this case, WebOS. At $1,299 /  £1,299 / AU$2,499, it’s pricier than Samsung's portable projector, but brings the benefits of 4K resolution and an RGB laser light engine for enhanced brighness and color. Picture quality is surprisingly good for such a tiny projector, and it can beam images large enough to light up the side of a garage, though the lack of a battery power option makes it best suited for indoor use.

The LG CineBeam Q stands out from the best portable projectors thanks to its 4K resolution in particular. Most are cheap HD-resolution models with a built-in rechargeable battery that run Android TV and can be used indoors or outdoors – even the great Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen, an ultra-compact projector that offers both portability and a superior streaming and gaming platform in an innovative design, is HD. The best 4K projectors have always been pricey, bulky and meant for indoor use – a different proposition. The LG changes this.

With an all-aluminum case and carrying handle, the LG CineBeam Q’s retro-industrial design makes it look good even when turned off. When turned on, an auto screen adjustment feature with autofocus allows for quick setup, and there are plenty of manual adjustments to dial in picture geometry and focus. Beyond that, the projector’s 22-point white balance adjustment duplicates the picture calibration controls found on LG’s OLED TVs, though its Filmmaker Mode picture mode also provides a high level of accuracy at its default settings.

WebOS offers most popular streaming apps such as Netflix and Disney Plus, though Hulu and Max are missing. Both AirPlay 2 and Android Screen Share allow for wireless streaming from a phone or tablet, and there are also USB type-C and HDMI inputs for connecting external sources such as one of the best 4K Blu-ray players or a games console.

While most portable projectors provide built-in speakers out of necessity, audio is an afterthought on the LG CineBeam Q, which produces tinny, anemic sound from its 3-watt mono speaker. Fortunately, it supports Bluetooth pairing with Dual Audio Output, allowing for wireless audio streaming to multiple Bluetooth speakers and headphones, or a soundbar.

LG Cinebeam Q projector WebOS interface

The LG Cinebeam Q projector's WebOS smart TV interface. (Image credit: Future)

LG CineBeam Q 4K projector review: Price and availability

  • Release date: April 2024
  • MSRP: $1,299 / £1,299 / AU$2,499

LG’s CineBeam Q sells for $1,299 /  £1,299 / AU$2,499, which is significantly higher than the Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen, another stylish portable projector. 

The LG is a 4K resolution model, however, and that feature alone justifies its higher price bracket – most 4K projectors cost a lot more than this!

LG CineBeam Q 4K projector review: Specs

LG Cinebeam Q projector held with carrying handle

The CineBeam Q's rotating metal stand allows for a range of placement options and also serves as a carrying handle. (Image credit: Future)

LG CineBeam Q 4K projector review: Design and features

  • Stylish design and sturdy build quality
  • RGB laser light engine
  • LG WebOS streaming platform

The LG CineBeam Q is about as cool-looking as portable projectors get. LG appears to have designed it to be a conversation piece as much as a projector, with the LG CineBeam Q’s compact aluminum case and 360-degree rotating aluminum stand giving it an appealing, Braun-like industrial style.

At 5.3 x 3.1 x 5.3 inches (H x W x D) and 3.3 pounds, the LG CineBeam Q is easy to tote from room to room (the rotating stand does double-duty as a carrying handle), though with no built-in rechargeable battery (or accessory battery pack) you’ll need to carry its external power brick along with it to plug in. LG includes an IR remote control, though it’s a regular version and not the “Magic Remote” kind that comes with LG TVs where you can just point at what you want on-screen.

The LG CineBeam Q uses an RGB laser light engine combined with a DLP chip to produce images with up to 500 ANSI lumens specified brightness. An auto screen adjustment feature with autofocus can be used to make images look rectangular and crisp without effort when pointing it at a wall or screen, and there’s also manual digital keystone correction with 4, 9, or 15-point warping options.

LG’s WebOS platform is used for streaming on the CineBeam Q, with Disney Plus, Prime Video, Netflix, Apple TV Plus, and YouTube all present. Strangely, there’s no Hulu or Max, which are popular streaming apps that I use regularly. The projector supports both AirPlay 2 and Android Screen Share, however, which lets you stream from apps on your phone to the projector, or you can connect an external source to its HDMI or USB type-C input.

The LG CineBeam Q has a built-in 3-watt speaker, though it doesn’t sound good and can’t play loud. A better option is to use the Bluetooth pairing with Dual Audio Output feature, which lets you simultaneously connect up to two Bluetooth devices like a speaker, headphones, or soundbar.

  • Design and features score: 4.5/5

LG Cinebeam Q projector showing butterfly image on screen

The Cinebeam Q has highly accurate color in Filmmaker Mode (Image credit: Future)

LG CineBeam Q 4K projector review: Picture Quality

  • Stylish design and sturdy build quality
  • RGB laser light engine
  • LG WebOS streaming platform

I went into this review with pretty low picture quality expectations for the LG CineBeam Q, and ended up pleasantly surprised by how good images looked. The main benefit the LG has over other ultra-compact portable projectors is 4K resolution with HDR10 and HLG high dynamic range support. That factor made a big difference in its picture, especially when watching movies, which is something I did on a 92-inch, 1.1 gain Stewart Filmscreen Cima matte white projection screen.

The LG CineBeam Q’s brightness was another surprise. Peak brightness measured on a white 10% window pattern was 60 nits in Filmmaker HDR Mode. Although that’s half the peak brightness you’d get from a more conventional home theater projector such as the BenQ v5000i, it’s very good for a portable model. The LG’s measured contrast ratio was 500:1, which is a typical result for a portable DLP projector.

Color performance was excellent, with the CineBeam Q’s grayscale and color Delta-E (the margin of error between the test pattern source and what’s shown on-screen) both averaging under our target level of 3 in Filmmaker Mode. Coverage of the UHDA-P3 colors gamut was also excellent at 98.7%, while BT.2020 coverage was an equally impressive 95%.

