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

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 The Freestyle 2nd Gen review: the best portable projector gets even better
2:00 pm | February 25, 2024

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

Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen: one-minute review

Samsung’s first The Freestyle projector created quite the buzz with its compact, cylindrical form and superior streaming capabilities compared to other portable projectors. Notably, it featured the same Tizen smart TV interface found in the company’s TVs, which let viewers easily stream from a wide range of apps while also allowing for voice control via Samsung’s Bixby or Amazon Alexa voice assistants. Beyond that, the original The Freestyle could beam images as large as 100 inches, and it provided auto focus and keystone adjustments to quickly align pictures on any surface you pointed it at. We liked it so much when we tested it, that it rocketed to the top of our list of the best portable projectors.

The Freestyle 2nd Gen doesn’t stray too far from the original, but does get a key update with Samsung’s Gaming Hub, a section of the smart interface that houses a range of cloud-based gaming services such as Xbox, Nvidia GeForce Now, Utomik, and more. This new feature lets you pair the projector with wireless gaming controllers and play premium games without having to connect a physical console – something the Freestyle 2nd Gen’s single micro-HDMI connection doesn’t make easy anyway.

Samsung offers a range of accessories to pair with its portable, including a rechargeable battery base that will give you around 3 hours of playback time and an adaptor to plug it into a standard ceiling light socket for power. While most users won’t need to have images beamed down from the ceiling onto a table or floor, having that capability is just one of the things that makes the Freestyle 2nd Gen a more flexible and fun option than typical projectors.

The Freestyle 2nd Gen’s LED light source provides only limited brightness, which means you’ll get the best picture when viewing in a dim room, or at nighttime if viewing outdoors. Even in those conditions, the projector’s picture lacks the detail and punchy contrast you can expect from the best 4K projectors, making it more of a convenient means to project a big image than a high-quality one. But the Freestyle Gen 2’s compact design and excellent feature set still make it a great portable projector, one that will easily fit in your backpack.

Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen Review: price and release date

  • Release date: August 2023
  • MSRP: $799 / £649

Samsung’s The Freestyle 2nd Gen sells for $799 /  £649. At this writing it is not currently available in Australia, and availability appear to be limited in the UK. The $799 list price is somewhat high compared to other 1080p HD-res compact portable projectors, though it does offer some unique features not found in the competition such as Samsung’s Gaming Hub. 

The Freestyle 2nd Gen gets regular discounts during holiday sales events, where it sells for around $599. That price makes Samsung’s portable projector a much better value than at its $799 list price, so sales are worth seeking out and waiting for.

Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen Gaming Hub interface

The new Samsung Gaming Hub interface (Image credit: Future)

Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen Review: Specs

Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen on table with battery base

Samsung's optional battery base accessory provides around 3 hours of power before needing a recharge (Image credit: Future)

Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen Review: design and features

  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Tizen smart TV interface for streaming
  • Samsung Gaming hub for cloud-based gaming

The Freestyle 2nd Gen sports the same white cylinder form factor as its predecessor. At just 1.8 pounds, it’s easy to tote around the house and is compact enough to easily stash in a backpack. An included cradle stand rotates 180 degrees and can be tilted 90 degrees, giving you plenty of flexibility as to where you beam images, ceilings included. 

Samsung includes a SolarCell remote control that doesn’t require batteries (as the name suggests, it draws energy from available light sources, as well as from your home’s wireless network) and the projector can also be controlled via Samsung’s Bixby or Amazon Alexa voice commands. Such commands can be executed by pressing and holding the Mic button on the remote, but the projector also has built-in far-field mics for hands-free voice control.

The single-chip DLP projector uses an LED light source that Samsung specs for 30,000 hours of use. Auto focus and keystone adjustments let you position the projector even at extreme angles from the wall or other surface you’re projecting on and The Freestyle 2nd Gen’s image will automatically align itself to a 16:9 aspect ratio. Those adjustments can also be carried out manually (and in many cases you'll want to tweak the keystone and focus settings), and there’s the option to shrink the image to a smaller size without physically moving the projector.

Samsung offers a range of accessories to use with The Freestyle 2nd Gen. A socket adaptor lets you plug the projector into a light socket, and is mainly intended for projecting from the ceiling onto a floor or table. There’s also a battery base, which provides several hours of charge and lets you use the projector indoors or out without having to connect to power. A carrying case is another accessory and one that will protect The Freestyle 2nd Gen if you’re bringing it outdoors or to another location.

The Freestyle 2nd Gen is all about streaming and features the same Tizen smart interface found in the company’s TVs. This provides pretty much any streaming app you could want and also has Samsung’s Gaming Hub onboard for cloud-based gaming from services such as Xbox, Nvidia GeForce Now, Utomik, and others. The projector uses the somewhat dated Wi-Fi 5 standard for streaming, although I didn’t have any issues during my time with it.

As a streaming-centric projector, connections on The Freestyle 2nd Gen are limited to micro-HDMI. No HDMI-to-micro-HDMI cables or adaptors are included, so, like me, you’ll probably need to order one online to be able to plug in an external gaming console, Blu-ray player, or other HDMI source. The micro-HDMI connection supports HDMI-ARC, which allows you to connect it to a soundbar or other audio system. Another option is Bluetooth, with dual Bluetooth supported for both wireless input and output connections, and there’s also wireless app casting from iPhones and Android phones.

Samsung calls The Freestyle 2nd Gen’s built-in 5-watt audio system “360 Degree” sound, and during my use, it did provide surprisingly spacious sound, although with unsurprisingly limited bass. The projector can also do double-duty as a wireless speaker for streaming music via AirPlay or Bluetooth, boosting its already impressive features list.

  • Design and features score: 4.5/5

Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen beaming picture at screen

With The Freestyle 2nd Gen, you'll get the best picture quality results when viewing  in a dark room (Image credit: Future)

Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen review: picture quality

  • Limited brightness
  • Relatively accurate Movie picture mode
  • Plentiful picture adjustments

Lower-cost LED-based portable projectors typically don’t put out a very bright image, and having seen The Freestyle 2nd Gen in action before starting this review, I knew I would have to temper my expectations. With the picture blown up to maximum size on a 100-inch screen, it was noticeably dim, even when viewed in a completely dark room. Using an ambient light rejecting screen with 0.8 gain, I measured a mere 7.3 nits in Dynamic mode on a 10 percent white window test pattern, and 6.6 nits in Movie mode. By way of comparison, a standard home theater projector such as the BenQ v5000i ultra short throw model I recently tested can deliver 125 nits under the same circumstances.

