Posted on August 16, 2018 By Nikki Zelinger
The AAXA P300 Neo is a tiny, portable projector with an LED light engine, as is typical of pico and pocket projectors. It is so small that it sits comfortably in the palm of my hand, and would easily fit into a small or medium sized purse – possibly even a man’s back pant pocket. The P300 Neo has 720p native resolution – the lower end of HD. This is a brief, one page review – so without further adieu, let’s explore the features of this little AAXA projector.
The AAXA P300 Neo claims 420 lumens. I will tell you right now that it didn’t get anywhere close, but neither Art or myself had high hopes for that. It was, however, brighter than the Acer C200 that I was measuring the lumens of at the same time. The P300 Neo has an LED light engine that boasts a light engine life of up to 30,000 hours and is undoubtedly enough to be left on unattended, as it certainly will be by the children who use it.
This scene from The Hunger Games has decent color and contrast when projected by the AAXA P300 NEO.
The AAXA P300 NEO does a decent job on skin tones - I find that most pico and pocket projectors get a little pink on skin tones when projecting this scene.
Kubo and the Two Strings looks great on the P300 NEO.
Bright scenes look good on this AAXA.
Moana looked pretty good as well.
I say this because the projector is really not bright enough for most people – I could see it being used by those under 18, though high schoolers might desire something a bit brighter. It would more likely find its place in a child’s home theater – you know, the one a dad would make for his littles. It can project a rather large image without going fuzzy, one of up to 120”.
In a fully darkened room, the NEO is capable of being vibrant, though it has a hard time in the face of more than just a little ambient light, like the light that was spilling out from behind my blackout curtains (not much). Next up is our brief discussion of the projector’s special features.
The AAXA P300 Neo is truly mobile, so if you wanted to take the projector to use on a family vacation and project on a wall, you totally could. If you were planning on doing so, I would recommend grabbing an NVIDIA Shield – that’s a super tiny streaming player and gaming system that is no bigger than a DVD case. For travel, the two would pair very well.
Aside from its tiny size, the 2.5-hour battery life makes this projector mobile. That’s quite enough for a full-length film and an episode a favorite TV show, provided that the episode is around 30 minutes. Other projectors with on-board batteries I’ve reviewed only have a 90-minute capacity, so I’m truly impressed with this feature.
The other notable feature of the AAXA P300 Neo is its on-board media player. I used this feature to project the color mode test images we use, via the USB port on the back. It worked well and the images looked as crisp as anything else I projected with the NEO. The media player can also play music files.
One thing to note is, AAXA claims the media player can handle 4K content. I don’t currently have any digital files to feed into the media player that are 4K, but I’m not entirely sure how handy that particular feature is, given the projector is only of 720p resolution. A nice thought, perhaps.
The front of the AAXA P300 Neo has the recessed lens and an air vent.
The lens of the Neo is fixed (no zoom) and recessed.
The focus ring and speaker are located on the right side of the projector when facing the lens.
The back and left side of the projector have the inputs and connectors.
The control panel is a touch panel located on the top of the projector.
The AAXA P300 Neo has a fixed, recessed located on the front of the projector and to the right. Next to that is an air vent. On the right side of the Neo are the focus wheel and 1-watt speaker. The back of the projector and the left side house the inputs and connectors, which we’ll get into in section below.
The majority of the inputs and connectors are located on the back of the projector.
And the remainder live on the side.
The P300 Neo has a good amount of inputs and connectors for watching your favorite movies, playing video games, and even presenting photos or listening to music. On the back, there’s the DC power input, a headphone port, an AV connector, with the remaining ports separated by the speaker. Those are the HDMI and USB ports, and continued on the side of the projector are the TF card (SD card) and VGA inputs.
The remote control is one of those little credit card types with buttons you have to push hard so that it can register the pressure. This is pretty typical of every remote control of this type I have ever used, both from projectors and from LED lights, such as Elite Screens’ LED lights.
Starting from the top left, there’s the power button, then the Inputs button. Under that are the Menu, Mute, Volume Up and Volume Down buttons surrounding the navigational arrows and OK button. Below, there’s the buttons for Keystone Correction, then all of the necessary buttons for playing and navigating through media player content, as well as a Back button.
