A house cinema projector stays one in every of tech’s most tempting indulgences. Usually probably the most reasonably priced method to get giant-screen motion into your house, they’re nonetheless fairly a dedication. Do you have to rearrange your furnishings to accommodate it? Is there a display or clean white wall simply accessible to undertaking onto? Are the audio system as much as scratch, or will you have to take into account hooking up extra ones?
Projector set up generally is a little bit of a ache then. However Anker, finest identified for its transportable cell battery packs, is taking the fuss out of projection with its transportable, Android-powered Nebula Mars II projector. It proves transportable projector shouldn’t be solely now possible, however price shopping for, too.
Worth and availability
The Anker Nebula Mars II projector is offered now, priced at £469.99 ($499.99, round AU$850).
That’s concerning the going charge for an honest transportable pico projector, however the Nebula Mars II is much superior to the vast majority of similarly-sized rivals in the marketplace. The one comparable product we'd equally advocate is Anker's personal Nebula Capsule projector (although the Mars II significantly refines that earlier providing).
With its carry deal with and dinky measurement, the Anker Nebula Mars II is about as transportable a (functioning) projector as we’ve ever seen. Weighing simply 1.79kg, we’ve performed with bigger Bluetooth audio system, making the boxy Nebula Mars II an excellent possibility for these searching for an easy-to-transport projector.
The Anker Nebula Mars II projector seems to be a bit like a squashed dice, with its edges easily curved off. Across the entrance you’ll discover the projection lamp, protected by a push down cowl that additionally robotically turns the projector on when the lamp is uncovered.
There’s a collection of button controls on the highest fringe of the projector; quantity controls, a supply selector, Bluetooth pairing and a four-way directional distant with a variety button. There’s additionally 4 small white LEDs that present how a lot of the built-in 12,500mAh rechargeable battery is left.
Across the again you’ll discover some air flow openings (identical to all projectors, the Nebula Mars II can get scorching after extended use), in addition to the DC-in for energy, a HDMI-in port, a USB three port and an audio out jack. There’s additionally an IR sensor for utilizing the included distant management with, together with a pin-sized reset button. The DC-in is among the few gripes now we have with the Nebula Mars II – it’s a proprietary energy provide, the place a USB charging possibility would have been way more handy.
Both facet of the field has speaker grille openings to assist the Nebula Mars II ship its spectacular audio, whereas beneath you’ll discover a rubber ring in order that the projector doesn’t slip round on surfaces, in addition to a degree for screwing in a digital camera tripod.
All in black (other than a small purple Nebula brand on the entrance), together with its leather-based deal with, the Nebula Mars II projector is an unassuming and tidily designed field.
For its measurement, the Nebula Mars II projector packs in a powerful spec sheet. Whereas its 720p output gained’t win any awards amongst cinephiles, it’s an appropriate decision for projectors of this ilk, and the 300 ANSI Lumens lamp is superb for night time time viewing (and nearly cheap for low-lit environment).
You’ll get roughly ten-inches of display measurement for each foot-or-so the projector is away from the floor its projecting on, as much as an final restrict of 150-inches. You’ll discover the sweetspot between measurement and projection readability someplace between 80 and 100-inches nonetheless we discovered, with efficiency finest as you’d anticipate when in as near pitch-black darkness as you’ll be able to handle. You’ll get between three and Four hours of video playback from the projector, although you’ll be able to energy from the mains if wanted, too.
The audio system inbuilt are pleasurable too. Utilizing two 10W drivers and bass radiators of Anker’s personal design, they go impressively loud and sound fairly clear too. That’s significantly useful given the projector can be utilized as a standalone Bluetooth speaker too, the place it’ll blast 30-odd hours of tunes on a single cost.
One of the fascinating options of the Nebula Mars II nonetheless is the truth that it runs a bespoke model of Android 7.1. Laying apps out in a tile format that apes (however shouldn’t be mistaken for) Android TV, meaning you’ve bought ready-to-go video sources, straight out of the field. With Wi-Fi connectivity inbuilt, you may be streaming from Netflix, Amazon Prime or your Plex library inside minutes of turning it on.
Anker’s forked construct of Android is restricted within the apps that it permits you to use with projector, however a minimum of all that we tried appeared to work effectively with the . Keep in mind – for those who don’t need to stream, you’ll be able to at all times hook up a participant or video file from the HDMI and USB three ports respectively.
The projector comes with a bodily distant, however you might end up extra drawn to the free iOS and Android Nebula Join app. This shortly pairs along with your projector and in addition to mimicking the distant management, it additionally supply a mouse-cursor mode, which may be useful for controlling some apps.
Measure your expectations, and also you’ll have a good time with the Nebula Mars II. It’s not vibrant sufficient for daytime use in any significant manner, however when night time falls, it’s a stunning little bit of package.
For starters, its portability makes for a transformative projection expertise by way of accessibility. I had it projecting in all places from exterior on my balcony to the foot of my mattress and onto the white wall past with ease. The struggles to discover a appropriate spot are whisked away because of the inbuilt battery, with a speedy and correct auto focus and keystone changes letting you get artistic as to the place you’d wish to quiet down and watch a film.
Image high quality is sharp sufficient to be pleasurable too. It’s not going to win awards towards 1080p or 4K projectors, however offset towards the portability issue, that’s a good commerce to make. We had a number of enjoyable hooking up a SNES Classic Mini, as an illustration, the place pixelation was by no means a priority.
Audio high quality is punchy too, and greater than loud sufficient to serve the kind of areas the place a 100-inch display is a wise measurement. The quoted Four-hour battery life appears fairly correct, too.
The place you might be a bit upset is within the high quality of the apps on supply by means of the Android fork. Netflix, Amazon and the like appear to have taken their eyes off whichever model of their apps that the Nebula Mars II is sporting, making them really feel a bit clunky in comparison with their sensible TV or console variants. Nonetheless, you’ve nonetheless bought full entry to their respective catalogues, making it a minor quibble.
The Anker Nebula Mars II projector is a superb addition to your on-the-go leisure arsenal. Supplied you’re not anticipating to make use of it in daylight or vibrant assembly rooms, it delivers massive, vibrant photos and a very good array of apps because of the Android platform it’s constructed upon. With a capacious battery and loud audio system, it’ll shortly turn out to be a celebration centerpiece, or versatile, movable DIY house cinema.
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