Input lag in Game Optimizer mode was 56ms, which is typical for projectors that aren’t specifically designed for gaming.

Watching reference 4K Blu-rays on the LG CineBeam Q, dark scenes in the James Bond film No Time to Die showed good contrast, and scenes with camera pans or fast motion looked solid and judder-free. Dark scenes in Dune were equally satisfying, though shadow detail wasn’t as good as what you can expect from the best larger 4K projectors. In both cases, the LG’s accurate color rendition made skin tones look completely natural, and brighter colors such as red, and orange, and yellow looked rich and clean.

  •  Picture quality score: 4.5 / 5

LG Cinebeam Q projector remote control

LG's included remote control is a basic version and not the "Magic Remote" type that comes with its TVs. (Image credit: Future)

LG CineBeam Q 4K projector review: Value

  • Less expensive than other 4K portables
  • Better picture than other ultra-compact projectors
  • Superior design for a portable projector

At $1,299 /  £1,299 / AU$2,499, the LG CineBeam Q is pricier than regular HD portable projectors such as Samsung’s The Freestyle 2nd Gen, but less expensive than other 4K portables such as the Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K. And while its overall picture quality is very good, brightness is limited, and there’s no battery power option for true portability.

The LG CineBeam Q scores value points for having an all-metal exterior as opposed to the cheap plastic casings used for most portable projectors. If you’re looking for a portable projector with a classy design that you can leave out in your living room when not in use, the LG is one of the few worth consideration. If that’s not the case, you can easily find cheaper models, though they’ll have a less attractive design and a less impressive picture.

  • Value score: 4 / 5

LG Cinebeam Q projector on table with power supply

With no built-in battery, the CineBeam Q relies on an external power brick for power (Image credit: Future)

Should you buy the LG CineBeam Q 4K projector?

Buy it if...

Don’t buy it if… 

Also consider...

Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K
This powerful portable has a laser-based light engine with a whopping 2,400 lumens brightness, though it costs significantly more than the LG. It also has an appealing design, though there’s no built-in battery for easy outdoor use. See our full Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K review.

LG Cinebeam Q projector

(Image credit: Future)

How I tested the LG CineBeam Q

  • Tested at home, in a room with controlled light where I always test projectors
  • Measurements were made using Calman color calibration software
  • A 1.1 gain Stewart Filmscreen Cima matte white projection screen was used for evaluation and measurements

When I test projectors, my first step is to use it for casual viewing to assess the out-of-box picture presets. The next step is to select the most accurate-looking preset (typically labeled Filmmaker, Movie or Cinema) and measure the white balance (grayscale), gamma, and color point accuracy using Portrait Displays’ Calman color calibration software. The resulting measurements provide Delta-E values (the margin of error between the test pattern source and what’s shown on-screen) for each category, and allow for an assessment of the projector’s s overall accuracy.

Along with those tests, I make measurements of peak light output (recorded in nits) for both standard high-definition and 4K high dynamic range using a 10% white window pattern. Coverage of DCI-P3 and BT.2020 color space is also measured, with the results providing a sense of how faithfully the projector can render the extended color range in ultra high-definition sources. The final measurements are contrast ratio, which is the ratio of the brightest white to the darkest black that the projector can display, and input lag, which is measured using a Leo Bodnar 4K HDMI input lag tester.

The LG CinemaBeam provides a full range of adjustments to calibrate its picture, although its Filmmaker mode preset is accurate enough that most people will find it to be perfectly adequate. For my evaluation I calibrated the LG’s picture and relied on both reference 4K Blu-ray discs and streaming via AirPlay 2 to test its performance in the Filmmaker and Standard preset picture modes.

My projector testing experience spans almost three decades, going back to the early three-gun CRT models.

First reviewed: April, 2024

Nomvdic P2000UST-RGB 4K projector review
1:27 pm | April 15, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Home Theater Projectors Televisions | Comments: Off

Nomvdic P2000UST-RGB: 30-second review

The P2000UST-RGB is Nomvdic's first UST projector, and while there are a few issues with the out-of-the-box colour profiles, the overall brightness, depth of image adjustment and audio quality more than makeup for any early issues. Setup is straightforward forward, with the unit only needing a minimum of 17cm from the screen to project the image with a maximum screen size of 1.5m going down to 65cm at the smallest; while that throw isn't huge, it's more than adequate for most homes. 

Connections to the machine are made directly through HDMI, and while the P2000 does offer WIFI, this is for little more than updating the firmware. As such, there is no built-in Smart platform. All digital TVs, movies, and other devices need to be connected through one of the HDMI, USB, or network ports on the back. While some might see this as a drawback, in real terms, focusing on the quality of the projection and the associated hardware rather than the SmartPlatform technology is a smart move and will be welcomed by many. 

When it comes to the projection, the illumination is bright, with the ALDP 4.0 RGB laser light engine producing a 2,500 ANSI Lumen projection at 4K UHD. We've tested many of the best business projectors, and for us, the image here is clear and crisp; however, on close inspection, you can see that the top area of the projection is a little less crisp and focused than the lower and central areas. The colours using the default setting are a little warmly cast. However, a quick flick through the presets will get you to an option that will give you out-of-the-box satisfaction, and if you want to adjust the projection quality, there's plenty of scope. 

While the price of the P2000 may initially seem expensive, this projector focuses on the projection quality and sound, offering a simple and aesthetically pleasing home cinema projection unit that doesn't fail to impress as long as you don't mind a little tweaking and a few small oddities. 

Nomvdic P2000UST-RGB: Price & availability

The Nomvdic P2000UST-RGB projector costs $2,999 (about £2,362, AU$4,527). That price is around average for DLP ultra-short-throw projectors such as the Hisense PX-2 Pro.

