AAXA P700 LED Pocket Projector Review – Performance

P700 PROJECTOR – PERFORMANCE:  Brightness, Sharpness, Audible Noise, Image Noise

AAXA P700 Projector:  Brightness Measurements vs. Claim, User Mode
Mode Claimed Lumens Measured Lumens
Boost 650 ? 741
Normal 650 ? 581
ECO 350 237

The AAXA P700 literature simply says that the projector is 650 lumens bright, and 350 in ECO.   Problem:  There are three modes.  ECO, Normal, and Boost.  The documentation doesn’t say whether the 650 lumens is supposed to be Boost or Normal.  Then there are multiple pre-set modes:  User (which is what I used to measure, with the settings I’ve listed), Mild, Dynamic, and Standard.

As it turns out, there is virtually no difference in brightness between any of these preset modes.  User, it turns out, measured the second highest, but only by 1% (yep, 7 lumens).  Normally that’s within the margin of error, but when the meter his held stationary, and I’m switching modes there is an immediate change in the numbers, in this case, from 305 lux to 308 lux at the brightest.  The least of the modes is almost 3% less than User, so there’s not quite a 4% difference between brightest and dimmest mode – not enough to care about, really not enough to even notice.  What you might notice is the different color balance and contrast between the preset modes, but not the brightness difference.

No matter, as you can see from the chart:

Boost measured significantly brighter than the 650 lumens claimed.  741 lumens is impressive.

Normal came up a bit short at 581, but only about 10% below maximum claim.

If there’s something to complain about (claim vs measured), its ECO mode, which is the only mode the P700 can run when on battery.  Still, 237 lumens, although way below claim, is extremely impressive for a battery powered projector, with most topping out at less than 100 lumens.

 

The first of images in the player above shows a wide shot of my screen with the P700 in front on a small tripod, projecting a 72″ diagonal image.  That’s followed by two more photos showing the amount of light in the room from partially open shutters, rear lights, and coming in from a skylight in the adjacent room.

So, in summary, the P700 is still extremely impressively bright for a projector that can run on batteries.  And, when running on AC, you can choose that mode, or one of two much brighter modes.

Keep in mind that 741 lumens is impressive.  While todays basic lamp based projectors are mostly 2000 to 3000 lumens, 750 lumens is enough to do a respectable job in a classroom or small conference room.  For many years, 800 to 1000 lumen projectors ruled those environments, and many, if not most of those are still in use today!

Now if you are taking this projector home, consider the brightness this way.  In a fully darkened cave or home theater, with a normal screen of 1.1 to 1.3 gain (figure a white (not off-white) wall to be about 1.0 gain), you need less than 450 lumens to properly fill a 100″ diagonal screen.  With 741 lumens that technically means you have enough brightness for that room for a 150″ diagonal screen.

Seriously, until 3D became a standard feature on higher end home theater projectors almost all of them produced calibrated output of between 500 and 900 lumens.  Of course if you are going to use the projector in less ideal circumstances you’ll probably want to keep image size to 100″ diagonal maximum when plugged in, and to about 50″ diagonal on battery  (about 72″ diagonal in a dark room).

Pretty impressive!

Sharpness

Overall, sharpness, which I’ve mentioned previously, is rather good for a pocket or pico projector.  Expectations aren’t as high for these projectors as lamp based ones, as there’s more tendency to be sharper in the center, rolling off to the corners.

The P700 however, was pretty good in that regard, as you can see from the photo I just took, of this paragraph.  And there’s a closeup above showing the small menu type as well.

There is one issue however.  The P700 tends to de-focus a bit in the first 5-10 minutes of use.  That is, if you immediately focus it, you’ll notice a bit later on that the image is a bit softer.  This too, is not an uncommon issue with these small projectors, and some large ones.

Just figure that you’ll probably want to quickly readjust the focus after those first 5-10 minutes, for best picture.  Or, if you are routinely using the P700 from the same distance each time, Wait 10 minutes before you first focus it.  Then when you power up in the future, it will be a little soft, but sharpen up.

All considered, this is a WXGA projector – 1280×800, just slightly higher than 720p.  That means it’s using the most popular resolution these days for business, but not as high as most over $700 home projectors, which tend to now all be 1080p:  1920×1080.  In that regard, a lamp based projector for your home, if you are spending the extra, will provide a real difference in detail.  At this time, there are a couple of 1080p resolution pocket projectors, but they are all in the $1000+ price range, so over twice as expensive.

Audible Noise

The P700 has a serious fan.  When it’s running at full speed, it’s definitely on the noisy side.  I believe in some literature I saw a 30 db claim.  I’ll assume that’s when the fan is running in its quieter mode.  But the fan noise is variable, it will speed up and slow down as needed to keep the projector cool.  Even in Eco mode, there is fan noise/speed variation.  At it’s noisiest it’s probably around 35-36 db (we don’t measure), perhaps 30 or just under at its quietest.

That’s not bad in general.  There are a number of home theater projectors that are in the 31-33 db range at full power, and mid 20’s in their eco modes.  36 db would be about average or slightly quieter than most lamp based business projectors running at full power.  The pitch of the fan noise is a little on the high side, but not enough to be an annoying whine.

For a business presentation in a conference room, you’ll notice the fan noise, but you won’t have to shout over it.  It’s just not that loud. No problem.

Image Noise

For a DLP, the amount of basic background mosquito noise seems reasonable to low, more comparable to LCD projectors – that’s a good thing.  No real issues in terms of image noise.  I did not notice any particular issues in terms of motion artifacts either.

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