Image brightness got a boost when I positioned the projector for a smaller picture (there is no zoom lens, though images can be digitally scaled to a smaller size), though it still seemed relatively dim. Picture contrast was decent, with blacks in images showing a good degree of depth, though shadows lacked detail, appearing as more of a dark gray mass.

Colors were most accurate in the Movie picture mode. With that selected, I measured color Delta-E (the margin of error between the test pattern source and what’s shown on-screen) at 5, and the grayscale Delta-E at 14.1. They were notably less so in the Standard and Dynamic modes, but even so, I preferred Standard because it provided a slight brightness advantage over Movie. Watching Asteroid City streamed on Amazon Prime, the film’s hyped-up color scheme came through with all its garishness intact, though there was also a softness to the picture, which was being downscaled to the projector’s native 1080p format.

The projector supports HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG high dynamic range, but I didn’t see much of a picture quality difference when viewing in HDR from standard HD format – something the above peak brightness measurements, which were taken with the projector displaying in HDR backs up. As for other measurements, Samsung’s projector managed 88.5% P3 color space and 68.9% BT.2020 color space coverage, and input lag was 62ms with Game mode active. That last number is a relatively high one compared to what you’ll see from the best gaming TVs, as well as certain projectors such as the BenQ v5000i, though I didn’t have any issues when playing Xbox games in Samsung Gaming Hub.

  • Picture quality score: 3.5/5

Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen inputs section

Side-panel connections include one HDMI with eARC and a USB-C port for power (Image credit: Future)

Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen Review: value

  • Pricier than portable competition
  • Frequently gets discounts
  • Enhanced value for gamers

At its $799 / £649 list price, the Freestyle 2nd Gen sits in an awkward spot value-wise. It costs twice as much as other portable 1080p LED projectors with similar brightness specs such as the Anker Nebula Solar Portable. And spending around $1,000 more will get you a 4K model with a significantly brighter laser light engine such as the Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K.

If you find the Freestyle 2nd Gen selling at a discounted price, while still not cheap, it’s value gets a boost. The main advantages Samsung’s projector holds over similar models are its highly flexible setup options, easy portability, and superior smart interface for streaming and gaming. If limited brightness won’t be a big factor in your buying decision, there’s plenty to recommend the Freestyle 2nd Gen.

  • Value score: 3.5/5

Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen remote control held in hand

The projector's remote features a built-in mic for voice commands (Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen?

Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen close up of lens and controls

(Image credit: Future)

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 more than twice what you’ll pay for the Samsung. It also has a stunning design, though there’s no built-in battery for easy outdoor use.

Read our full Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K review

Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen smart interface

(Image credit: Future)

How I tested the Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen

  • I spent about 5 hours in total measuring and evaluating
  • Measurements were made using Calman color calibration software
  • Used with an Elite Screens Kestrel Tab-Tension 2 CLR 3 projection screen

When I test a projector, my first step is to spend a few days using it for casual viewing for break-in and 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 they allow for an assessment of the TV’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.

Unlike many portable projectors, the Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen provides a full range of adjustments to calibrate its picture. And while most users aren’t likely to bother using these, it’s nice to know they exist. Knowing that Samsung’s portable will almost exclusively be used for casual viewing, I bypassed a calibration and relied on both streaming reference 4K Blu-ray discs to test its performance in the Movie, Standard, and Dynamic preset picture modes

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

First reviewed: February, 2024

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS650: big brightness from a compact projector
10:00 pm | February 1, 2024

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

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS650: one-minute review

The Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS650 is a recent mid-range entrant on the ultra short throw projector scene, and it strikes a reasonable balance of performance and features. Its key strength is the brightness delivered by its laser light source combined with Epson’s 3LCD technology. Even when viewing in a bright room, the Epson LS650 is able to provide clear visuals for all sorts of content, making it a more viable option than many other examples of the best ultra short throw projectors for those who don’t have an easy way to dim their viewing space. The potent built-in speaker system is also a good match for the large image the projector can produce. 

There’s a regrettable lack of HDMI ports, with just two, and that limitation is further compounded by an unreliable – verging on faulty – Android TV system for streaming that will more or less require you to use an external video source for most viewing. But for simple home theaters, the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS650 is mostly up to the task, and the brightness it provides for the price will make it a reasonable choice for many people.

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS650 review: price and release date

  • Release date: November 2023
  • MSRP: $2,799 (around £2,195 / AU$4,165)

The Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS650 is available now for $2,799 (around £2,195 / AU$4,165), though Its price had previously seen discounts to as low as $2,499 during the 2023 holiday selling season. 

Epson LS650 Android TV interface on screen

Navigating streaming apps using the Epson LS650's Android TV system is painfully slow, making an external streaming stick a must-have option (Image credit: Future)

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS650 review: Specs

Epson LS650 cllose up showing built-in speakers

The Epson LS650 has powerful built-in speakers for a compact projector (Image credit: Future)

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS650 review: design and features

  • Sluggish, almost useless Android TV system
  • Good speakers in a convenient, if bland, design
  • Just two HDMI ports can be limiting

The Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS650 is the smaller sibling to the Epson LS800 I tested last year, and in many ways it behaves as such. It’s smaller and lighter, and boasts lower brightness. Fortunately it’s still very bright, and it has powerful speakers that can easily pass muster in a 200-square-foot room. The design is a bit less elegant than the LS800’s, though, with the LS650 looking more like a piece of utilitarian technology. Both black and white color options are available.

Despite its reduced width compared to its big brother, the Epson LS650 has a deep design that may require extra space on a media stand. Even then, with the projector’s 0.26:1 throw ratio, the LS650 may need to sit around a foot out from your wall or screen to deliver the large image it’s best suited to. Wherever you set it, getting it into focus is quick and easy with a dial along the right side of the chassis. There’s a cover for that dial, too, so once it’s in position you can keep it protected from accidental adjustments.

The rear of the projector has only two HDMI 2.0 ports, with one also serving up eARC for connections to an audio system. If you plan to use eARC, it leaves you with just one free port, and that may mean a lot of juggling of connections if you have game consoles, streaming sticks, or any other media sources. Optical digital is an alternative for audio output, but it doesn’t serve up all the audio quality advantages of HDMI eARC. 

While the Epson LS650 uses Android TV for streaming and navigating system menus, it should only be relied on for the latter. There’s generally a delay after startup before the system is responsive, and navigating streaming apps is painfully slow. From there, I found that it invariably runs into an issue where the video begins to sputter terribly and occasionally freeze entirely. The issue was basically non-stop until playback stops, and there’s no quick out as the system’s responsiveness takes a dive in this scenario. Plan on pairing this projector with a separate streaming stick.