NOMVDIC P2000UST-RGB

The different viewing modes offer plenty of choice, but if you want to fine-tune then the Nomvdic P2000UST-RGB offers plenty of adjustment (Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Nomvdic P2000UST-RGB: Specs

NOMVDIC P2000UST-RGB

Two adjusters on either side of the Nomvdic P2000UST-RGB enable plenty of adjustment when leveling. (Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Nomvdic P2000UST-RGB: Design & features

  • Great looking cinematic designs
  • low latency support for gaming
  • FireStick 4k included with some bundles

The Nomvdic P2000UST-RGB projector blends state-of-the-art functionality with a visually appealing design, making it a standout choice for both ultra-modern and Art Deco-themed interiors. At 60.4cm in height, 42.6cm in width, and 15.3cm in depth, and weighing 10.6 kg, this projector is far from lightweight and designed to be positioned and left in place rather than packed away. As such, while the machine is visually appealing, it has been designed so that it can be ceiling mounted with front or rear projection options depending on your setup. Keeping lines and aesthetics clean, the design sees all the connectors are wall-facing, while the speakers are oriented towards the seating area for the best audio experience.

As a short-throw projector, a distance of just 17cm between the projector and the screen is needed to enable large-scale projections, making it perfect for tight spaces. 

When it comes to design, Nomvdic has gone for a more visually appealing design than the usual box-like products that we see. The top is crafted with a recessed area holding the projection lens, complemented by a large V-shaped dip at the front for no other reason than an aesthetic flourish. Around the sides of the projector is a stunning red, gilded surround, which echoes the grandeur of traditional cinema curtains.

Moving on to the core, the P2000UST-RGB boasts a triple-laser RGB light source driven by the advanced ALPD 4.0 technology, ensuring a luminous display of 3840 x 2160 4K UHD resolution. The projection is impressively bright and rated at 2,500 ANSI lumens and offers a large colour spectrum, achieving 100% of the BT.2020 standard, which is what you'd expect from high-quality 4K UHD TVs.

For sound, a customised 25-watt Harman Kardon speaker system with Dolby and DTS support delivers impressive audio. 

For both the sound and vision, the menu system offers plenty of scope for adjustment over the visual quality. This OSD also offers the usual array of screen adjustments such as keystone correction, zoom, and warp adjustments, and to make things a little easier, there's a test pattern that can be projected to aid with visual calibration.

Different from some other projectors, the P2000UST-RGB doesn't have a built-in Smart platform that offers apps; instead, Nomvdic has included a Fire TV Stick 4K Max with some but not all bundles. However, it's worth noting that the projector doesn't integrate directly with this or any other smart TV device; it merely acts as a way of projecting the output and as such, you end up with two remotes. When it comes to connectivity options, there are plenty of 3.5mm stereos, S/PDIF audio outputs, and HDMI ports with eARC support.

  • Design & features: 4/5

Nomvdic P2000UST-RGB review: picture quality

NOMVDIC P2000UST-RGB

The test pattern is fast to access and enables you a quick way to check on the colours and tone of the projection. (Image credit: Alastair Jennings)
  • Excellent contrast and brightness
  • Wide BT.2020 color space 
  • Plenty of scope for colour adjustment

Utilising a projection screen, the Nomvdic P2000UST-RGB demonstrates its projection quality with a 17cm distance from the screen; this short throw distance ensures easy placement and minimal room disruption; however, when initially placing the projector, any slight nudge or movement will easily throw the projection framing. Once in position, it's worth making sure that that will be its final positioning, and if the ceiling is mounted, make sure the mount has some adjustment, as although you can adjust keyframing if you switch modes, the projector resets, so getting that position right at the outset is extremely important and will help reduce or eliminate later fine-tuning.

Once the projector is switched on, the autofocus quickly brings the image into focus. However, it lacks any automatic keystone correction, which is why the initial positioning is so important. However, if you do need to make a tweak, there are user-friendly manual adjustments, including warp and 4-corner settings that facilitate the geometric fine-tuning. 

One instant issue is the default colour profile, which gives a blush green tinge to whites. However, flicking through the profile options quickly navigates to a decent balanced setting, which can then be fine-tuned with manual adjustments. To help the process, there's a project test pattern that can be selected and used to enable all the necessary quality checks. Annoyingly, you can adjust the colour, brightness, and contrast simultaneously with the Pattern display, and instead, you need to toggle between the input and then back to the screen. As always, it's better to display a test image from the source to calibrate the display.

In terms of the viewing experience, the Movie setting seemed to deliver the best out-of-the-box results, though even then, a few additional tweaks to colour and contrast were needed. As well as movies and TV, the projector is also perfectly tuned to play games with minimal lag. Switching the profile to the game and the machine highlights the 3X fast mode option, which enables reducing input lag and enhancing the gaming experience. However, a side effect of this mode is that it resets the Corner and Warp settings, necessitating readjustments when reverting to Movie mode. Again, ensuring everything is correctly positioned at the outset makes even more sense.

One aspect of the projector that really worked well and added to greater versatility is the extensive range of settings adjustment, including one that enables you to compensate for projecting onto coloured walls with an option that effectively neutralises the wall colour impact. 

When checking out the brightness with a test pattern from a MacBook Pro, the projection measured 550 LUX at full power, 450 LUX at half power, and 250 LUX at the lowest, indicating its capability to perform well in daylight conditions, though dimming the room remains advisable for in bright sunlit conditions.

When it comes to movie watching, the projector excels after fine-tuning colour, tone, and saturation, delivering smooth motion handling, particularly noticeable in 4K content. The visual fidelity, with rich colours and tonal gradients, complements the high-quality audio output from the built-in speakers. The high 4K UHD resolution helps minimise pixelation, especially at the larger 1.5m diameter projection.

For gaming, the projector vividly brings games to life, although the necessity to readjust settings and reposition for correct screen proportions post-mode switch is a drawback unless you've set up and positioned the machine correctly. 

