Vimgo P10 Ultra-Budget Pico Projector: Not Bad for $250-ish

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The Vimgo P10 is one of the seemingly endless
projectors
on Amazon I’chiliad going to christen equally “ultra budget.” Its price varies between $200 and $250, similar to the AAXA P8, the cheapest projector we’ve reviewed thus far. To respond the most obvious question upwardly front: Yes, the Vimgo P10 does really work.

I was all prepare with a long list of hilarious comparisons to describe how bad the Vimgo P10 was. After all, how expert can a projector that costs less than a pair of
good headphones
actually exist? The answer is, to my surprise, non bad. Not good, certainly, but considering the low price, it’southward relatively bright, has an impressive contrast ratio, and even has
Netflix
congenital in, although there’s no built-in battery.

Like




  • The price



  • Stylish design



  • Surprisingly good contrast and effulgence

Don’t Like




  • Wonky color



  • A variety of minor picture issues



  • No upward throw

So should you trade in your
Sony 325ES
to become this stunning achievement in video project? Admittedly not. Notwithstanding, you might be surprised to learn how far the low end of the projector market has come up.

Expect to the lens

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

Many of the P10’south biggest problems, and 1 strength, stem from its bizarre lens. It’s by far the simplest — and for the category, largest — lens I’ve seen on a projector similar this. Typically, large lenses are a practiced matter, every bit they allow more calorie-free laissez passer through. With cameras, a big lens offers a diverseness of image-quality benefits. With a projector there are similar benefits, simply there are also a variety of tradeoffs. Without going as well far into the weeds for lens design, I’ll just say that the P10’southward abnormal lens gives it surprisingly expert brightness and contrast, seemingly at the cost of uniformity and overall sharpness. The P10 is1080p resolution, which is rare amongst cheap projectors, but its sharpness and detail suffer quite a bit toward the edges of the epitome.






Geoff Morrison/CNET

Another weird thing: There’s no up throw. Projectors are commonly designed to project an image with a lower border that’south at or above the top of the projector itself, so y’all tin place the projector on a coffee tabular array, or mount it on the ceiling upside-down, and project the image roughly in the center of a wall. The P10 projects straight ahead. This isn’t unheard of — the high-ceaseEpson 5050,LS11000, andSony 325ES
do this, for instance. But what those projectors have, the P10 does not: zoom. With no zoom, the P10 creates a 100-inch image when placed roughly ix anxiety from the screen, right where you’re probably sitting, and then needs to be about four anxiety off the ground. And then more or less at heart level.




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I recommend using a tripod with the P10 rather than trying to stack books or boxes on a table to get it high enough. That, or you lot have to create a smaller image than perhaps yous’d want by placing it closer to the screen and watching from behind. Yes, you could use keystone adjustment,
just you absolutely shouldn’t.

The P10 is, surprisingly, relatively brilliant. Vimgo claims 300 lumens, and I measured 271, which is non only one of the closest claimed-to-measured amounts I’ve tested, only also roughly the same as the AAXA P8 and even the far more expensive Xgimi Halo Plus. The simplicity of the lens also seems to lend itself to a solid contrast ratio. I measured a flat-out impressive 1907:1, which is technically better than the $4,000 Epson LS11000. Agree your applause, however; that’s not the whole story.

Inputs, besides


The inputs of the Vimgo P10 projector.

Geoff Morrison/CNET

  • HDMI inputs: 1
  • USB port: one
  • Audio output: Headphone output/Bluetooth
  • Internet: 2.4GHz/5GHz
  • Remote: Not backlit

The P10’southward inputs are pretty traditional — HDMI, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Despite the pattern implying there are big speakers on either side, in that location aren’t. Instead there’south two tiny 5W speakers on the back. They sound meliorate than a lot of tiny, cheap projector speakers though — a chip boomy at max volume, but I’ve heard worse.

There are some
streaming services
built in, like Netflix,
Paramount Plus,
Disney Plus, YouTube,
Hulu
and
Prime Video. There’southward no
HBO Max
or Vudu. These are oft the mobile versions of these apps, so for instance you tin’t cast Netflix from your phone to the P10 because Netflix thinks of the P10 as a source, not a brandish. Likewise, it’due south a hurting to navigate using a remote. It does work, though, so there’s that.

And whatever you do, don’t lose the remote considering the only button on the projector itself is power. Without the clicker you won’t exist able to be able to navigate the menus or focus the prototype. This P10’s digital focus adjustment isn’t automatic like near small-scale projectors.

