The best portable projectors come in a wide range of price points, meaning everyone can find one that fits their needs.
The XGIMI Aura ultra short throw laser projector takes business projection — and the home theatre experience — to a completely new level. This is a stunning projector that will replace office TVs in any sized business — and will provide a superb image for any home theatre aficionado.
The Aura laser is by far the brightest projector I have ever tried. When I reviewed the XGIMI H2 projector in 2019, it blew me away with its 1350 ANSI lumens. The XGIMI Aura has 2400 ANSI lumens.
An ANSI Lumen is a unit of measurement devised by the American National Standards Institute to measure true brightness. If a projector does not state its ANSI lumen rating but simply states its lumen number, it probably exaggerates its actual brightness. The Aura is extremely bright — even in bright sunlight — and its image quality is exceptional. It has an ultra-short throw ratio of 0:233:1 and an image resolution of 3840 x 2160p, delivering 4K images without issues.
- 2400 ANSI lumen
- Laser safety shut off feature
- 150-inch ultra-short-throw projection
- Some issues using screen mirroring from smartphones
Inside the large, heavy box, there is the projector, a power cable, remote control and an instruction manual. The Aura looks a little like a desktop printer with a channel at the top of the unit. This is where the similarities end.
Inside the channel is a mirror that reflects the projected image onto a flat surface such as a wall and a laser light source unit that has a 25,000-hour lifespan.
The Aura projector itself is quite large. Its dimensions are 606 x 401 x 139.5mm and it weighs 14.93kg. It is not intended to be a portable projector for the office — but would suit a permanent location.
The projector is powered by a MediaTek MT9629 chip running Android 10.0. For graphics, its chip is a Mali-G52, and it comes with 2GM RAM and 32GB internal storage.
At the front of the Aura is a large fabric-covered Harman Kardon set of speakers. There are four 15W speakers (two tweeters and two subwoofers) with Dolby and DTS (Digital Theatre Systems) audio support.
On the back of the projector, there is an array of ports: three HDMI ports (one for an ARC (Audio Return Channel) connection), Two USB 2.0 ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, and an optical port. There is also a USB service port — used for debugging the unit, and there is the main power socket at the rear.
Turn the Aura on by pressing the power switch at the right-hand side of the unit. Booting up is quick, taking about 12 seconds. Once the Aura is powered on, pair it with the remote control, which is quick and easy.
Once paired, place the projector/TV on a flat surface close to the vertical projection surface, such as a wall. XGIMI provides a useful table showing how far away from the wall the unit needs to be.
For example, for a 4K 150 inch projected image on the wall, place the Aura 17.3 inches away from the wall. For an 80 inch projection, place the Aura 4.3 inches away from the wall.
When the unit powers on, the XGIMI Aura invokes an eight-point keystone correction to focus the Aura unit and correct the keystone. You can also change the keystone manually using the remote control to get the image shape you want.
If your image is not perfectly aligned, you might need to move the Aura to get a true rectangle shape. There are two adjustable feet under the unit to tweak the image height.
Usefully, XGIMI has included Android TV in the Aura, which is quick to set up for iOS and Android devices. There are also apps such as the Xmusic player, file manager, Netflix and YouTube apps, amongst others, via its Chromecast built-in technology.
It also uses Google Assistant if you do not want to use the remote to navigate around the screen. Bluetooth technology means you can add speakers or wireless keyboards such as the Vissles mechanical keyboard to the Aura.
I had challenges connecting both of my Android phones to the Aura to screencast images and run apps from my smartphone — but the Aura projector is most definitely not aimed at the casual user who wants smartphone screen mirroring.
The projector easily connected to my laptop with no lag, and the quality of everything I projected, slides, images and videos was fabulous — even in bright daylight.
Moving video images are bright and clear — thanks to MEMC (motion estimation motion compensation) motion compensation technology.
The Aura laser projector also has clever light protection features too. If you inadvertently lean over the light source, the IR sensors will dim the laser to protect your eyes, and a notice appears on the screen to indicate the reason for the blank screen.
Move your hand or head away from the light source, and the image returns. There is no danger — even for wandering pets or children.
The XGIMI Aura laser projector is not cheap at $2499 but if you are serious about projecting the best image possible for any size of office — or home theatre — you need to buy this projector.
With its superb brightness and crystal clear sound across all the ranges, XGIMI has thought of everything with the Aura projector — and delivered it in a compact, well-built unit. There is little not to like with this projector.
We will all have superb systems such as the XGIMI Aura laser TV in our home theatres and offices one day. With top of the range technology like this for a mid-priced entertainment system, the standalone TV will soon become obsolete.