  • Picture quality: 4/5

Nomvdic P2000UST-RGB: Value

NOMVDIC P2000UST-RGB

Rear-panel inputs include one HDMI 2.1 and two HDMI 2.0 inputs, one with eARC (Image credit: Alastair Jennings)
  • Price on a par with similar models
  • No integrated Smart platform
  • Superb audio quality

At $2,999, the Nomvdic P2000UST-RGB is well-priced and compares well against many of the best 4K projectors we've tested. However, you do have to consider that to get the best cinematic or gaming experience, you will need to buy yourself a decent screen and Smart Platform in the Amazon FireStick 4K isn't included in the bundle. The audio quality for this project is one of the big features that really make it stand out, meaning that you can get away without needing to invest in a sound system, or you can utilise this as part of a larger audio setup. 

Projection quality and sound are where this projector really finds its strength, and the quality of the 4K projection for watching movies or TV is superb. The ANSI 2,500 Lumens is decent, enabling you to watch most projections in moderate daylight conditions, although some shading of the projection screen will be a good idea. That 2,500 lumens is about average for this price point, and you do have to start spending quite a bit more to boost that brightness. 

For gaming, the projector works well with minimal lag between the system and projector as long as you have switched to game mode to enable a faster connection and the position remains.

While there were a few initial issues with colour casts, these were easily corrected with the extensive range of adjustments accessible through OSD, enabling fine-tuning of the image. If you're into movies, then once the picture is calibrated, the projected colour, tonal graduation, contrast, and detail are superb, and you won't be disappointed.

  • Value: 4/5

NOMVDIC P2000UST-RGB

The small remote is simple but does everything you could need, the only issue being that you'll need two, one for the projector and the other for your smart TV (Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Should I buy the Nomvdic P2000UST-RGB?

NOMVDIC P2000UST-RGB

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Buy it if...

Don’t buy it if… 

Also consider...

Epson LS800
The Epson LS800 uses a 3LCD laser light source to beam a stunningly bright 4,000 lumens image. This makes it a great option for daytime sports viewing and it also has good built-in sound. 

Read our full Epson LS800 review

BenQ v5000i projector showing Apple TV interface

(Image credit: Future)

We tested the best business monitors for an eye-catching productivity boost

BenQ X3100i review: a potent 4K projector for gaming and movies
10:14 pm | April 9, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Home Theater Projectors Televisions | Tags: , | Comments: Off

BenQ X3100i 4K projector: one-minute review

The BenQ X3100i is the company’s latest top-of-the-line gaming projector and boasts a 4K DLP chip that can switch to 1080p to deliver a highly responsive 240Hz refresh rate. Between that and its bright 4LED light source, this $2,399  (around £1,900 / AU$3,690) projector has plenty to distinguish it among the best 4K projectors.

It all comes packed into a somewhat stylish, albeit plastic cube that is at least trendier than the many office space-esque projectors on the market. With plenty of setup options and optical adjustments, the X3100I is a powerful projection system with an edge over some of its more fashionably built competitors.

The X3100i won’t be the best option for folks who prioritize watching TV and movies, but it does a great job at that task. And given its gaming chops, it’s an easy choice for gamers who also want a home theater projector.

BenQ X3100i 4K projector review: price and release date

  •  Release date: November 2023  
  • MSRP:  $2,399 (around £1,900 / AU$3,690)

The BenQ X3100i is available now for $2,399 (around £1,900 / AU$3,690). It’s still a very recent model, so it hasn’t seen major price shifts or deals during sales events.

BenQ X3100i on table facing front

The BenQ X3100i is large for a portable projector but can be easily moved from room to room (Image credit: Future)

BenQ X3100i 4K projector review: Specs

BenQ X3100i close up of manual controls

Manual controls let you dial in focus, zoom, and vertical lens shift (Image credit: Future)

BenQ X3100i 4K projector review: design and features

  • Good, but not stunning looks
  • Flexible optical adjustments
  • Potent speakers

The BenQ X3100i is a modestly sized cube of a projector, with almost square dimensions. BenQ adds a touch of style by using an interesting pattern of cutouts for venting plus a dark finish on the front that’s accented in orange. That said, it’s virtually identical to the earlier BenQ X3000i and X1300i. It’s hard to ignore that the projector’s chassis is made from plastic — similar to any office projector — but the X3100i’s design flourishes give it a bit more visual appeal than models from Epson or Optoma.

For some projectors, a more stylish design has meant fewer optical controls, but BenQ hasn’t omitted them. It has a physical dial to vertically shift the lens, plus optical zoom and focus control rings. Digital adjustments are becoming commonplace on projectors, but these sacrifice actual picture resolution, which is why the BenQ X3100i’s optical adjustments are a great addition. It does have digital keystone adjustments, but since these add latency, hardcore gamers had best avoid them.

BenQ’s setup features don’t stop there. The projector has two adjustable feet up front to help angle it just right. Cleverly, it includes attachable feet and a rubber bumper should you want to set the projector upside down someplace like a high shelf. Since there’s a vertical offset to the lens, high placements require the X3100i to be upside-down, and these design features let you do that without having to opt for ceiling mounting. 

BenQ includes a fairly basic remote for easy navigation of the projector's menus and the menus of an attached streaming stick. The side panel controls are handy if you can’t find your remote and want to make adjustments in a pinch, but they’re cheap-feeling and not very responsive.

The included streaming stick is a basic Android TV dongle that tucks into a compartment inside the projector with a built-in HDMI port and a micro USB power connector. Annoyingly, It doesn’t come pre-installed, forcing you to unscrew the projector’s top cover to insert it.

The battery compartment of the included remote control is also difficult to get into. BenQ stretched the cover across almost the remote’s whole length, and it's tricky to grasp it.

