Projector Reviews

AAXA P400 Portable Short Throw LED Projector Review – Page 2

CHASSIS

The AAXA P400 measures 4.5 inches x 4 inches x 2.3 inches, making the P400 a true pocket projector that can easily be taken just about anywhere. On the front of the P400, there is a small speaker along with the lens.

On the left side of the chassis is a USB-A port along with a pair of cooling fans. On the right side of the unit is a single HDMI input, a 3.5mm headphone output, a recessed Hard Reset button, along with a focus adjustment wheel and an Off/On switch.

There is a TF Card slot for Mini-SD cards along with a USB-C connection located on the rear of the projector. The bottom of the AAXA P400 has a threaded ¼” tripod input to attach it to a compatible tripod or light stand. AAXA includes a pocket tripod in the box.

Aaxa P400 On A Tripod - Projector Reviews - Image
The AAXA P400 includes a small tabletop tripod

The keypad located on the AAXA P400 is simple and easy to figure out. The keypad works well with no complaints. The buttons are large with visual icons for Up, Down, Left, and Right; Volume Up and Down; a Menu and a Back button; and the Enter button labeled “OK” in the middle.

Aaxa P400 Remote Control - Projector Reviews - Image

The P400 includes a basic credit card-type remote control which includes the basic button needed to operate the projector. It does include dedicated buttons for keystone correction. Note that the P400 only has one remote sensor located on the back of the chassis, so the remote does not work unless in line of sight to the rear sensor.

Aaxa P400 Lens Close-up - Projector Reviews - Image
The AAXA P400 has a short throw lens

The lens is recessed to help protect it from scratches. This fixed lens has no zoom capabilities. There is a lens focus adjustment wheel located on the right side of the projector below the HDMI input

Throw Distance Based on Screen Size

Diagonal Screen Size Throw Distance
32” 20”
48” 30”
64” 40”
80” 50”
96 60”

The P400 is the only model in the AAXA lineup that is equipped with a short throw lens. Due to the project’s throw ratio of 0.7:1, the unit can project a 100″ image from just 5.25 feet away. Typical projectors require almost double the distance.

MENUS

Picture and sound adjustments, along with the projector’s built-in Media Player, can be accessed from the Main Menu. When a USB or TF card is inserted into the projector, you can use the Photo, Video, and Music icons to search and playback the desired content.

Under the SETTING section, there are four more submenus that can be used to adjust things like Picture Preset Mode, Brightness Color Temperature, Sound Mode, and conduct software updates. The layout is simple, but you do have options to adjust the projector’s picture and sound quality as well as light output.

PERFORMANCE

The P400 has four different preset picture modes. VIVID mode is the brightest, but bright details are blown out. The best-looking picture modes out-of-the-box we’re STANDARD and USER.  I used USER mode for the screenshots below.

There are picture adjustment settings, but they are only available in USER mode. Out of the box, the blacks were crushed making it hard to see shadow detail. This can be improved by increasing the Brightness setting while reducing the Contrast setting to maintain high light detail.

When it comes to picture quality, it’s all about managing your expectations. The AAXA P400 is a tiny LED projector that retails for less than $300 making it one of the least expensive projectors I have ever reviewed. When looked at from this perspective, P400’s picture quality is what you would expect for its price point and its size. 

There are three light source BRIGHTNESS levels which are Bright, Standard and ECO. The Bright option is only available when the P400 is plugged into power. AAXA P400 has a rated brightness of 400 LED lumens. Since AAXA doesn’t provide an ANSI lumens rating, we took the time to measure it.

I took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens which usually gives a pretty good approximation of ANSI lumens. I measured the P400 in its brightest picture mode which is VIVID with light source BRIGHTNESS set to “Bright.”

The AAXA P400 measured 173 lumens.

While 173 lumens of brightness is not a lot, the P400 was bright enough to watch TV and movies in a darkened room during the day.  AAXA states that the P400 can be used for screen sizes exceeding 100 inches, but based on its light output, I think it looks best on screens 70 inches or smaller.

SUMMARY

I didn’t notice a big difference in brightness when switching the preset picture modes.  However, changing the light source BRIGHTNESS setting does impact light. I measured 146 lumens in Standard and 88 lumens in ECO. When the projector’s BRIGHTNESS was set to Bright, there is a noticeable increase in fan noise. 

While setting the light source BRIGHTNESS setting to Eco will extend the battery life, but due to its limited brightness, its use should be limited to watching content at night on a smaller screen.

The sound system included in the P400 is good for its size. There are four Sound presets Standard, Music, Movie, Sports, and lastly, USER mode which gives you the ability to adjust Bass and Treble.  I thought the Standard and Music modes sounded the best.

Aaxa P400 Projector Promotional Banner - Projector Reviews - Image

The AAXA P400 can project on a blank wall or a screen, and its compact size and short throw lens make it ideal for rooms where space is limited. TV shows and movies looked okay in the projector’s STANDARD and USER modes. You can use the projector’s limited custom picture adjustments which are available in the USER picture to improve the picture quality slightly.

For those looking for a brighter portable 1080P LED projector, the AAXA M7 is definitely worth the additional $200. The M7 is nearly 3 times brighter than the P400 making it a better solution for a larger screen.

Aaxa P400 Projector Promotional Banner - Projector Reviews - Image

While spending a couple of 100 bucks more would produce a noticeable improvement in picture quality, the AAXA P400 performance is good for its price point. If you are looking for a super compact, inexpensive projector to take camping, the picture and sound quality of the AAXA P400 are good enough to get the job done.

PROS

  • 30,000 Hour LED light source
  • $269 list price
  • Full HD (1920x 1080) resolution
  • Short throw Lens
  • 2-hour Battery (ECO mode)
  • Built-in Media Player
  • Built-in speaker
  • Ultra-compact design

CONS

  • Fans are noisy in the brightest lamp mode
  • Color reproduction is mediocre
  • More brightness would be beneficial
  • No Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity