Posted on November 29, 2017 By Nikki Zelinger
AAXA M5 Pocket Projector Review – Performance: Brightness, Input Display Lag, Audible Noise
AAXA claims the M5 puts out 900 lumens – it doesn’t, but it came close at 790 at full power in Dynamic mode. It’s not surprising that this pocket projector did not meet its claim, as most projectors will fall up to 25% short of their claims. 790 lumens is still pretty good, and was enough for me to watch Netflix during the day in my studio while I worked. The studio has regular, horizontal blinds that leak quite a bit of ambient light.
I didn’t watch in Dynamic mode, though – I chose Standard mode at full power, which has 761 lumens. In fact, at full power, all the modes are suitable for a semi-darkened room during the day (Mild has 721). It’s when you get into the ECO modes that you lose some of that power to cut through ambient light, but even 587 lumens at mid-ECO and 403 in ECO are respectable for a projector this size. A lot of pocket-sized projectors are in and around the M5’s ECO lumens, so count that as a plus for the AAXA M5.
The input display lag on the AAXA M5 is 39.8 ms. That’s relatively high, but still within the acceptable range for gaming – up to 50 ms is considered reasonable, but not great. For reference, 30 ms is considered good, with 16-18 being excellent. At 30 ms of input lag, you’ll be just one frame behind on 30 fps games, two frames on 60 fps games. The AAXA M5 will be suitable for all but the most serious gamers who are playing team games online like Call of Duty.
That input lag of just over one frame of the AAXA M5 is not really a big deal. My projector, the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB has an input lag of 30.9 ms. We’ve played Call of Duty WWII and Star Wars Battlefront 2 online with no lag issues on the 5040UB, and we tend to get highly competitive. With the input lag of the AAXA M5 being just under 9 ms more than the Epson, I think it’s safe to say you won’t have many issues with lag, if at all.
That said, the AAXA M5 should work great as a gaming projector for casual gamers. That it is a portable projector makes it more desirable for gaming, as you can take it to friends’ houses and project on their walls for a really cool, “big screen” experience. It’s also great for gaming if you’re traveling to Grandma’s or some other place where time literally stands still.
AAXA claims the fan noise on the M5 is 30db. No way. This projector is loud. Not so loud that you can’t hear the audio from your movies or games, but loud enough to notice. My Epson Home Cinema 5040UB has a rated fan noise of 31db, and I can barely hear that – the AAXA M5, by comparison, was definitely audible. I’d wager its fan noise hovers somewhere just below the 40db mark. It’s not horrendously loud, but it’s definitely, definitely not 30db.
Since it’s a short throw, the projector will sit in front of you and you’ll be more likely to hear the fan from that position. That’s at full power. In ECO, the AAXA M5 is much quieter, as to be expected. I never used ECO during the day because of the angle at which the ambient light in my room hit the image, but at night, ECO is great for having a more quiet viewing experience.
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