  • Design and features score: 3/5

Epson LS650 showing Avatar 2 on screen

The Epson LS650 puts out a bright image with good contrast, though its colors lack some vibrancy (Image credit: Future)

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS650 review: picture quality

  • Brightness is a match for well-lit rooms
  • Color could use improvement

Like the LS800, the Epson LS650 is exceptionally bright. It may not be as bright as the higher-tier model, but it’s much brighter than a lot of its ultra short throw projector competition. This gives it a considerable leg up when it comes to viewing in rooms with overhead lights or with daylight spilling in through the windows. Darker content doesn’t hold up as well to the daylight, but bright cartoons and sitcoms display wonderfully even in a bright room thanks to the Epson LS650’s powerful laser light source.

The Expanse is a show that basks in the darkness. There are a great many scenes that not only take place in the black of space but the show also has a moody aesthetic that casts a lot of images in darker tones. Thanks to the Epson LS650’s high brightness, even those dark scenes benefitted from high contrast that made them easy to watch without needing to completely black out my room.

The Epson LS650’s brightness does come with a cost, though. It may beat many of the triple-laser competitors it goes up against in terms of light output, but its color is not as rich as on some triple-laser DLP systems like the Hisense PX2-Pro. Plenty of content doesn’t feel left behind, such as sitcoms and non-HDR shows and movies, but when it comes to 4K content with HDR that takes advantage of wider color gamuts, the LS650 simply doesn’t reach as far to render vibrant colors. A prime example was Avatar: The Way of Water’s Na’vi, which came through with just a little less poignancy than on the Hisense PX2-Pro.

Another cost to the brightness is fan noise. The Epson LS650 is plenty bright even without maxing out, but when pushing the brightness above about 80%, the projector kicks its fans into high gear, with an accompanying whiney sound. Short of watching shows with consistent, booming music, you’re going to hear the fans running with the projector at max brightness.

Ultimately, the Epson LS650 delivers a good visual presentation, but it falls short of being excellent. A number of controls are provided to adjust the image, though the settings aren’t quite as convenient as many others, especially with only a small handful of presets. For instance, there’s no specific Game picture mode, so it can take a bit of time and guesswork to adjust settings such that input latency is minimized. There’s also no Filmmaker Mode – a disappointing omission for movie buffs – though the Cinema preset is mainly free of processing that would add artificial-looking enhancement to the image. 

  • Picture quality score: 4/5

Epson LS650 rear panel ports

With just two HDMI 2.0 inputs, one with eARC, the Epson L650 comes up short on ports (Image credit: Future)

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS650 review: value

  • Price is good for projector this bright
  • Squares up reasonably against competition

For its $2,799 price, the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS650 is offering a good value. Thanks to its high brightness and respectable picture quality, it manages to serve as an alternative to bigger-screen 80- to 100-inch TVs, many of which command a price premium above the LS650. The limited HDMI ports and bad Android TV implementation hurt the LS650’s value a bit here by making the system less flexible and convenient, but it’s still a strong option.

  • Value score: 3.5/5

Epson LS650 remote control

The Epson LS650's remote control (Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS650?

Epson L650 top surface showing laser light engine

(Image credit: Future)

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 and it also has good built-in sound. It costs more than the Epson LS650, but it provides three HDMI ports to the LS650's two and its image is even brighter than what you get with the smaller Epson.

Here's our full Epson LS800 review

Epson LS650 focus dial

The LS650's handy focus dial (Image credit: Future)

How I tested the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS650

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

I tested the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS650 at home, in real-world conditions. This saw it faced with ambient light coming in from numerous windows, in-room lighting, as well as ambient noise that the projector’s speaker system had to overcome. The projector was tested both on a bare, white wall and with an Akia Screens CineWhite screen. It was presented with streamed content, HDR and non-HDR, and console gameplay. 

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

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

First reviewed: January 2024

BenQ v5000i: a great ultra short throw projector for movies and gaming
2:00 pm | January 28, 2024

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

BenQ v5000i: two-minute review

BenQ is well known among projector enthusiasts for its short throw gaming and long throw home theater models. One category it’s been slower to embrace is ultra short throw projection, with only one model, the single-laser v7050i, appearing in 2022, where I got some hands on time with it when I tested 14 projectors in a single day.

The v7050i has since been joined by the v5000i, the subject of this review. Like many of the best ultra short throw projectors, the new v5000i uses an RGB triple-laser light engine, which lets it achieve near-full coverage of both P3 and BT.2020 color space. In classic BenQ fashion, it’s also gaming-friendly, with impressively low input lag for a projector, along with Auto Low Latency Mode and 4K 120Hz input support on its HDMI 2.1 input.

BenQ’s design for the v5000i is understated yet sleek, with a black and gray case that’s a good match for home theater setups. With a specified 2,500 lumens output, it’s not the brightest UST on the block, though it matches many other models in its price range when it comes to peak brightness. Streaming is carried out using an included Android TV dongle, one that provides a wider than usual array of apps for the Android TV platform, including Netflix.

There’s also a wider than usual array of picture adjustments on tap here, including an 11-step advanced color temperature tuning menu. That turned out to be a good, and necessary, thing since the v5000i’s out-of-box picture required a fair amount of adjustment to look good, even when the normally accurate Filmmaker Mode was selected. HDR support includes HDR10+ and HLG, but not Dolby Vision as found on some other UST projectors from Hisense and others.

Compared to other UST models, BenQ’s asking price is relatively high, especially considering that it doesn’t ship with an included ambient light-rejecting screen. But once set up and adjusted, I found the v5000i to be a pleasure to use for both movie-watching and gaming, and its built-in speakers were also reasonably powerful. So depending on how you use the v5000i – and in what type of viewing environment you set it up in – its relative value could increase.

BenQ v5000i review: price and release date

  • Release date: June 2023
  • MSRP: $3,499

The BenQ v5000i sells for $3,499 (about £2,780, AU$5,320) for the projector itself without a screen. That price is higher than other well-regarded standalone DLP ultra short throw models such as the Hisense PX-2 Pro, but on par with the Epson EpiQVision Ultra LS800, a 3LCD model with a much higher brightness spec than the v5000i.

BenQ v5000i projector on stand with screen in background

The v5000i manages a passably bright picture for daytime viewing, though it's greatly improved with lights dimmed (Image credit: Future)

BenQ v5000i review: Specs

BenQ v5000i projector close up on stand

A dark gray mesh conceals the projector's 40-watt built-in speakers (Image credit: Future)

BenQ v5000i review: design and features

  • Understated yet stylish design
  • 4K 120Hz input and low latency support for gaming
  • Android TV with Netflix app

The v5000i has a stylish design that will fit in well with a range of environments. Unlike many other ultra short throw models which come with a white casing, the v5000i has a black exterior with a dark gray mesh grille up front to conceal the built-in speakers and a faux-leather top surface. This dark, understated look is perfect for light-controlled home theaters where it’s preferable to keep visual focus on the screen itself.

