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AAXA P700 Pocket LED Projector - Picture Quality

Posted on December 5, 2015 by Art Feierman
P700 POCKET PROJECTOR - PICTURE QUALITY:  Out of the box color, Skin tones,  Business Use, Sports and HDTV, Movies and Black Levels, Overall Picture Quality

None of the preset modes of the AAXA produce particularly accurate colors.  Still the colors weren't bad, I've seen worse default colors on far more expensive projectors.  Generally, right out of the box, most imagery is a good bit oversaturated, which can be adjusted in User mode.

The last four photos in the player above show the P700's color in each of the three preset modes, and for User mode.

I did use the controls and was able to make adjustments - by eyeballing it - no calibration, resulting in what I would call much better, more accurate color.  You can only adjust User mode.  Further tweaking could bring about more improvement, but this projector does not have tremendous adjustment options.  There is no CMS to adjust individual colors, just color temp adjustments to properly balance red green and blue.

I'd suggest these settings under Color Temp: User, to start with for some real improvement:

Red:       54
Green:   63
Blue:      45

That should get you some skin tones that are pretty good (but a touch too much yellow), and some reasonably natural looking blue skies.

P700 handling skin tones

Some of these images have skin tones that are oversaturated, and in some cases too red.  I did try several different settings while doing all the photo shots.  The numbers posted above, represent some of the best skin tones seen in this player.

Considering this is a pocket projector not a serious home theater projector, not bad, especially since I didn't spend a whole lot of time adjusting the color, nor used any color adjustment aids just my eyes.

AAXA P700 as a Business Portable Projector - Picture

I've got nothing but nice things to say when it comes to using the P700 for business - or portable education, or many specialty applications.

Why?  The picture is pretty darn sharp for any WXGA projector, and better than many other small ones.

The images in this photo gallery.  Except for the ones showing menus indicating which Picture mode (i.e. Dynamic), all of these are in User mode, with the same settings used for all the other images.  Even Dynamic mode, however looks really good.  It punches up contrast, etc, for really bright vivid reds for example, that can better cut through ambient light, but even skin tones still are pretty decent, especially for business use.

The color is very good, no make that Really Good, certainly for typical business or education applications.

Hooked up to my MacBook Pro, the P700 had no aspect ratio issues, I was able to view the entire Mac's display area, with nothing truncated, cut off, etc.  Fair enough.  The MacBook Pro is 16:10 aspect ratio, just like this AAXA projector.

Powerpoint presentations look great.  In these images shot in my theater, all my rear down facing LED lights are on, and the shutters on the windows are partially open letting in some daylight, even some sunlight.  I'm projecting a 72" diagonal image, which is as large as you will find in most small conference rooms or for that matter, K-12 classrooms!

So, if you want to haul around something tiny, that complete with accessories, power brick etc., is still well below 2 pounds, while projecting on to decent sized screens (or walls) even with a modest - moderate amount of ambient light, the P700 really does get the job done.  It is as a pocket business/education projector that the P700 earns its Special Interest award.

HDTV and Sports

I didn't spend near as much time viewing typical content as I get to do with higher end home theater projectors, but I did log more than 10 hours.  I spent the better part of one day watching football (ok, a game and a half).  The P700 did well enough, but I like to run a full 124" diagonal with DirecTV's GameMix with 8 games at once. With full 1080p projectors I can see the details in all the games, 720p HD just doesn't quite make the cut for that specialty viewing.

The last photo above was taken with more ambient light present than the others.

650 lumens isn't enough to tackle more than a little ambient light at 100" diagonal but technically those 650 lumens are enough to match movie theater brightness on a 150" diagonal screen.  That means there's definitely some truth to AAXA mentioning that size.   Good for them.

For sports viewing, there is no CFI - "smooth motion" feature, but then it's found on very few projectors under $1000.  I consider having CFI a nice extra, but not a critical feature.

The AAXA can certainly tackle more than a little ambient light if you are only viewing at say 60" or 80" inches diagonal, good to know if you are one of those cord cutters, using a P700 instead of an LCDTV as what you watch when it's not a phone or laptop.

P700 handling Movies, Black Level Performance

Movie viewing is very enjoyable for a pocket projector.  Once the colors and saturation were adjusted, the P700 puts out a picture most non-critical viewers would find perfectly reasonable.  Let's face it, this isn't a projector for a serious home theater enthusiast.  I know my daughter, who recently reviewed the Optoma ML750 a direct competitor to the P700, would be satisfied with the color on this projector, as she was with the Optoma, which is also not highly accurate.  Remember, most modes on most LCDTVs fit that same description, and I've seen LCDTVs with default color significantly poorer than the AAXA.

Bright scenes look very good and have some pop to them.  In the lower brightness ranges, the projector is still good but you are more likely to notice where color is off such as skin tones on a darker indoor scene.

That brings us to how well the P700 can handle dark scenes in movies.

Black level performance of the P700 is pretty typical of pocket projectors which is to say, no match for serious home theater projectors.  This projector isn't for the home theater enthusiast who is into having great picture quality.

Still, you won't find many projectors under about $1200 that are significantly better.  It's when you are spending $2000+ on a home theater projector where you get the huge improvement in black levels, which directly correlates to how good a projector looks/performs on the darkest scenes.

You see above, the last three photos in the player are our usual very dark scenes, intentionally greatly overexposed  and converted to grayscale (for ease when comparing).  We have these same images in virtually every projector we've reviewed for the home, so that you can compare.  The more pop to those images, without loss of dark shadow detail, the better.

This AAXA projector is pretty good for movie viewing as pocket projectors go, but you will get better color and a sharper image from a 1080p lamp based projector for a couple hundred dollars more.  As long as you understand that, and the P700 makes sense for other reasons as well, go for it.

Overall Picture Quality of the P700

The P700 is certainly one of the more impressive pocket projectors when it comes to picture quality.  Sure, you can spend over twice as much for that really nice LG we previously reviewed, and get the higher 1080p resolution, but few people on the non-home side need higher resolution.   When it comes to color handling, and overall picture, the P700 is certainly a good performer, especially for the price.

On the home side of things, once you adjust the color a bit - try our settings, you'll like them better than the default ones - the projector does just fine.  On the home side my only issue relating to the picture isn't really a picture quality issue, it relates to handling of aspect ratios.  Feed the P700 a movie from your computer, and the aspect ratio should be right on the money, but until AAXA comes up with a minor fix, movies from DVD, Blu-ray, satellite and cable boxes will be just slightly vertically stretched, unless you can adjust as needed from the source device - which isn't very likely.

Until a couple of years ago, color handling and many other aspects of picture quality that would be important to the home projector crowd needed a lot of work, but the P700 is a really good example of one of these pocket projectors that can do a pretty impressive job.

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