Vimgo P10 Extremely-Finances Pico Projector: Not Dangerous for $250-ish

The Vimgo P10 is likely one of the seemingly numerous projectors on Amazon I’ll christen as “extremely finances.” Its worth varies between $200 and $250, much like the AAXA P8, the most cost effective projector we have reviewed to this point. To reply the obvious query up entrance: Sure, the Vimgo P10 does really work. 

I used to be all prepared with a protracted record of hilarious comparisons to explain how dangerous the Vimgo P10 was. In spite of everything, how good can a projector that prices lower than a pair of good headphones actually be? The reply is, to my shock, not dangerous. Not good, actually, however contemplating the low worth, it is comparatively brilliant, has a powerful distinction ratio, and even has Netflix inbuilt, though there is no built-in battery.

Like

  • The worth
  • Trendy design
  • Surprisingly good distinction and brightness

Do not Like

  • Wonky shade
  • Quite a lot of small image points
  • No upward throw

So must you commerce in your Sony 325ES to get this gorgeous achievement in video projection? Completely not. Nevertheless, you is perhaps shocked to find out how far the low finish of the projector market has come.

Look to the lens

  • Native decision: 1,920×1,080 pixels
  • HDR-compatible: No
  • 4K-compatible: Sure
  • 3D-compatible: No
  • Lumens spec: 300
  • Zoom: No
  • Lens shift: No
  • LED life: 30,000 hours

Most of the P10’s greatest points, and one power, stem from its weird lens. It is by far the only — and for the class, largest — lens I’ve seen on a projector like this. Sometimes, giant lenses are a very good factor, as they let extra gentle cross by way of. With cameras, a giant lens presents a wide range of image-quality advantages. With a projector there are related advantages, however there are additionally a wide range of tradeoffs. With out going too far into the weeds for lens design, I will simply say that the P10’s irregular lens offers it surprisingly good brightness and distinction, seemingly at the price of uniformity and general sharpness. The P10 is 1080p decision, which is uncommon amongst low-cost projectors, however its sharpness and element undergo fairly a bit towards the perimeters of the picture.

A closeup of the large lens of the Vimgo P10.

Geoff Morrison/CNET

One other bizarre factor: There is no upwards throw. Projectors are often designed to challenge a picture with a decrease edge that is at or above the highest of the projector itself, so you’ll be able to place the projector on a espresso desk, or mount it on the ceiling upside-down, and challenge the picture roughly in the course of a wall. The P10 initiatives straight forward. This is not unprecedented — the high-end Epson 5050LS11000, and Sony 325ES do that, as an illustration. However what these projectors have, the P10 doesn’t: zoom. With no zoom, the P10 creates a 100-inch picture when positioned roughly 9 toes from the display, proper the place you are in all probability sitting, after which must be about 4 toes off the bottom. So kind of at eye stage. 


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I like to recommend utilizing a tripod with the P10 somewhat than making an attempt to stack books or packing containers on a desk to get it excessive sufficient. That, or it’s important to create a smaller picture than maybe you’d need by inserting it nearer to the display and watching from behind. Sure, you may use keystone adjustment, however you completely should not.

The P10 is, surprisingly, comparatively brilliant. Vimgo claims 300 lumens, and I measured 271, which isn’t solely one of many closest claimed-to-measured quantities I’ve examined, but in addition roughly the identical because the AAXA P8 and even the far costlier Xgimi Halo Plus. The simplicity of the lens additionally appears to lend itself to a stable distinction ratio. I measured a flat-out spectacular 1907:1, which is technically higher than the $4,000 Epson LS11000. Maintain your applause, nonetheless; that is not the entire story.

Inputs, too

The inputs of the Vimgo P10 projector.

Geoff Morrison/CNET
  • HDMI inputs: 1
  • USB port: 1
  • Audio output: Headphone output/Bluetooth
  • Web: 2.4GHz/5GHz
  • Distant: Not backlit

The P10’s inputs are fairly conventional — HDMI, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Regardless of the design implying there are large audio system on both facet, there aren’t. As an alternative there’s two tiny 5W audio system on the again. They sound higher than a whole lot of tiny, low-cost projector audio system although — a bit boomy at max quantity, however I’ve heard worse.

There are some streaming providers inbuilt, like Netflix, Paramount Plus, Disney Plus, YouTube, Hulu and Prime Video. There is no HBO Max or Vudu. These are sometimes the cellular variations of those apps, so as an illustration you’ll be able to’t forged Netflix out of your telephone to the P10 as a result of Netflix thinks of the P10 as a supply, not a show. Likewise, it is a ache to navigate utilizing a distant. It does work, although, so there’s that.

And no matter you do, do not lose the distant as a result of the one button on the projector itself is energy. With out the clicker you will not have the opportunity to have the ability to navigate the menus or focus the picture. This P10’s digital focus adjustment is not automated like most small projectors.