There’s no sliding top cover for the projector’s optics, which means you’ll need to be vigilant about removing dust or pet hair. Installation is managed using the four sturdy adjustable feet on the bottom surface, along with built-in adjustable measuring rods which are used to determine the setup distance between the projector’s rear and the wall or screen.

BenQ’s remote control is larger than the ones that typically ship with projectors and has a fully backlit keypad for easy use in dark rooms. Controls are provided for direct access to inputs and picture presets, including a dedicated one for Filmmaker Mode, and there are also dedicated buttons for the projector’s motorized keystone and focus adjustments.

The v5000i has a number of notable picture enhancing features, including support for HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG high dynamic range and a Local Contrast Enhancer algorithm that divides the picture into 1,000 zones that each get independent gamma adjustments. An HDMI 2.1 port supports 4K 120Hz input from gaming consoles and there’s also Auto Low Latency Mode for gaming. BenQ specs input lag for 4K 60Hz sources at 17.9ms, and I measured it at 18ms during testing using a Bodnar 4K input lag meter. There’s also support for 3D display, with glasses sold as an optional extra.

Connections on the projector’s rear panel include two HDMI 2.0 ports (one with eARC) and one HDMI 2.1 port. There are also two powered USB type-A ports, IR and RS-232 control ports, an optical digital audio output, and a 3.5mm audio output for connecting a pair of powered speakers.

BenQ includes an Android TV dongle that slips into an internal chamber in the projector for streaming. Although I didn’t use it during my testing, preferring to stick with my Apple TV 4K instead, it provides many popular streaming apps including Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and Netflix. Both AirPlay and Chromecast built-in are supported for casting programs from phones or tablets, and you can use Google Assistant for voice searches with the remote’s built-in mic.

The projector’s built-in speakers are fairly powerful for an ultra short throw projector, with 5 watts each going to the left and right midrange/tweeters and 15 watts each to the two woofers. During my testing, the projector’s audio output was sufficient to fill a 2,500 cubic foot room and the sound had a full quality with a decent amount of bass.

  • Design and features score: 4.5/5

BenQ v5000i projector used for Xbox gaming

The v5000i's low, 18ms input lag in Game mode and 4K 120Hz input support make it a great gaming projector (Image credit: Future)

BenQ v5000i review: picture quality

  • Good contrast and brightness
  • Wide color space coverage
  • Inaccurate Filmmaker Mode

I used an Elite Screens Kestrel Tab-Tension 2 CLR 3 projection screen (0.8 gain) with the BenQ v5000i for all viewing and measurements.

BenQ’s settings for aligning the image with any screen you pair it with include an auto screen fit feature that detects your screen’s borders and adjusts the picture size accordingly. There’s also auto keystone, but the more useful adjustment is an 8-point corner fit. Using this, I was able to make fine tweaks to geometry that brought the picture into perfect alignment with the screen, and making those adjustments wasn’t time-consuming at all .

The v5000i offers a greater range of picture setup options than typically found on ultra short throw projectors. One key feature is 11-step advanced color temperature tuning, which is an adjustment that’s normally limited to TVs, but is also available in LG’s projectors such as the LG HU85LA CineBeam. Beyond that, it has a color management system (though I didn’t find this to be effective) plus a Cinemaster menu with adjustments for Local Contrast Enhancer, Color and Flesh Tone, and 4K pixel and motion enhancement. 

The v5000i can beam a sufficiently bright image for daytime viewing in its Bright picture mode. With this selected, I measured peak brightness on a 10% window pattern at 125 nits. In HDR10 mode, the projector measured 97 nits on a 10% window pattern, a greater than 25% brightness dip from Bright mode that could also be seen on regular images. Black measured 0.095 nits in the same mode, resulting in a contrast ratio of 1,021:1.

Measurements made with Portrait Displays' Calman color calibration software In Filmmaker Mode showed the the v5000i’s coverage of DCI-P3 (the color space used for mastering 4K movies and digital cinema releases) to be 98.8%, and BT.2020 to be 97.3%. Grayscale Delta E values averaged 10.7 (we typically look for these to average below 3), and color point Delta E values 3.2. These were disappointing results for Filmmaker Mode, which typically provides the most accurate color of any TV or projector’s picture presets. Fortunately, the v5000i’s 11-point advanced color temperature tuning menu made it easy to calibrate the grayscale for an average Delta E below 2.0.

I mainly used the v5000i for playing games with an Xbox Series X console before starting any serious picture quality evaluation, and its crisp 4K picture and low 18ms input lag (in Game mode) made games look and feel fantastic. Playing games on a 100-inch screen is something I can strongly recommend!

Moving on to movies, I watched a 4K Blu-ray of Alien, and the v5000i’s handling of the disc’s HDR10+ picture nicely fleshed out details lurking in the shadows of the alien spaceship as the crew explored it. The flashlights on their helmets also stood in stark contrast to the dark background, giving the picture a strong sense of depth.

No Time to Die is one of my regular TV test discs, and the v5000i did a good job of displaying both the daytime and nighttime scenes. Skin tones and colors looked a bit too reddish and warmed-up in Filmmaker Mode, though they were fine when viewed in the calibrated User picture mode that I created. In a panning shot across a craggy mountain, BenQ’s projector maintained a good detail level, showing only minimal motion blur and judder even without having to make any adjustments to its Motion Enhancement setting.

I picked up Oppenheimer on 4K Blu-ray specifically for this v5000i review, and Christopher Nolan’s IMAX epic looks as good as you’d expect it to on disc. The projector’s strong rendering of blacks made the regular switch between the disc’s 2.20:1 and 1.78:1 images seamless, and there was a high level of detail in virtually every shot. Oppenheimer’s black and white images also looked great on my 100-inch screen, the gray hues coming across in a pure manner with no visible color tinting. 

  • Picture quality score: 4.5/5

BenQ v5000i projector rear panel ports

Rear-panel inputs include one HDMI 2.1 and two HDMI 2.0 inputs, one with eARC (Image credit: Future)

BenQ v5000i review: value

  • Pricier than similar UST competition
  • No bundled screen
  • Enhanced value for gamers

At $3,499 (about £2,780, AU$5,320), the BenQ v5000i is fairly pricey compared to its UST competition. For the same price, you can buy the Epson EpiQVision Ultra LS800, a significantly brighter model that will perform better than the BenQ in a well-lit viewing environment. And for $500 less, you can buy the Hisense PX2-Pro, another three-laser DLP model with a similar brightness spec to the v5000i plus Dolby Vision HDR support.