Picture comparisons


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

Geoff Morrison/CNET

I
compared
the Vimgo P10 to the AAXA P8 and theAnker Nebula Mars II Pro. The AAXA P8 is as close in price to the Vimgo as any projector we’ve reviewed. The P8 is significantly smaller, all the same. Closer in size to the Vimgo is the Anker Mars Ii Pro, which is also roughly twice every bit expensive. It’south our go-to selection for a portable projector though, and unlike the other two it has a built-in bombardment. I continued all iii to a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier and viewed them side-past-side-by-side on a 102-inch 1.0-proceeds screen.

All three are in the same ballpark, brightness-wise. They can create a 100-inch image, but they look far more comfortable creating something in the 50-inch range.

Image sharpness is a bigger differentiator. The AAXA is only 960×540, and it shows with big chunky pixels. The Mars II Pro is 720p, so it looks sharper. The Vimgo is 1080p, and despite some problems with its lens, it looks the sharpest — by a little bit anyway. As long as the subject field of the shot is in the middle of the frame, there’s lots of detail. The sides of the image, however, don’t look nearly equally precipitous — an issue I blame on that lens. If yous don’t adjust the picture settings some of this apparent sharpness is due to some extremely heavy-handed edge enhancement, which is why the Vimgo, similar most displays,
looks better if y’all plow the sharpness control downward.

Contrast ratio
is the Vimgo’southward biggest force, and if y’all’re a projector and y’all only accept one stat to cull equally your all-time performer, contrast ratio is the ane to pick. It’southward like designing a race car and deciding early, “You lot know what would make this car actually skilful? If we made it fast.” Compared to the other two, the Vimgo looks significantly less washed-out with more apparent depth, and information technology’s not subtle. We’re talking
LCD vs. OLED TV
levels of deviation hither. I’k not certain how Vimgo is pulling this off, but my gauge is that weird, simple lens.


The small remote of the Vimgo P10.

Geoff Morrison/CNET

With strong contrast comes plenty of weaknesses. The P10’s brightness uniformity is bottomless, once again likely due to the simple lens. The center of the screen is noticeably brighter than the edges, every bit if someone had cranked up the “vignette” control to stylistically darken the corners. The P10 also has the worst colour of any display I’ve tested in over two decades of doing so. Reds are practically pastel pink, blues are somewhat teal, greens are pale and yellow.

However, with that nifty contrast ratio and decent effulgence the Vimgo should be the easy winner amid the 3, merely it’southward non. It’s better than the AAXA, sure. Both have terrible color accurateness, but differently terrible, if you tin believe information technology. So if you don’t need something that tin fit in the palm of your paw, the image from the Vimgo is better.

But the Anker Nebula Mars but looks so much more natural, its color and so much more accurate. I mean, even slightly based in reality is an improvement compared to the Vimgo, and the Mars Ii Pro goes beyond that. So yep, the Anker is overall better than either the AAXA or the Vimgo.

The Mars Two Pro is not equally detailed, more expensive, and has only a fraction of the contrast ratio, just it just has a more pleasing overall image. This is why it has done and so well compared to so many other
portable projectors, despite its own problems. It’s two and a half times the toll of the Vimgo, however, so one would promise it’s better.

What well-nigh the
Anker Nebula Capsule? At $300, the Capsule is certainly a lot closer in price to the P10 than the Mars 2 Pro. Notwithstanding, with a measured 85 lumens, it would wait exceptionally dim in comparing. Information technology’s a good projector, for its tiny size and toll, however. Along the aforementioned lines, the
AAXA P6X
is $360, but significantly brighter than any of these, and like the Sheathing it has a built-in bombardment.

Bottom line: Can’t beat the price


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

Geoff Morrison/CNET

Honestly, I don’t know what to make of the Vimgo P10. The prototype it creates is, in many ways, pretty bad. I feel like I could crush information technology to dust if I squeezed too hard. The lens and overall blueprint look like a pastel HAL 9000. I want to trash it completely, but I’chiliad sorry, Dave, I’1000 afraid I tin can’t practice that. Because, surprisingly, the image it creates is perfectly watchable, especially when y’all consider how footling it costs. If you tin afford better, should y’all get something else? Yes, for certain. But I’ve seen far worse for more coin.

So as long as you go on in listen that this is an ultra-budget projector, one of the cheapest products in a category that includes models that are $50,000-plus, it’s a steal. I wouldn’t consider it equally a Telly replacement, only for something to accept on hand for the occasional big-screen viewing party, it’s an easy, inexpensive choice.

Source: https://www.cnet.com/tech/home-entertainment/vimgo-p10-ultra-budget-pico-projector-not-bad-for-250-ish/