Posted on August 12, 2017 By Nikki Zelinger
AAXA M6 Pocket Projector Review – Performance: Brightness, Input Display Lag, Audible Noise
AAXA claims the M6 can output 1,200 lumens. In the case of this unit, the claim was not met. Presentation Mode, the brightest mode, measured at only 835 lumens at full power. The other two modes, Movie and Standard, measured not far behind Presentation, with Movie being 832 lumens and Standard, 824 lumens. From a brightness standpoint, they are essentially the same. 11 lumens is well within the margin of error for us when measuring.
It’s not really important whether or not a projector meets specs, but how it performs. Most projectors we find fall between 80% and 100% of claim, with only perhaps 10-15% beating claim. By the way – companies are usually consistent. Some never hit their numbers, some almost always hit or beat them. We find that the small LED projectors are far more likely to underperform their claims by greater margins than similarly priced lamp based projectors.
So, the AAXA M6 coming in at almost exactly 70% of claim is not at all surprising. In terms of brightness performance, however, the M6 is quite bright. Almost no competitors this size have measured brighter. There’s enough brightness that I was impressed by the vibrancy of color even when faced with a completely open window letting in significant ambient light during the middle of the day.
The M6, with its 824 to 835 lumens, will be bright enough for use during the day, within reason. Also, we don’t expect you really to be filling a 120″ screen for a business presentation with this small projector. For business, figure best at 60 to 80 inches diagonal, but with good lighting control, a very respectable image can fill a 100″ screen!
Whether you’re using this for business, education, or home entertainment purposes, this little pocket projector can handle a moderate amount of ambient light without losing a lot of detail. Count that as a win for the M6. Consider, for home use, that less than 500 lumens is all you need on a 100″ screen to have the same brightness as the average movie theater.
I measured the M6 in Standard Picture Mode, right out of the box. The input display lag is 42.4 ms, which is not good for professional gaming but acceptable for casual gaming. For reference – up to 50 ms is considered acceptable, but not great. 33 ms is considered good, and 16-18 ms is excellent.
That 42.4 input lag puts the display at a little more than 1 frame behind at 30 fps, a little over 2 frames if running games at 60 fps. That said, it’s not going to be really noticeable to most during campaign-modes, but perhaps could be noticeable in online play. I did not have issues with the lag while testing gameplay on the M6 – it didn’t affect my ability to totally annihilate enemies. And I do enjoy my gaming, unlike Art, who does most of the dedicated home theater projectors, but basically rarely plays games. His loss, yeah?
I used two types of gaming consoles to test the AAXA M6’s gaming capabilities – my Playstation 4 and the NVIDIA SHIELD. It performed well with both. The NVIDIA SHIELD is most appropriately sized for this little pocket projector, being around the same length and width as a video game box. I particularly enjoyed the NVIDIA SHIELD ($199-$299), which is a 4K capable device that can stream video games and from Netflix, Hulu, etc., rent movies from the Google Play store. The games range from the absolutely terrible (and hilarious) Goat Simulator, to games that are available on other consoles, such as Borderlands, Bioshock, and even award-winning indie puzzle games like Machinarium.
Another cool thing about the NVIDIA SHIELD is that you can get a lot of these awesome games, and first person shooters, for free when you pay monthly subscription of $7.99 for NVIDIA SHIELD Games. That saves a lot of money in the long run, as the regular console games go for the regular prices of $50 or so. It’s a smart streamer that comes integrated with Google Assistant, so if you’ve got a Google phone, you can use your phone (or tablet) to control the SHIELD. It also works with Chromecast and SmartThings (dongle is $14.99). That allows you to control smart lights, thermostats, and outlets. It even comes with a Nest App.
As I said, when playing games on the AAXA M6 (with both the NVIDIA SHIELD and Playstation 4), I didn’t notice the higher input lag. I would recommend pairing the M6 and the NVIDIA SHIELD for those who have tight spaces such as a dorm room, studio, or small apartment, as they are real space-savers. For the high school or college student, or young millennial, the two devices work together to create an extremely portable entertainment system.
AAXA has not provided a measurement for fan noise, but I can tell you it ranges from barely audible in ECO Mode, to downright un-ignorable when operating at full power. The mid-range power mode, Standard, has audible noise as well, though it is less loud than when operating in Bright Mode. Standard will be your best bet for combatting that loud fan while still having a bright image.
Even so, you’ll likely need to speak up in order to overcome that fan noise, because ECO Mode isn’t likely to cut it as far as brightness goes in you’re presenting. The fan noise at maximum in a room full of people will most likely be acceptable, but it’s hardly ideal. My best guess is that the audible noise is upwards of 40db. That’s super loud.
When the volume is turned all the way up, the fan noise becomes less noticeable, which is good because the projector would be completely unusable for movies if this wasn’t so. Gaming would be difficult as well. Whether you’re using the M6 for entertainment or business, you’ll likely to be able to overcome what must be the loudest fan ever on a pocket projector.
That’s just speculation – I can’t say for sure that it is the loudest. But you get the point here. It’s baffling to me that twenty-pound business projectors make less noise than a tiny, 2.5-pound pocket projector. Now that you’ve got the lowdown on Special Features, Hardware, Picture and Audio Quality, and Performance, we’ll summarize the review for you for a recap. On to the next page!
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