The v5000i’s value will basically come down to how you plan to use it. If you’re into gaming, its detailed 4K picture and low input lag in Game mode will make it a superior option to most other UST projectors. And if you’re a movie fan, once the picture has been properly calibrated you can expect impressive overall video performance with rich color and good contrast. In both cases, you won’t feel shortchanged by the BenQ v5000i.

  • Value score: 3.5/5

BenQ v5000i projector remote control in reviewer's hand

BenQ's sizeable remote features a fully backlit keypad and built-in mic for Google Assistant voice commands (Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the BenQ v5000i?

BenQ v5000i projector close up of optics

(Image credit: Future)

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)

How I tested the BenQ v5000i

  • I spent about 15 hours in total measuring and evaluating
  • Measurements were made using Calman color calibration software
  • A full calibration was made before proceeding with subjective tests
  • Used with an Elite Screens Kestrel Tab-Tension 2 CLR 3 projection screen

When I test projectors, my first step is to spend a few days using it for casual viewing for break-in and 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 they allow for an assessment of the projector'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.

For the BenQ v5000i, I used the Calman ISF workflow, along with the TV’s advanced picture menu settings, to calibrate the image for best accuracy with SDR and HDR sources. Once done, I watched a range of reference scenes on 4K Blu-ray discs that I’ve gathered after years of TV and projector testing to assess the TV’s performance, as well as new Dolby Vision-encoded material streamed from sources like Netflix, Apple TV Plus, and Max.

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

First reviewed: January, 2024

Hisense PX2-Pro: a fantastic projector value for movie fans
11:03 pm | October 23, 2023

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

Hisense PX-2 Pro: one-minute review

The Hisense PX1 Pro was one of the best ultra short throw projectors for the money, and the company’s new model, the Hisense PX2-Pro, is even better. While its $3,000 price tag makes it an expensive piece of hardware, it’s actually cheaper than its predecessor and is one of the more affordable ultra short throw (UST) projectors around. 

What you get for the money is a fantastic, compact projection system offering solid performance in a dim room and exceptional performance in a dark one. It blasts an admirable 4K picture at a range of sizes and its simply stunning color puts the Xgimi Aura and Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS800 to shame. 

You’ll want to set this projector up with a good sound system and a projection screen to make the most of it, but even on its own the PX2-Pro has everything you need to put on a movie night.

Hisense PX-2 Pro review: price and release date

  • Release date: June 2023
  • MSRP: $2,999

The Hisense PX2-Pro is available now for $2,999, launching at a lower price than its predecessor the PX1-Pro launched at. The projector doesn’t come paired with a screen like Hisense’s Laser TV models.

Hisense PX2-Pro top view with remote control

The PX2-Pro has  cover glass, but no sliding cover that can prevent dust and pet hair in the air from gathering  (Image credit: Future)

Hisense PX-2 Pro review: Specs

Hisense PX2-Pro projector top view of laser light engine

Dolby Vision HDR is supported by the PX2-Pro (Image credit: Future)

Hisense PX-2 Pro review: design and features

  • A stylish, retro-futuristic design
  • Plenty of connection options
  • Google TV with Netflix support

The Hisense PX2-Pro is as snazzy-looking as it is feature-packed. The design is largely unchanged from the PX1-Pro, so it's still every bit the retro piece of hardware that it was in a past life. The design also comes with tighter dimensions than the Hisense L9G and Hisense L9H model that it borrows some of its hardware DNA from. This compact UST projector would look right at home next to a record player. 

The projector sits on four adjustable feet that let you get it properly perpendicular and level to the wall or projection screen you plan to project on. Focus is managed electronically, which is functional, though not as convenient as a manual focus dial. Another disappointing omission is any real cover for the optics. There’s cover glass, but that’s not quite as good as a sliding cover that can prevent dust and pet hair in the air from gathering. (With a projector, it’s surprising how much impact a single hair laying across the lens can have.)

Tucked away into this slick little number is a machine with ample capabilities. Three HDMI ports are ready to receive 4K inputs, though one is also ready to pass along high-bandwidth Dolby Atmos audio using eARC. If you don’t plan to use eARC, you also get optical and 3.5mm analog audio outputs as options. There’s a high-speed USB port for powering streaming sticks or connecting external media storage. Wi-Fi 5 is a bit disappointing to see in this 4K streaming era, but the PX2-Pro includes an Ethernet jack for a better connection.

While almost all of the ports are on the rear, there’s one extra USB type-A port on the left side of the projector that’s ready to serve as a trigger for other home theater devices, such as an electronic projection screen like the Akia Screens Floor Motorized Tab-Tension CineWhite.

The Hisense PX2-Pro also has capable brains with Google TV smart TV interface built in. And unlike many other projectors running Google’s operating systems, this one actually is ready to run Netflix from the jump, and even includes a shortcut to it on the remote. It appears Hisense has started to break down the walls some streaming services curiously had up against smart projectors. 

A few projectors we’ve tested with smart TV systems tend to settle for weak hardware that’s barely up to the task of running them, resulting in a slow experience, but not this Hisense. Navigating the settings menus and pulling up streaming content is quick. During setup, Hisense provides the option to skip some of the process — no internet connection, no Google account — which can come in handy if you want to keep things simple and plan to use the projector only with external sources.

  • Design and features score: 4.5/5

Hisense PX2-Pro onscreen image of Avatar: The Way of Water

The Hisense PX2-PRO delivers bright images with strong contrast in dark, theater-optimized viewing environments (Image credit: Future)

Hisense PX-2 Pro review: picture and sound quality

  • Brightness and contrast a huge plus
  • Incredible color alongside robust HDR support
  • Modest built-in sound

As far as projectors go, the Hisense PX2-Pro is a beaut. It’s coming from a strong lineage, as the PX1-Pro put the phenomenal capabilities of its three-laser DLP projection system to work in stunning fashion. This new model just upgrades that with a bit more brightness, which makes it more watchable than ever. 

The PX2-Pro hasn’t quite split the difference between the brightness of this line and the Laser TV line recently brought up to the L9H, which succeeds the marvelous L9G. But, at $3,000, it’s a powerful value package and one that benefits from the flexible image size option that’s lacking on the Laser TV line.

Hisense’s projector blasts a sharp picture that comfortably stretches up to 130 inches. At that size, 4K really starts to make sense, and it doesn’t come up lacking for clarity. And as long as you can draw the shades, the brightness is more than enough for a picture that size.

