Entry Level – Best LED Pocket Projector: AAXA M6

Things change quickly. Here’s a 1080p pocket projector, and it’s not only under $1000 (which was rare, a year ago for pocket projectors), but its street price is right around $600! That should get it a WOW right there. Add to that one pretty darn good picture. Not perfect in terms of color, but we find that in general, pico and pocket projectors are not as accurate as the better lamp-based alternatives (say, the not that much more expensive Epson 2040 or 2045). Of course, we discuss the picture in greater depth in the full M6 review.

AAXA M6 Front

The AAXA just reeks of value. Consider: We really like Optoma’s ML750 and ML 750ST, which we reviewed and gave an award to last year, but the AAXA, overall, provides far more projector for about $100 more – starting with the higher resolution, which alone easily justifies the price difference. And it’s a lot brighter! If there’s one area the Optoma trumps this AAXA projector its size, the Optoma is downright tiny compared to the 7×7 inch footprint of this M6. But, hey, the M6 is still so small, who really cares?

And there’s more – it’s got a built in rechargeable battery, for the price. Sweet! Now, wait one second – if you are thinking about taking this to the Grand Canyon and watching a full-length movie on its battery charge… The M6 won’t do a 2-hour movie, between charges, but we measured it at 91 minutes. That’s just one minute over its claim. Good news – once that battery dies forever, you can get a replacement for just $49.99.

AAXA M6 Overview

There’s so much more to like about this LED projector. First of all, it’s seriously bright – claiming a massive 1200 lumens which is a ton for something this small. OK, in fairness, it didn’t measure that bright. In fact, it topped out in the mid 800 lumen range, but even its best mode was over 800 lumens, and that rivals the best modes of some traditional lamp-based projectors.

When you consider that today, most lamp based projectors claim at least 2000 lumens, don’t despair. Let’s say you want to watch a movie at night – kill the lights, and no problem projecting to a 100” size or larger – consider that officially, it takes only about 450 lumens to have an image as bright as the one in your local Cineplex. We only really need more lumens to fight ambient light!

The M6 with that 800 lumens finds itself to be a viable portable projector for business use, as well, complete with sound – a pair of 2-watt speakers. They will handle a room adequately, but skip the symphony performances. There’s an audio out to feed sound into a bigger “stereo system.” The audio out is labeled as a headphone jack.

Consider the M6 to be a dual threat, but we’ll stick to the home side usage in this report. Read the full review, of course, for more.

Hey gamers – about 43 ms input lag, not great, but pretty good. Acceptable for all but the really hard core (we tell folks that if it’s 50 or less, pretty good, 33 or less, very good, 16-17 excellent, and better than that – extremely rare.

There are three power modes (and therefor different battery life when you are not plugged in). Eco is extremely quite while Full Power is a bit noisy. Well, no real surprise there – that’s true of most projectors, regardless of the size.

For a pocket projector, there’s a pretty good collection of inputs. Primarily, there’s an HDMI input, a small SD card slot and USB. There’s also an extra stereo audio input, AND, a traditional VGA input. AAXA has us pretty well covered, even for those who want to use an old school (pre HDMI) PC.

A few more tidbits – it weighs a mere 2.5 pounds (talk about portable, including battery) but not including the provided power brick (figure an extra 1 lb. or less). As is pretty standard for pocket LED projectors, there’s no zoom lens – just set it as far back from your screen or wall to get the size image you want.

Now the AAXA M6 doesn’t have a really full set of calibration adjustment controls, but no one’s going to calibrate a projector this low cost anyway, so here’ the punchline you’ve been waiting for. Overall picture quality is at least very good for a pocket projector, and fun to watch. If you want to be a perfectionist about color, there are better choices, but, if, for example, you bought an LCD TV 5 years ago and have never changed the mode or adjusted the color, this projector will probably look better anyway.

The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line: A good picture, extremely bright for a small projector, a battery pack built in for the road warrior or backyard gamer. A very good feature set, oh, and a 1-year parts and labor warranty.

Nikki did the M6 review and was definitely impressed (apparently so were her two cats)! I didn’t get much chance to work with it, but I’ve reviewed a lot of pocket projectors and from what I saw if the M6 in action, this projector stands out among the class.

We’ve got three more pocket projectors scheduled to review this fall, before our Pico/Pocket Projector Report. They, too, look interesting, but none of them hints at being a better value (and most don’t have batteries). Now, I’m a big fan of battery power in pocket projectors, but even without, this M6 is going to be hard to beat.

A Note From The Reviewer

Hi everyone – I’m Nikki, and I did the review of the AAXA M6. As the only Millennial reviewer at Projector Reviews, I have the unique positioning of understanding the mindset and needs of my generation. This is a great little projector for Millennials – especially those who travel.

I enjoyed having this projector stream Netflix content (The 100, at the time of this review) while I was working – I had the M6 on top of another projector’s box and projecting on my wall. I appreciated the portability and could see the M6 as your travel companion so that you never have to watch your shows on a tiny hotel TV. 

I paired the M6 with the NVIDIA SHIELD streaming player, which is about the size of a video game case. The two work excellently together and are small enough to fit into your carry-on bag. That the NVIDIA SHIELD can also stream video games (ranging from incredibly stupid to games you already have for your PS4 or Xbox) is a major plus, as you can not only watch Netflix and other streaming apps on the go, but play video games as well. Expect a review for that player on our sister site, SmarterHomeAutomation.com, where I will discuss using the player with the M6 further, publishing sometime in October.

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