In addition to the internal HDMI port, the BenQ X3100i includes two more HDMI ports on the rear, including one that supports eARC. There are also 3.5mm analog and optical digital audio outputs, so your connection options are well covered. The projector’s built-in speakers are surprisingly potent and they provided impactful sound before maxing out in my 200-square-foot room.

  • Design and features score: 3.5/5

BenQ X3100i showing Avatar 2 on screen

The BenQ's focus is on gaming performance, but it also does a great job displaying movies (Image credit: Future)

BenQ X3100i 4K projector review: picture and sound quality

  • Bright 4K picture
  • Flexible and responsive gaming options
  • Somewhat finicky HDR

The BenQ X3100i’s compact size hides mighty capabilities. A 4LED light source pipes out a rated 3,300 ANSI Lumens, working with a single DLP chip to produce a bright, crisp, and colorful 4K image. Movies and TV look awesome with this projector, especially when viewed on a 100-inch or larger screen. 

If you want to make the most of it, you’ll want to pair the BenQ X3100i with a different streaming stick such as the Roku Streaming Stick Plus or Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max. The included one didn’t seem to deliver HDR, and a third-party option was also inconsistent when displaying movies and shows with HDR, taking a lot of fussing around to get the projector’s settings right. 

All the same, the BenQ X3100i is up to the task of providing a killer image. It may not deliver the same rich color as triple-laser projectors like the Hisense PX2 Pro, which shoots for full coverage of the huge Rec. 2020 color space, but its color is still impressive. (BenQ's specifications cite 100% UHDA-P3 color space coverage.)

Gaming performance is a key aspect of the BenQ X3100i, which can run 4K at 60Hz or 1080p at 240Hz. With that option, if I wanted luscious visuals, I could select 4K, and then if getting sweaty in Overwatch 2, flip over to 240Hz mode. The projector’s DLP chip is incredibly responsive. Whipping around the battlefield and snapping at different targets was a breeze, and it was made all the better by the fact that targets can be downright huge with a large projected image.

Regardless of what picture mode I used (save the unsightly Bright setting), the BenQ maintained a relatively consistent noise level, with fans whirring quietly and never ramping up madly to disrupt my experience.

  • Picture quality score: 4/5

BenQ X3100i 4K projector review: value

  • $2,399 is premium territory
  • Respectable capabilities for the price

The BenQ X3100i may not be a class leader in any category, but it’s a flexible option that finds ways to give you more for your money and is a respectable projector for home theaters and gaming dens alike. Its $2,399 price tag may put it at odds with other projectors that can game or entertain equally well, but few can do both at the level BenQ achieves here.

  • Value score: 4.5/5

BenQ X3100i hidden compartment for streaming stick

The hidden compartment that holds the included Android TV streaming dongle (Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the BenQ X3100i 4K projector?

BenQ X3100i Android TV interface

The X3100i's Android TV smart interface provides popular streaming apps including Netflix (Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don’t buy it if… 

Also consider...

Hisense PX2 Pro
Ultra short throw projectors like the Hisense PX2 Pro are a great option if you want a big image from a setup that takes up minimal space. It's not the same gaming powerhouse as the BenQ X3100i, but it does look great with both games and movies. Here's our full Hisense PX2 Pro review.

BenQ X3100i showing first person shooter game onscreen

(Image credit: Future)

How I tested the BenQ X3100i 4K projector

  • Tested at home in multiple, real-world viewing conditions
  • Viewed with a variety of media and formats
  • I have tested numerous projectors and displays over the last half-decade

I tested the BenQ X3100i at home, in real-world conditions. This saw it challenged by ambient light coming in from numerous windows, in-room lighting, and ambient noise that the projector and its speaker system had to overcome. The projector was tested both on a bare, white wall and with an Akia Screens CineWhite screen and was presented with streamed HDR and non-HDR content, as well as PC gameplay. 

My testing evaluates the projector’s performance with respect to its price and competition from other models that I and my colleagues at TechRadar have tested.

I have been testing projectors since 2021 and displays for even longer. 

First reviewed: April 2024

Samsung QN90D 4K TV review – mini-LED magic for movies and sports
1:00 pm | March 31, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Televisions | Comments: Off

The Samsung QN90D series is among the company’s top 4K mini-LED TVs for 2024. It replaces the Samsung QN90C series, which ranked on our list of best TVs in 2023 as the best model for sports owing to its exceptional brightness, anti-glare screen coating and wide viewing angle. The QN90C series launched in screen sizes ranging from 43- to 85-inches. For 2024, Samsung will expand the lineup with a 98-inch model, one benefiting from the company’s new Supersize Picture Enhancer for ultra-large TVs.

Samsung recently invited me to its New Jersey facility to do a hands-on test of the 65-inch QN90D model. Having reviewed last year’s QN90C, I was eager to see what, if any, improvements had been made to the new series. I had sufficient time during my visit to do a full set of measurements, and also had substantial time for subjective tests. Read on for my thoughts on the QN90D, which improves on last year’s model, and is in many ways a worthy, and much lower-cost, competitor to the new Samsung QN900D 8K mini-LED TV and Samsung S95D OLED TV, both of which were also tested during my visit.

Samsung QN90D closeup of pedestal stand

The Samsung QN90D's pedestal stand (Image credit: Future)

The QN90D series is available in 43-inch to 98-inch screen sizes. Pricing for the lineup is notably higher than for last year’s QN90C series, particularly for the larger 75- and 85-inch screen sizes.