Clarity and brightness being what they are here, the true star of the show is the color provided by the three-color light source. Whether it's displaying HDR content or SDR content, the PX2-Pro puts on one hell of a show, easily trouncing the color of the 3LCD Epson LS800 or the single-laser Xgimi Aura. Splashy content like Avatar: The Way of Water looks glorious while down-to-earth shows like Justified still see the lasers show their power every time the camera heads to the neon-lit interior of a bar. The Hisense also has comprehensive support for HDR, covering HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision (which was also added to the PX1-Pro after its launch).

The picture is one thing, but the sound is another. A pair of 15-watt speakers may pump out some volume, but they’re hardly a match for the visual capabilities of the projection system. In a 200 square-foot room, you’ll get the volume you need for a rousing time, especially where it comes to mids. But when cranking the volume up, treble becomes unpleasantly sharp and biting, while the deep bass range remains lacking no matter what. There’s just not enough here to shake your bones. They also hardly muster reasonable stereo separation, so the promise of Dolby Atmos is a flat one. Plan to pair this projector with a cheap soundbar at a bare minimum. 

  • Picture quality score: 4.5/5

Hisense PX-2 Pro review: value

  • Expensive but not at the top of the range
  • Dimmer, but fair next to competition

The Hisense PX2-Pro isn’t a cheap projector, but it’s far less expensive than some of its UST compatriots. It’s a good bit cheaper than the $3,499 (about £2,850, AU$5,035) Epson Home Cinema LS800, a model it absolutely decimates in picture quality in a dark room, though it lags well behind the Epson’s brightness. It’s also much cheaper than the $5,499 (about £4000, AU$7500) Hisense L9H, though that model comes bundled with an ambient light rejecting screen.

This all helps make the PX2-Pro a compelling value in the UST projector realm, especially if you have a dim room. It’s got a great picture and is reasonably versatile. There are some threats to it from the portable 4K projector space, such as the JMGO N1 Ultra or even Hisense’s own C1, but the PX2-Pro is a force to be reckoned with regardless.

  • Value score: 4.5/5

Hisense PX2-Pro remote control held in reviewer''s hand

The included remote control has a direct input button for the Netflix streaming app (Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the Hisense PX-2 Pro?

Hisense PX2-Pro projector on stand

(Image credit: Future)

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. Here's our full Epson LS800 review.

Hisense PX2-Pro image projected onscreen of an anime movie

(Image credit: Future)

How I tested the Hisense PX-2 Pro

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

I tested the Hisense PX2-Pro at home, in real-world conditions. This saw it faced with ambient light coming in from numerous windows, in-room lighting, as well as ambient noise that both the projector and speaker systems had to overcome. The projector was tested both against a bare, white wall and an Akia Screens CineWhite screen. It was presented with streamed content, HDR and non-HDR, and console gameplay. 

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

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

First reviewed: October 2023

Hisense PX2-Pro: a fantastic projector value for movie fans
11:03 pm |

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

Hisense PX-2 Pro: one-minute review

The Hisense PX1 Pro was one of the best ultra short throw projectors for the money, and the company’s new model, the Hisense PX2-Pro, is even better. While its $3,000 price tag makes it an expensive piece of hardware, it’s actually cheaper than its predecessor and is one of the more affordable ultra short throw (UST) projectors around. 

What you get for the money is a fantastic, compact projection system offering solid performance in a dim room and exceptional performance in a dark one. It blasts an admirable 4K picture at a range of sizes and its simply stunning color puts the Xgimi Aura and Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS800 to shame. 

You’ll want to set this projector up with a good sound system and a projection screen to make the most of it, but even on its own the PX2-Pro has everything you need to put on a movie night.

Hisense PX-2 Pro review: price and release date

  • Release date: June 2023
  • MSRP: $2,999

The Hisense PX2-Pro is available now for $2,999, launching at a lower price than its predecessor the PX1-Pro launched at. The projector doesn’t come paired with a screen like Hisense’s Laser TV models.

Hisense PX2-Pro top view with remote control

The PX2-Pro has  cover glass, but no sliding cover that can prevent dust and pet hair in the air from gathering  (Image credit: Future)

Hisense PX-2 Pro review: Specs

Hisense PX2-Pro projector top view of laser light engine

Dolby Vision HDR is supported by the PX2-Pro (Image credit: Future)

Hisense PX-2 Pro review: design and features

  • A stylish, retro-futuristic design
  • Plenty of connection options
  • Google TV with Netflix support

The Hisense PX2-Pro is as snazzy-looking as it is feature-packed. The design is largely unchanged from the PX1-Pro, so it's still every bit the retro piece of hardware that it was in a past life. The design also comes with tighter dimensions than the Hisense L9G and Hisense L9H model that it borrows some of its hardware DNA from. This compact UST projector would look right at home next to a record player. 

The projector sits on four adjustable feet that let you get it properly perpendicular and level to the wall or projection screen you plan to project on. Focus is managed electronically, which is functional, though not as convenient as a manual focus dial. Another disappointing omission is any real cover for the optics. There’s cover glass, but that’s not quite as good as a sliding cover that can prevent dust and pet hair in the air from gathering. (With a projector, it’s surprising how much impact a single hair laying across the lens can have.)

Tucked away into this slick little number is a machine with ample capabilities. Three HDMI ports are ready to receive 4K inputs, though one is also ready to pass along high-bandwidth Dolby Atmos audio using eARC. If you don’t plan to use eARC, you also get optical and 3.5mm analog audio outputs as options. There’s a high-speed USB port for powering streaming sticks or connecting external media storage. Wi-Fi 5 is a bit disappointing to see in this 4K streaming era, but the PX2-Pro includes an Ethernet jack for a better connection.

While almost all of the ports are on the rear, there’s one extra USB type-A port on the left side of the projector that’s ready to serve as a trigger for other home theater devices, such as an electronic projection screen like the Akia Screens Floor Motorized Tab-Tension CineWhite.

The Hisense PX2-Pro also has capable brains with Google TV smart TV interface built in. And unlike many other projectors running Google’s operating systems, this one actually is ready to run Netflix from the jump, and even includes a shortcut to it on the remote. It appears Hisense has started to break down the walls some streaming services curiously had up against smart projectors. 

A few projectors we’ve tested with smart TV systems tend to settle for weak hardware that’s barely up to the task of running them, resulting in a slow experience, but not this Hisense. Navigating the settings menus and pulling up streaming content is quick. During setup, Hisense provides the option to skip some of the process — no internet connection, no Google account — which can come in handy if you want to keep things simple and plan to use the projector only with external sources.

