Vivitek Qumi Q7 LED Projector – Review

QUMI Q7 LED PROJECTOR SPECIAL FEATURES:  Media Players – PC Free, Built in Audio, 3D, Redmere Compatible

The Q7 is very well endowed for a large “pico or pocket” projector – or a very small portable projector.  Either way, it’s small and light, and feature laden.

Q7 Media Players and PC Free Operation

Most of the much smaller pico projectors and pocket projectors have at least basic media players, that can handle showing your photos via a slide show, or playing videos off of USB thumb drives or memory cards.  The Qumi Q7 can do that!   It has a USB input in the rear, and if you wish to use, say an SD card, or XD, or other card type, you’ll just use a simple card to USB adapter.

What separates the Qumi Q7 projector from much of the competition is the inclusion of both a player for running Microsoft Office files such as Powerpoint, Word, and Excel, and also the ability to display pdf files!  True, some competitors have one, or even both, but many do not.

Media players translate into “PC Free presentations”  No need to drag around that laptop, just put those Office files, pdfs, videos and photos on a USB drive and you are ready to go.

When you power up the Q7, you’ll get a main menu that shows you many of the options, and we’ll look closer in our Hardware tour section on Menus, but for now let’s stick to what the abilities are.  I had no problem plugging in a USB thumb drive and using the image player to view a couple dozen photos that I recently took (jpg format).  And while I swear I’m not vain, I also put on the USB, one of our videos that we produce (starring me), and that 4 minute video ran beautifully, not a hitch.  It really is easy.  Besides supporting the usual photo formats, the Q7 supports these video formats:  WMV, MPEG4, Divx, and H.264, (which is used for conferencing among other things).

BTW, I do get a kick out of the Qumi Q7 describing its speakers as having “surround sound.” What a world we live in.

Once you figure it out (menu operation and layout – easy enough), running Office files works fine.  I tried one each – Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, as you can see, from some of the images in this review.  PDFs worked great and I was able to zoom in, using the player.

The Q7 has 4 Gig of memory on board for its players.  That folks is a whole lot of storage for a portable projector.  Good thinking.  I don’t recall any competition with that much (working from memory), but 1 Gig is fairly common these days. With 4 Gig, you can get serious about storing a movie, or maybe 1000 of your favorite photos, or a whole lot of business slides, or classroom video clips.

What this all means is that you have a potent, lightweight projector, that can handle many types of business or classroom “presentations” without bothering to drag along a computer. That brings us to MHL, basically “mobile HDMI” which allows plugging in of MHL compatible devices such as a Roku stick, or other devices.  MHL provides support from those devices of up to 1080p for video, 8 channels of sound, remote control, and even fast charging of those devices.  Many android phones and tablets support MHL, although iOS devices, to my knowledge, still do not.  You may soon even see cars supporting MHL devices.

 

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Media Player Images

Photo Player

A photo of a projected image, captured, projected from the Photo media player

Music player

You can't see the music, so here's the Music Media Player's list of content on a USB drive

Video Player

An old Leno "JayWalking" played from a .wmv file

PDF Player

Great having a PDF player for presentations. Works, zooms, more.

Office Player - Powerpoint

Powerpoint, Excel Spreadsheet, Word - no problem

60" Diagonal Image

Photo player, rear lights on, shutters partially open, bright enough in User mode (about 400 lumens)

Audio Capabilities

The Q7 has a pair of 2 watt speakers on board.  Folks that’s not going to rock the house, of course, but it does provide decent volume if not much in the way of bass.  As it turns out I carry about 2.5 pound mini boom box with me when I’m traveling long enough to check a bag.  I can tell you that my boom box does much better than the Qumi’s speakers, but the Qumi’s sound is still a real step up from my MacBook Pro, no contest.

Fortunately, the Q7 has an audio output, which I took advantage of.   Now one of my complaints about the audio out on a lot of small projectors suitable for entertainment, is what happens when you output to a device.  A few projectors allow you to also play the internal speaker(s), others do not.  The advantage of being able to keep the internal speakers running is that you can buy a really, really small subwoofer to enhance the bass.

In the case of the Q7, the audio out (like most), does shut down if a device (speakers) is plugged into the jack, so the subwoofer option won’t work.  As I reviewed the Q7, though I spoke with one of Vivitek’s product managers, and suggested they could make that possible with a firmware update.  He added it to his wish list of small improvements.  Don’t get your hopes up, but maybe the next Gen Qumi’s will.

BTW, I do get a kick out of the Qumi Q7 describing its speakers as having “surround sound.”  OK, I understand what they are doing – like many others, but surround sound should “fill the room”  - immerse you in sound.  Not going to happen!

Qumi Q7 ready for 3D

It’s not expensive to add 3D capabilities to most of today’s projectors, so it’s hardly surprising that the Q7 is 3D compatible.  All you need are some DLP-Link compatible glasses and some 3D content – from HDTV, Blu-ray…  No!  Wait!  You don’t even need that.

The Q7 offers 2D to 3D conversion as well.  OK, having a projector convert 2D on the fly to 3D works, but only so well.  Don’t expect it to be as clean as 3D mastered in a studio.  Personally for home entertainment I have never been really happy with 2D – 3D conversions in projectors, watchable, but there are enough artifacts – things not quite right, that I notice. Kids, I also notice, don’t seem to care.  2D to 3D conversion only works from HDMI sources, so, no you can’t plug in an old VHS (anyone remember those) and watch those in 3D.

So, if you are fairly picky about your 3D cleanness, what is it good for?  On the home entertainment side, I’d say its fun for viewing your own 2D movies in 3D.   Certainly you kids will think that’s cool.  Bottom line, the projector has some pretty good 3D when working from a 3D source.   I had to try Avengers on the Q7 in 3D.  I was more concerned about the brightness (I finally settled on about a 65 inch screen size for viewing), and the color in 3D than I was about  3D artifacts.  DLP projectors, are basically crosstalk free, a plus.

DLP-Link glasses are available from a lot of 3rd party manufacturers and the prices are getting pretty low, and can be found online for as little as about $20 a pair.  Sorry, I don’t have a specific recommendation for you.

Click Image to Enlarge

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