  • 43-inch: $1,499 (around £1,190 / AU$2,300)
  • 50-inch: $1,599 (around £1,270 / AU$2,450)
  • 55-inch: $1,999 (around £1,580 / AU$3,060)
  • 65-inch: $2,699 (around £2,140 / AU$4,130)
  • 75-inch: $3,299 (around £2,610 / AU$5,050)
  • 85-inch: $4,799 (around £3,800 / AU$7,350)
  • 98-inch: $14,999 (around £3,640 / AU$22,980)

Samsung QN90D shown in profile in room with gray walls

The Samsung QN90D has a very thin profile for a TV with a built-in backlight and input connections (Image credit: Future)

An updated NQ4 AI Gen2 processor with 20 AI neural networks powers audio and video on the QN90D series. Picture enhancements include Neo Quantum HDR+ and HDR Brightness Enhancer to improve the look of 4K images with HDR, and there’s also an Auto HDR Remastering feature to give a dynamics boost to regular HD sources. Quantum Matrix Technology helps with backlight control for local dimming, and same as with the QN90C there’s an anti-glare screen coating and Ultra Viewing Angle to improve picture uniformity when viewing from off-center seats.

The QN90D has a 4.2.2-channel built-in speaker system powered by 60 watts and provides many of the same audio processing features found on the company’s other premium TVs. These include Object Tracking Sound+, which expands the sound field to heighten the impact of Dolby Atmos effects and Active Voice Amplifier Pro, which boosts both dialogue and sound effects to heighten their clarity in the mix. The QN90C also supports Q Symphony for combining the TV’s speakers with supported Samsung soundbars for even greater audio immersion.

Gaming features on the QN90D series include four HDMI 2.1 inputs with 4K 120Hz support (and up to 144Hz for PC gaming) and FreeSync Premium Pro. There’s also Samsung’s Gaming Hub, which serves as portal for accessing more than 3,000 titles from cloud-based apps such as Xbox, Nvidia GeForce Now, Utomik and more. Samsung’s Game Bar menu now also features an AI Auto Mode option that can recognize game genres and adjust picture and sound settings to suit. During my test, I measured input lag in Game mode at 9.7ms – an excellent result that about matches last year’s QN90C.

Samsung QN90D Cloud gaming portal screen

The cloud gaming section of the Samsung QN90D's Gaming Hub (Image credit: Future)

Brighter and better-looking 

With the QN90D set to its Movie picture mode, pictures were seriously bright and had excellent contrast even when viewing with overhead room lights turned on. Peak brightness measured on a white 10% window pattern was around 2,000 nits, and brightness with a full-screen white pattern was just short of 600 nits. Those numbers indicate a modest boost over last year’s QN90C, a TV that in my estimation already had brightness to spare.

The QN90D’s color gamut coverage was about the same as what I measured on the QN90C at 94% for UHDA-P3 and 71% for BT.2020.

I normally wouldn’t expect a small brightness boost to have an impact on a TV’s performance, but I was fully captivated by the QN90D. Watching the demonstration footage section on the Spears & Munsil HDR Benchmark 4K Blu-ray disc with the 2,000 nits version selected, images of snow-capped mountains at sunset showed powerful and detailed highlights, while darker scenes revealed a marked improvement in local dimming over last year’s QN90C, with only the slightest degree of backlight blooming visible on high-contrast shots.

The QN90D’s picture maintained excellent uniformity when viewed from off-center seats (see pic below). There was some judder and motion blur visible when I watched a reference scene from the James Bond movie No Time to Die with the TV at its default Movie Mode settings, but a quick visit to the motion settings in the picture setup menu fixed that issue. 

Samsung QN90D shown at angle on table

The Samsung QN90D has excellent off-axis picture uniformity for an LCD-based TV (Image credit: Future)

A relative bargain 

At $2,699 (around £2,140 / AU$4,130) for the 65-inch model Samsung made available for my hands-on test, the QN90D isn’t exactly cheap. But having tested it during the same session where I did hands-on reviews of the much more expensive QN900D 8K mini-LED and S95D OLED models, it comes across as a bargain in the Samsung TV universe. It will take a full review to determine just how good the QN90D ultimately is, but given my relatively brief time with it, I found it to be the TV that left the strongest impression.

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I tested the new Samsung S95D – and it’s OLED TV taken to the next level
6:11 pm | March 27, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Televisions | Comments: Off

The new Samsung S95D takes OLED TV's brightness to a whole new level. In 2022, Samsung shook up the TV world with the introduction of its first QD-OLED TV, the Samsung S95B. And while Samsung prefers to call its QD-OLED models simply “OLED” TVs, the company offers a unique take on the technology – specifically, the combination of an OLED display panel with a Quantum Dot layer to enhance brightness and extend color volume.

We were big fans of the S95B as well as its successor, the Samsung S95C, which took the crown as the Best OLED TV at the TechRadar Choice Awards 2023. That model introduced a 40% brightness boost and also managed to fix any issues with black-level consistency we had noted on its predecessor. And now we have the new Samsung S95D, which further pushes the brightness envelope while adding enhancements such as OLED Glare-Free technology to improve picture performance in bright rooms.

Samsung invited me to its New Jersey facility to do a hands-on test of the 77-inch version of the S95D in a living room-like space with good lighting control. During my session, I was able to make a full set of measurements and get substantial eyes-on time with the company’s new flagship OLED TV, which is very different from its predecessor due to the new anti-glare screen. Read on for my thoughts on that topic, but first, let's cover the Samsung S95D’s pricing, features and design.

Samsung S95D close up of table stand

The Samsung S95D's pedestal stand (Image credit: Future)

Like the S95C series, the S95D series is available in 55-, 65-, and 77-inch screen sizes. The Samsung S95D series gets a price bump over last year’s S95C series, though if the S95C’s history is to be repeated, those prices should start falling as early as this summer.

  • 55-inch: $2,599 (around £2,050 / AU$3,975)
  • 65-inch: $3,399 (around £2,690 / AU$5,200)
  • 77-inch: $4,599 (around £3,640 / AU$7,035)

Samsung S95D profile shot

The Samsung S95D's almost impossibly thin profile is made possible by an included One Connect box for hooking up sources (Image credit: Future)

A glare-free OLED TV 

Screen glare is a pain point for OLED TVs, which have struggled to deliver satisfactory pictures in bright room lighting conditions due to their limited brightness compared to mini-LED examples of the best TVs.

