If you're looking for an affordable portable HD LED projector this Christmas (or maybe you're hoping for one to appear under the tree!), there are two excellent options on the market that can do it all. Whether you're looking to give the gift of an unbeatable home cinema set up or you want an ultra-portable solution for business presentations, Vivitek's Qumi Q3 Plus and Pico Genie's M550 Plus should be on your radar. But how do they stack up against one another?
When you're after a truly portable projector for the festive season, you really want something with a lengthy battery life so you can take it anywhere and set up without having to worry about power. The Q3 Plus boasts an impressive 2 hour battery life with 8,000 mAh at 500 Lumens, which means it's perfect for even the lengthiest presentation or meeting. The M550 Plus goes one step further though, with a mighty 3 hour battery life and 13,500 mAh (that's three episodes of Game Of Thrones!), putting it in a class of its own when compared with any other portable projector on the market. So both projectors are great to handle any meeting, lecture, presentation or just binge watching loads of TV/Movies.
The other key factor to consider when taking your projector out and about is brightness (or lumens) as you never know what kind of light conditions you'll be projecting in. Blackout curtains are always nice but they're not always available, which is why both of these projectors pack a great spec in terms of brightness, resolution and contrast. Coupled with incredible DLP chip systems they provide a clear image even in brightly-lit or sunlit rooms.
The Q3 Plus clocks in at 500 Lumens, which is usually more than enough to project a crisp HD image in normal light conditions up to 150 inches in size, making it ideal for classrooms or business meetings. It also has a high contrast ratio of 5000:1 which will really help your colours pop!
The M550 Plus has an impressive 650 Lumens, really making it the ultimate all-rounder that can be used anywhere, anytime for anything. Also, it can project up to a 200 inch image, big enough for any purpose which puts the M550 Plus top of its class in its price bracket!
Shorter Throw Projection
The M550 Plus has a trick up its sleeve when it comes to projecting a clear image: it's a shorter throw projector meaning you can get a much bigger image even when it sits close to your wall or screen (or whatever you're projecting onto).
At Christmas time, your living room can become a little crowded, so you may not always have 5 metres of clear space to project a big image. The M550 Plus doesn't need anywhere near as much space to project a large, clear image, so it's the much more practical option for everyday use particularly when you're projecting in a busy front room or meeting room!
Check out the video below to see this in action.
A good sound system can be just as important as a clear image, whether you want a booming home cinema setup or an effective presentation tool. The Q3 Plus has onboard 2w speakers, meaning it sounds great in any environment. The M550 Plus goes one step further with its onboard 3w speakers. Both projectors offer wireless audio connectivity to external speakers but the M550 Plus also has a 3.5mm jack and supports 2.0 Stereo sound so you can hook it up to external sound systems for wireless or wired sound with amazing clarity.
Ease of Use and Access
So, both projectors offer a host of amazing features, but how easy are they to use?
Both projectors are a doddle thanks to their Android OS, and The Q3 Plus comes with a remote control and you can download apps for iOS and Android mirroring, meaning you can mirror your smart devices onto a huge screen.
However, if you need to access lots of files and apps quickly, the M550 Plus has a bit of a party piece for you: it comes with a wireless keyboard as well as a remote, so it couldn't be easier to flick through important files or search for your favourite TV shows on apps like Netflix, which comes pre-installed on both devices!
If that wasn't enough, the M550 Plus also has wireless mirroring for iOS and Android straight out of the box, making it one of the most easy-to-use projectors on the market today.
What's In The Box
With the Q3 Plus, you get;
A Qumi Q3 Plus projector, remote control, power lead, HDMI cable
With the M550 Plus, you get:
A Pico Genie M550 Plus projector, remote control, power lead, HDMI cable, wireless keyboard, tripod and EU & UK plug (also available with USA plug).
Both of these projectors have every feature you could want from a portable projector, and there's a lot to love about both of them. They both have Android OS and 8GB of storage for saving files or downloading apps. They also both offer a range of audio and visual wireless connectivity options.
The Q3 Plus is an amazing portable projector that packs an incredible punch for a device just 28mm thick. At just £429 inc VAT, it's also the ideal option for anyone looking for a versatile and highly portable projector on a budget. It's very bright at 500 Lumens, offers a wealth of connectivity options and has 8GB of storage for preloading files and apps onto it for PC-free viewing, while its 2-hour battery life means you can watch most films or a football match on it without worrying about where the plug socket is. You can even wirelessly hook it up to your sound system to create that big-screen cinema feel at home in your living room.
The M550 Plus is a little more at £599.99 inc VAT, but for that extra money you get a world leader in portable projectors that is the ultimate in flexibility, ease of use and is future-proofed and able to work with any device, anytime, anywhere. Never worry about having enough space in your living room again with its shorter throw projection, allowing you to get a huge screen just a couple of feet away from your screen. It's bright enough for almost anywhere at 650 Lumens, has 8GB of storage which you can use to store files (and get to them quicker than before using the keyboard) and its 3-hour battery life means you can even watch Lord Of The Rings on it without hooking it up to the power (well, almost!). It offers an amazing range of features which makes it fit for any purpose, including a great wireless keyboard & mouse for easy browsing, and it comes with wireless mirroring for iOS and Android as standard, so there's no need to download any mirroring apps to use it with your smart devices.[Edit: The M550 Plus is now End Of Line (EOL). This projector has been replaced by the Pico Genie Polar, alternatively you can purchase a Refurbished Pico Genie M550 Plus.]
Take a look at the video below to see all the great features of both projectors in action!