  • Design and features score: 4.5/5

Hisense PX2-Pro onscreen image of Avatar: The Way of Water

The Hisense PX2-PRO delivers bright images with strong contrast in dark, theater-optimized viewing environments (Image credit: Future)

Hisense PX-2 Pro review: picture and sound quality

  • Brightness and contrast a huge plus
  • Incredible color alongside robust HDR support
  • Modest built-in sound

As far as projectors go, the Hisense PX2-Pro is a beaut. It’s coming from a strong lineage, as the PX1-Pro put the phenomenal capabilities of its three-laser DLP projection system to work in stunning fashion. This new model just upgrades that with a bit more brightness, which makes it more watchable than ever. 

The PX2-Pro hasn’t quite split the difference between the brightness of this line and the Laser TV line recently brought up to the L9H, which succeeds the marvelous L9G. But, at $3,000, it’s a powerful value package and one that benefits from the flexible image size option that’s lacking on the Laser TV line.

Hisense’s projector blasts a sharp picture that comfortably stretches up to 130 inches. At that size, 4K really starts to make sense, and it doesn’t come up lacking for clarity. And as long as you can draw the shades, the brightness is more than enough for a picture that size.

Clarity and brightness being what they are here, the true star of the show is the color provided by the three-color light source. Whether it's displaying HDR content or SDR content, the PX2-Pro puts on one hell of a show, easily trouncing the color of the 3LCD Epson LS800 or the single-laser Xgimi Aura. Splashy content like Avatar: The Way of Water looks glorious while down-to-earth shows like Justified still see the lasers show their power every time the camera heads to the neon-lit interior of a bar. The Hisense also has comprehensive support for HDR, covering HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision (which was also added to the PX1-Pro after its launch).

The picture is one thing, but the sound is another. A pair of 15-watt speakers may pump out some volume, but they’re hardly a match for the visual capabilities of the projection system. In a 200 square-foot room, you’ll get the volume you need for a rousing time, especially where it comes to mids. But when cranking the volume up, treble becomes unpleasantly sharp and biting, while the deep bass range remains lacking no matter what. There’s just not enough here to shake your bones. They also hardly muster reasonable stereo separation, so the promise of Dolby Atmos is a flat one. Plan to pair this projector with a cheap soundbar at a bare minimum. 

  • Picture quality score: 4.5/5

Hisense PX-2 Pro review: value

  • Expensive but not at the top of the range
  • Dimmer, but fair next to competition

The Hisense PX2-Pro isn’t a cheap projector, but it’s far less expensive than some of its UST compatriots. It’s a good bit cheaper than the $3,499 (about £2,850, AU$5,035) Epson Home Cinema LS800, a model it absolutely decimates in picture quality in a dark room, though it lags well behind the Epson’s brightness. It’s also much cheaper than the $5,499 (about £4000, AU$7500) Hisense L9H, though that model comes bundled with an ambient light rejecting screen.

This all helps make the PX2-Pro a compelling value in the UST projector realm, especially if you have a dim room. It’s got a great picture and is reasonably versatile. There are some threats to it from the portable 4K projector space, such as the JMGO N1 Ultra or even Hisense’s own C1, but the PX2-Pro is a force to be reckoned with regardless.

  • Value score: 4.5/5

Hisense PX2-Pro remote control held in reviewer''s hand

The included remote control has a direct input button for the Netflix streaming app (Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the Hisense PX-2 Pro?

Hisense PX2-Pro projector on stand

(Image credit: Future)

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. Here's our full Epson LS800 review.

Hisense PX2-Pro image projected onscreen of an anime movie

(Image credit: Future)

How I tested the Hisense PX-2 Pro

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

I tested the Hisense PX2-Pro at home, in real-world conditions. This saw it faced with ambient light coming in from numerous windows, in-room lighting, as well as ambient noise that both the projector and speaker systems had to overcome. The projector was tested both against a bare, white wall and an Akia Screens CineWhite screen. It was presented with streamed content, HDR and non-HDR, and console gameplay. 

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

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

First reviewed: October 2023

Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 projector review
1:00 pm | June 7, 2022

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

Editor's note

• Original review date: June 2022
• Current flagship Epson 4K projector
• Launch price: $4,999 / £4,499 / AU$8,999
• Target price now: $4,999 / £4,499 / AU$8,999

The Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 has remained the company’s flagship long throw 4K projector since we first reviewed it back in 2022. A 3LCD model with a laser light engine, the LS12000 delivers stunning picture quality for movies and gaming and still sits at the top of our best 4K projectors guide as the best overall option. The LS12000 doesn’t get discounted on a regular basis, although we did see it drop to £3,999 in the UK during Black Friday, so expect to pay full price outside of major sales events. The rest of this review remains as previously published.

Epson Pro Cinema LS12000: One-minute review

If you’re looking to find one of the best 4K projectors out there, you don’t have to look further than the Epson Pro Cinema LS12000. This machine is delivering powerful technology that shines an almost unbeatable image. It comes at a predictable high price, though, and Epson has gone all-in on the picture-side of the equation, leaving you to fend for yourself when it comes to video sources and audio.

The LS12000 is a beefy (we’re talking 50 pounds) laser projector with a 3LCD system inside. This combination provides a bright light source for both color and white output, powerful contrast, and no artifacts we could detect. It’s an immaculate picture that doesn’t struggle to overcome bright lighting conditions in a room and then can step up to simply blow us away when we turn out all the ambient light. 

The sharp and colorful visuals are also easy to get just how we want them. With zoom, lens shift, focus, and keystone controls, all we have to do is set the projector where we want it and then move and adjust the image to our ideal size and position. There’s a lot of flexibility for big rooms and even bigger rooms, though we wouldn’t recommend going all out like this for a small space — this is a serious home theater projector.

The Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 won’t make sense for a lot of people. But those who want the best and will set out to complement it with a capable AV receiver and robust sound system will likely be pleased as a peach with the LS12000. 

Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 review: Price and availability

The Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 is available for $4,999 (£4,399, about AU$7,090), while the company’s lower-spec LS11000 (2500 lumen brightness and 1,200,000:1 contrast ratio) is available for $3,999 (£4,099, about AU$5,670).

Epson LS12000 remote control

(Image credit: Future / Mark Knapp)

Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 review: Design and features

  • 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 ports (1x eARC) with 4K/120Hz support
  • No Smart TV platform or speakers
  • Hardware zoom and lens shift

 The LS12000 is a bit of a beast. This isn’t your little shelf-top projector you set at the back of the room for a casual home theater. This is a purpose-built machine for a next-level home cinema. It comes in a substantial housing that feels well-built, looks elegant, and is actually not overwhelmingly heavy despite its size.