With the S95D, Samsung has dealt with that issue directly by incorporating an anti-glare screen it calls OLED Glare-Free technology. According to the company, the new tech has“no negative effects on viewing angle or contrast and no color distortion,” and having now seen it in action, I can confirm that the S95D’s screen is completely free of reflections even with room lights turned on (see the image below).

Along with new screen tech, the Samsung S95D has a new NQ4 AI Gen 2 processor to upscale lower-resolution images to 4K and make possible features, such as OLED HDR Pro to optimize dynamic range and color detail as well as Real Depth Enhancer to intelligently boost contrast on foreground objects in images.

The Samsung S95D’s audio features include 4.2.2-channel built-in speakers powered by 70 watts; Object Tracking Sound+ to create an immersive sound experience from the TV’s speakers alone while accurately locking sound effects to specific areas of the screen; and Active Voice Amplifier Pro, which intelligently boosts dialogue and sound effects to enhance their impact.

Samsung TVs regularly rank among the best gaming TVs and the S95D is no exception. Its four HDMI 2.1 ports accept a 4K 120Hz input from gaming consoles (and 144Hz for PC gaming), and there’s support for FreeSync Premium Pro. Samsung Gaming Hub offers a one-stop shop for cloud-based gaming from apps including Xbox, Nvidia GeForce Now, Utomik, and more, and the new Game Bar 4.0 menu features an AI Auto Mode option that can recognize game genres and adjust picture and sound settings automatically. I measured input lag on the Samsung S95D in Game mode at 9ms – an excellent result that slightly bests last year’s S95C.

The Samsung S95D’s incredibly slim bezel is matched with an under-11mm panel depth. While I tested the TV with its pedestal-style stand attached, it would look great mounted to a wall, which is something its One Connect box for source hookups makes easy. Like other Samsung TVs, it has a SolarCell remote control that draws and stores power from room lighting and doesn’t require batteries.

Samsung S95D showing image from Dune in bright lighting

The Samsung S95D displays an image from Dune. Note the complete absence of on-screen glare from room lighting (Image credit: Future)

The brightest OLED TV yet

Peak brightness on the Samsung S95D measured just shy of 1,800 nits, making it the brightest OLED TV we’ve tested yet. That measurement was made in Movie mode on a white window test pattern covering 10% of the screen area, while a full-screen white pattern measured around 325 nits. Full-screen brightness is another important factor for daytime viewing, and though the S95D falls short here compared to its mini-LED competition, including the new Samsung QN900D 8K TV, which measured 520 nits on the same test, the new Samsung QD-OLED’s performance improves on last year’s model.

The S95D’s color gamut coverage was also excellent, measuring 99.9% for UHDA-P3 and 89% for BT.2020. Combined with its high peak brightness, these numbers mean that Samsung’s top QD-OLED is equipped to make short work of any HDR source you throw its way (Dolby Vision excepted, since the S95D like other Samsung TVs only supports the HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG high dynamic range formats).

For obvious reasons, I started my viewing with the room lights on. It was almost uncanny how well the Samsung S95D dealt with overhead lights and lamps in the room. Black areas in pictures were free of contrast-killing reflections, and even when I stood directly in front of the screen I didn’t see a hint of my mirror image. There was also good detail in shadows when watching movie scenes, which I normally don’t expect to see in such conditions.

Samsung S95D showing image from Dune in dim lighting

The same image from Dune displayed with room lights dimmed (Image credit: Future)

As good as it looked in the light, with the room dimmed, the Samsung S95D’s picture took on a much punchier character (see the image below), with excellent contrast on HDR sources. In both environments, images had crisp detail, refined highlights, and natural-looking color.

Nonetheless, having done hands-on tests of Samsung’s new Neo QLED mini-LED TVs during the same session, I was surprised to find both color richness and contrast on the S95D slightly lacking compared to my relatively fresh visual memory of the other TVs. Was OLED Glare-Free tech the culprit? To go by the measurements alone, Samsung’s new top QD-OLED should deliver uncompromised picture quality. But it also seemed there was a slightly veiled quality to the image, though it was ultimately tough to put my finger on it.

It will take a full review to thoroughly assess the S95D’s performance, but I can confirm that Samsung’s flagship QD-OLED delivers stunning-looking pictures in both bright and dim lighting. Is it Samsung’s best TV for 2024? That question will also require further testing before making a final call. For now, let’s say that Samsung’s new screen glare-fighting screen tech works as advertised, and the rest of the S95D is equally impressive.

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Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2-series TV review: a small TV that gives great value, but struggles elsewhere
12:01 am | March 26, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Televisions | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

The 32-inch Amazon Fire TV 2-series is the entry level series in Amazon Fire TV range, below the Amazon Fire TV 4-series and Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED. It comes with a 720p panel and is priced at $199 / £249 / around AU$305. It is also available in a 40-inch size with a 1080p Full HD panel.

The Amazon 2-series has plenty to live up to following the Amazon Omni QLED, one of the best TVs of 2023, and our budget TV of the year at the TechRadar Choice Awards. Unfortunately, the Amazon 2-series doesn’t quite have the same wow factor as its more premium counterpart and faces tough competition in the best 32-inch TV category, although it does provide a very budget-friendly option for those needing a small screen. 

The picture quality on the Amazon 32-inch 2-series is a mixed bag. Starting with lower-resolution and HD broadcast TV, textures were detailed enough and the Amazon 2-series did a good job of upscaling. For daytime TV programming, the picture was decent. 