AAXA P300 Neo Color Mode: Standard
AAXA P300 Neo Color Mode: ECO
AAXA P300 Neo Color Mode: Boost
The AAXA P300 Neo has three modes – Standard, Boost, and ECO. Standard is the best mode, with a soft magenta hue, and ECO has a bit of a warmer tint, but is significantly less bright. Boost is way too green for my taste, and I would advise against using it. Pretty much all brightest modes on any projector, even ones priced into the thousands, have this issue. I used Standard Mode for all of the photos in the slider below.
Kubo and the Two Strings projected by the AAXA P300 Neo.
Moana projected by the AAXA P300 Neo.
The Hunger Games projected by the AAXA P300 Neo.
I was pleased with the picture quality of the Neo for the price. It’s 720p resolution, so HD, and when viewing movie content from about 10 feet back, I couldn’t see any pixels. The color, as mentioned, is decent in Standard Mode, and will look good on all sorts of content. It’s not perfect though, so some of the colors are a bit off, as is seen in the photo of Moana on her island.
For the most part, however, I would say the color is acceptable for the amount being invested into the projector. It’s definitely fine for a child or young teen, where perhaps color isn’t the most important thing. Overall, it’s decent enough to be used as a projector for a kids’ room, bonus room, or for travel. I would personally invest in a more expensive projector for a living room or wherever you do your main movie or sports viewing.
Alright, here’s where things get sticky. AAXA claims 420 lumens on this guy. Not even close. Its brightest mode was 208 lumens. That’s over 50% below claim! Before you freak out, Art and I were both certain it would measure far below claim. We just had an inkling – these little pico projectors usually don’t get above a couple hundred lumens.
That said, it was bright enough in Standard Mode to watch movies in a darkened room during midday. I have blackout curtains, so most of the ambient light from my wide window was taken care of. There is always a little that splashes onto the screen from the sides. Standard Mode measured at 141 lumens.
I should mention that, the smaller the image, the brighter the projector. My 7-year-old nephew was over the other day when I was training my brother on reviewing projectors, and to keep him pacified, I hooked up the P300 Neo and the NVIDIA Shield. I had him at the kitchen table, with the AAXA projecting an image of about 24″ diagonal. It was quite vibrant! My kitchen window leaks ambient light like crazy, so I was truly impressed with how far the 137 lumens went on this projector.
ECO Mode measured at just 55 lumens. I really don’t see any need to use this mode, as the projector gets up to 30,000 hours of use on the light engine. ECO modes are used to preserve lamp or light engine life, but you’ll be upgrading your projector well before that light engine ever goes out. ECO Mode, if you feel like you must use it, would be suitable for pitch black nighttime viewing, and nothing else.
This tiny pico projector, as mentioned, would be suitable for a younger crowd or for travel, but not as a main projector in a living room or media room. I personally really like AAXA projectors, and think the P300 Neo is decent for the $294 price – you can find it for a few dollars less from various retailers.
If you’re looking for something with more brightness and better picture quality, I would suggest the AAXA M6 – that’s a 1,200 lumen, 1080p projector that I enjoyed immensely while I had it. If I were in the market for a portable pocket projector, the M6 is the one I’d get. That one is $599, and you’re getting a lot more lumens for that extra $200.
The AAXA P300 Neo can do all of the same stuff as that M6 though, in terms of its media player, and has pretty much the same specs, save for the lumens, contrast ratio, and resolution. I will give this to the Neo: it has a longer battery life 2.5 hours to the M6’s 1.5 hours. So if running your portable projector on battery power is important to you, this is something to consider.
If you are willing to spend the $599 to get the M6, I would also suggest checking out some of the reviews on our Pocket Projectors category page.
As for Picos, I don’t know of a better $300 projector. I’m reviewing the Acer C200, another Pico, and I’m not as impressed with that one. It is $100 less, though, so I will have to take that into account when writing the review. Still, if it were a choice between the two, I would take the AAXA.
If you’re not convinced and want to take a look around before buying, just be careful when choosing your $300 or less projector. Check the manufacturer’s name against our database of manufacturers – I personally would only ever buy a projector from one of these companies, as I’m weary of electronics from off-brands exploding or something ridiculous like that.
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