The LS12000 is ready for a variety of setups and flexes to meet its positioning. We set our unit up on a mantel at the back of a living room, roughly 14 feet from the opposite wall. Thanks to the projector’s optical zoom, we can easily squeeze down the image to fit in the available space on our wall without sacrificing detail (as with digital zoom). From there, the wide vertical and horizontal lens shift range lets us further center the picture all without having to move the projector. Essentially, it’s easy to find a convenient place to set the projector and then use its powerful adjustment tools to project the image where it fits best. The projector doesn’t do this automatically, nor does it auto focus, but it makes the process fairly accessible without having to dive too deep into menus. 

The package is pretty bare-bones for anyone expecting an all-in-one entertainment device. It’s a centerpiece, for sure, but you’ll have to build around it. The kit includes just the projector itself, a beefy remote control, a port cover that can snap onto the back, and a ceiling mounting kit. There’s no Smart TV operating system running onboard, and there aren’t even speakers. This is just your display, and you’ll very likely want to run it to an AV receiver because it only has two HDMI ports. Thankfully, they’re both high-bandwidth, 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 ports capable of 4K/120Hz (which the projector actually supports) as well as eARC on one of them.

The projector naturally has extensive support for the kind of high-quality cinema features you'd want from a device like this. It handles HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG with 10-bit HDR color processing. It has preset color modes as well as options to dial them in just how you prefer. It can send through a variety of Dolby and DTS audio signals over eARC. It will even let you turn motion interpolation on or off as you like.

The cherry on top is the powered lens cover that slides open when the projector turns on and shuts back up when it’s turned off, helping keep the optics clean and protected.

Epson LS12000 rear-panel

The LS12000's rear-panel is equipped with dual 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 ports. (Image credit: Future / Mark Knapp)

Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 review: Picture Quality

  • 3LCD system with laser light source
  • Huge, bright 4K pictures with vivid color
  • Rich detail across the spectrum

 We’re inclined to say there’d be almost no reason to go out to a movie theater anymore when you can have a picture like this at home. The Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 provides a staggeringly brilliant image that hardly cares whether we’re watching in the daytime but will reward us greatly for watching at night with the lights off. Epson isn’t playing games with its brightness claims. It has the projector rated for 2,700 lumens whether it’s showing all white or showing color. You’d think that brightness might mean a machine that runs hot and has loud fans as a result, but we don’t hear a peep of fan noise while running the LS12000. 

Brightness is an important metric for a projector, but oftentimes they can manage an acceptable brightness while struggling to present compelling shadow details, making for an image that lacks in contrast. The LS120000 doesn’t. This thing is virtuoso for challenging imagery. In The Batman, even in a dark scene, the details on Batman’s and Catwoman’s black outfits are discernible. The fact the projector can provide such rich detail in shadows while blasting out vivid color is simply astounding. Given how bright the projector can get, it even impresses during daytime without doing much to subdue ambient light. If the sun is blasting through our windows, we’ll draw the blinds, but otherwise the picture is still stunningly acceptable even without ideal conditions. Mind you, this is all without a projection screen, which will dial up the visuals even further. 

We recently tested the Hisense L9G, a premium ultra-short throw projector that performs stunningly. It’s a remarkable product that we can readily recommend, but even it looks feeble next to the sheer might of the picture coming from the LS12000. Where the L9G had to balance its $5,500 budget on the projection, audio, smart TV platform, and included projection screen, the LS12000 has all of its cost going toward the picture.

Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 specs

Screen sizes supported: 50 to 130 inches | 8K: No | HDR: Yes | Optical technology: Laser 3LCD | Smart TV: No| Dimensions: 20.5(w) x 7.6(h) x 17.6(d)inches | Weight: 28 pounds | 3D: No | Inputs: 2xHDMI 2.1 (1 with eARC), 1 x powered USB, optical digital audio output, Ethernet, RS232-C, 12-volt trigger output

Given how bright the projector is and the fact it can support a wide variety of image sizes, it naturally has to be sharp. While the projector is using three LCDs with a native 1080p resolution, Epson’s dual-axis pixel shifting creates a proper 4K UHD image with no artifacts that we can pick up such as the dithering we’ve seen on some cheaper DMD-based projectors.

Now, the LS12000 provides a lot, but it comes at a steep price. Assuming a $15 ticket, you could go to the movie theater about 333 times before the LS12000 made more financial sense. But, the LS12000 could still be more practical than it seems at first. If you’d go every weekend for six years, you’ve evened out, and the 20,000-hour light source lifespan ought to last well beyond that. If you’ve got kids or a spouse coming along to the theater, you reach that return-on-investment even sooner. If you have to pay for parking at the theater, don’t forget to factor that in. And the fact is you’re getting more than just movies from your home movie theater. You can’t go to the theater to watch Law & Order SVU. You can’t go to the theater to stream every season of The Office. You can’t go to the theater to play 500 hours of Elden Ring’s New Game+.

The Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 is definitely an investment, and one you’ll have to build around with a decent sound system and potentially a setup that makes it easier to switch sources given the meager two HDMI ports. But for those looking to have the ultimate home theater, this machine will handily deliver the picture.

Should I buy the Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 4K laser projector?

Epson LS12000 from above

The Epson LS12000's large size makes it best-suited for a permanent installation (cat shown for scale). (Image credit: Future / Mark Knapp)

Buy it if...

 You want the ultimate home theater visuals

The Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 might not stream or output audio, but its picture is undeniably brilliant. Rich shadows, vibrant color, and dazzling highlights all come through wonderfully. 

You don’t want to fuss with placement

If you’ve already got the perfect spot for setting a big projector, the LS12000 can likely adapt to that space. It has a wide zoom and lens shift range, letting you frame the image just where you want it. 

You want it all

The Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 brings the 4K picture, blasts the HDR visuals, explodes with brightness, sinks into darkness, goes smooth at up to 120Hz, tightens down to 50 inches or scales up to 300 inches. It’ll likely be some time before you’ll feel like this projector is missing something you’ve got to have.

Don’y buy it if… 

 You only have $5,000 to spend on a home theater

The LS12000 is amazing, but it is just a display. You don’t get sound and you don’t get a streaming or broadcast platform out of it. If you’re just starting an entertainment setup, you’ll need those as well. 

You want more flexibility

The LS12000 can flex to a variety of setups, but it’s really the kind of projector you want to leave in one place. It’s big and hefty, so not likely one you’ll want to move frequently or tote along with you on a trip.

You’re not a die-hard cinephile

The LS12000 is a splurge when compared to the many projectors out there that you can get a large 4K picture from. Many do a great job for a night of entertainment and casual viewing if you remember to draw the blinds and dim the lights. Epson even has a $1,000 cheaper option in the LS11000 that sacrifices only a little.

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