Moving onto 4K HDR sources, the first movie I watched was Star Wars: The Last Jedi on a Disney Plus stream to test color and overall HDR performance (the Amazon 2-series has HDR10 compatibility). During the throne room fight scene, With its Film Dark picture mode active, the Amazon 2-series did a good job of displaying the vibrant reds without making them look too overblown. Lightsabers also showed plenty of the expected shine. Testing the Amazon 2-series’ color gamut coverage, DCI-P3 (the color space used to master 4K movies and digital cinema releases) was 74.3% and BT.2020 was 54.1%. Although these results are expected for a budget TV, they aren’t as good as what we measured on the LG 32LQ6300, arguably the best 32-inch TV available.

Amazon 32-inch 2-series with Star Wars the last jedi on screen

The Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2-series has an inconsistent picture, but colors can be good as shown by Star Wars: The Last Jedi. (Image credit: Future)

Using The Batman on standard Blu-ray to test black levels and shadows, the TV’s regular LED panel showed its limitations as any black areas on the screen took on a gray tone and there were instances of backlight clouding. Contrast was mixed, with a good balance between blacks and highlights in the subway fight scene, but less impressive performance in other scenes. 

Measuring the grayscale of the Amazon 2-series, it gave a result of 3.5 (we typically look for a result below 3). This isn’t the worst result we’ve seen (it’s the same as the LG 32LQ6300) but it explains some of the 2-series’ black level and skin tone accuracy limitations. Measuring the Amazon 2-series’ peak brightness on a 10% window yielded a result of 260 nits and 237 nits in Standard and Film Dark mode, respectively, which are similar numbers to other 32-inch TVs we’ve tested. 

Moving onto Top Gun: Maverick, the Amazon 2-series did a credible job of handling fast motion and panning shots, although there was some blur and judder present and there weren’t any motion adjustments in the TV's picture settings menu to compensate for it. In bright daylight sequences, the characters' skin tones looked oversaturated and unnatural. Changing the picture mode to Natural helped by preventing textures from appearing too sharp, but also sacrificed picture clarity and color accuracy. 

Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2-series with Fire TV home screen

The Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2-series uses Fire TV, a smart TV platform with pros and cons.  (Image credit: Future)

The Amazon 2-series fared better than expected in terms of audio quality. There isn’t much to distinguish between the various sound modes such as Standard and Music, though Entertainment proved the best option. With this active, dialogue was clear and the sound surprisingly well-balanced for a budget set. Watching The Batman and Top Gun: Maverick, the 2-series did an adequate job conveying the bassy rumble from the engines of the Batmobile and fighter jets, respectively – much more so than the tinny speakers of the Hisense 32A5K. If you’re using this as a main TV, I’d suggest you invest in one of the best soundbars, but as a secondary TV its sound should suffice.

The 2-series uses Amazon Fire TV as its smart TV platform. This offers access to plenty of apps and customization features, but also displays arguably too many recommendations on its home menu. Navigation also felt occasionally slow and clunky on the 2-series, with long pauses and stutters while loading different pages and apps. There are settings to adjust both picture and audio, but as stated above some important ones are missing such as motion settings.

The 2-series resembles other 32-inch budget TVs, with a functional design that's not uninspired - especially compared to the likes of the Hisense A5K. During setup, installing the feet showed its cheaper design, again even compared to the similarly priced LG LQ6300. The 2-series does, however, come with the Amazon Fire TV Alexa remote – a welcome accessory. 

Amazon 32-inch 2-series with battlefield V on screen

The Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2-series (pictured with Battlefield V on screen) has average gaming performance that handles motion adequately. (Image credit: Future)

Gaming performance on the Amazon 2-series should be acceptable to bedroom gamers tight on space. There are no real gaming features ( expected at this price) but playing Battlefield V on Xbox Series X was smooth enough, though with occasional choppy frame rates. Switching between targets and scanning the environment was also fairly well handled. 

You see a lot of similarly priced sets with similar features in the 32-inch TV category, and with its 720p as opposed to 1080p resolution, the 2-series lies at a disadvantage. Better options exist at its $199 / £249 price, with the LG 32LQ6300 regularly priced in the UK at £199. However, we have seen the 2-series as low as $119 in the US, and for that low price it is tough to argue against. 

Amazon Alex TV remote

The Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2-series comes with the Amazon Alexa remote.  (Image credit: Future)

Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2 series review: Prices & release date

  • Release date: 2023 
  • Prices from $199  /£249 / around $305 for the 32-inch 
  • Prices from $249 / £299 / around $350 for the 40-inch  

The cheapest and smallest entry in Amazon’s 2023 Fire TV lineup, the Amazon 2-series is priced around $199 / £249 / around $305 for the 32-inch and $249 / £299 / around $350 for the 40-inch. Both models are regularly on sale, with the 32-inch TV we tested dropping as low as $119 in the US and £149 in the UK. 

Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2 series review: Specs

Should you buy the Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2-series?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider...

Amazon 32-inch 2-series with testing equipment

(Image credit: Future)

How I tested the Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2-series

  • Tested in lab room with different lighting conditions
  • Tested through a variety of sources - both SDR and HDR
  • Measurements taken using Portrait Displays' Calman calibration software

I tested the various picture and sound modes of the Amazon 2-series using a mixture of broadcast, lower-resolution TV, and HDR sources, streaming through apps such as Disney Plus and Blu-ray. I also used a Panasonic DP-UB820 4K Blu-ray player to play standard Blu-rays.

When it comes to how we test TVs at TechRadar, following subjective testing looking at picture quality, gaming, audio and more, we move on to objective tests using a colorimeter and test pattern generator (for our tests I use the Murideo Six 8K Metal), with the results recorded by Portrait Displays' Calman claibration software

To test for brightness, we measure across a variety of different-sized white window patterns in both SDR and HDR using Standard and the most accurate picture mode (in this case Film Dark) to get an indication of peak brightness and how well the TV will cope with reflections. We then record the Delta-E values (which demonstrates the margin of error between the test pattern and what is displayed) for color accuracy, grayscale and gamma using Calman. Lastly, we measure DCI-P3 and BT.2020 color space coverage, along with input lag in Game mode.

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