Image comparisons

The pale blue side of the Vimgo P10 projector on a green background.

Geoff Morrison/CNET

I in contrast the Vimgo P10 to the AAXA P8 and the Anker Nebula Mars II Professional. The AAXA P8 is as shut in worth to the Vimgo as any projector we have reviewed. The P8 is considerably smaller, nonetheless. Nearer in measurement to the Vimgo is the Anker Mars II Professional, which can be roughly twice as costly. It is our go-to choose for a conveyable projector although, and in contrast to the opposite two it has a built-in battery. I related all three to a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier and seen them side-by-side-by-side on a 102-inch 1.0-gain display.

All three are in the identical ballpark, brightness-wise. They’ll create a 100-inch picture, however they give the impression of being way more snug creating one thing within the 50-inch vary. 

Picture sharpness is a much bigger differentiator. The AAXA is simply 960×540, and it reveals with large chunky pixels. The Mars II Professional is 720p, so it appears to be like sharper. The Vimgo is 1080p, and regardless of some points with its lens, it appears to be like the sharpest — by a bit of bit anyway. So long as the topic of the shot is within the heart of the body, there’s a number of element. The perimeters of the picture, nonetheless, do not look almost as sharp — a difficulty I blame on that lens. In case you do not modify the image settings a few of this obvious sharpness is because of some extraordinarily heavy-handed edge enhancement, which is why the Vimgo, like most shows, appears to be like higher when you flip the sharpness management down

Distinction ratio is the Vimgo’s greatest power, and when you’re a projector and also you solely have one stat to decide on as your greatest performer, distinction ratio is the one to choose. It is like designing a race automotive and deciding early on, “You realize what would make this automotive actually good? If we made it quick.” In comparison with the opposite two, the Vimgo appears to be like considerably much less washed-out with extra obvious depth, and it is not delicate. We’re speaking LCD vs. OLED TV ranges of distinction right here. I am unsure how Vimgo is pulling this off, however my guess is that bizarre, easy lens.

The small remote of the Vimgo P10.

Geoff Morrison/CNET

With robust distinction comes loads of weaknesses. The P10’s brightness uniformity is abysmal, once more doubtless because of the easy lens. The middle of the display is noticeably brighter than the perimeters, as if somebody had cranked up the “vignette” management to stylistically darken the corners. The P10 additionally has the worst shade of any show I’ve examined in over 20 years of doing so. Reds are virtually pastel pink, blues are considerably teal, greens are pale and yellowish.

Even so, with that nice distinction ratio and first rate brightness the Vimgo must be the simple winner among the many three, but it surely’s not. It is higher than the AAXA, positive. Each have horrible shade accuracy, however otherwise horrible, when you can consider it. So when you do not want one thing that may match within the palm of your hand, the picture from the Vimgo is healthier. 

However the Anker Nebula Mars simply appears to be like a lot extra pure, its shade a lot extra correct. I imply, even barely primarily based in actuality is an enchancment in comparison with the Vimgo, and the Mars II Professional goes past that. So yeah, the Anker is general higher than both the AAXA or the Vimgo.

The Mars II Professional shouldn’t be as detailed, costlier, and has only a fraction of the distinction ratio, but it surely simply has a extra pleasing general picture. That is why it has performed so properly in comparison with so many different transportable projectors, regardless of its personal points. It is two and a half instances the worth of the Vimgo, nonetheless, so one would hope it is higher. 

What concerning the Anker Nebula Capsule? At $300, the Capsule is actually lots nearer in worth to the P10 than the Mars II Professional. Nevertheless, with a measured 85 lumens, it could look exceptionally dim as compared. It is a good projector, for its tiny measurement and worth, nonetheless. Alongside the identical traces, the AAXA P6X is $360, however considerably brighter than any of those, and just like the Capsule it has a built-in battery.

Backside line: Cannot beat the worth

A view from the front of the large lens of the Vimgo P10 projector on a green background.

Geoff Morrison/CNET

Truthfully, I do not know what to make of the Vimgo P10. The picture it creates is, in some ways, fairly dangerous. I really feel like I might crush it to mud if I squeezed too laborious. The lens and general design seem like a pastel HAL 9000. I need to trash it utterly, however I am sorry, Dave, I am afraid I am unable to try this. As a result of, surprisingly, the picture it creates is completely watchable, particularly when you think about how little it prices. In case you can afford higher, must you get one thing else? Sure, for positive. However I’ve seen far worse for more cash.

So so long as you understand that that is an ultra-budget projector, one of many most cost-effective merchandise in a class that features fashions which might be $50,000-plus, it is a steal. I would not take into account it as a TV alternative, however for one thing to have available for the occasional big-screen viewing occasion, it is a simple, cheap alternative.

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