P700 - The Big Picture
What we have here is one impressively bright projector for its small size and weight. Just under 7x4 inches footprint is small, but the weight - under 1.4 pounds, and under 2 pounds with power brick, make it very light and portable solution. Despite the excellent portability here's a projector that measured almost 750 lumens maximum, and with a pretty darn good looking picture at that. (Many projectors in their brightest modes have somewhat questionable color.)
Street price is right around or slightly below the current MSRP of $449 here in the US. For that you get projector, remote, a couple of adapter cables for AV and VGA, and the small power brick.
Now there are a significant number of pocket projectors out there, and even more pico projectors. I won't get into the true "pico" projectors which are far smaller, but almost always less than 100 lumens maximum. They are generally too underpowered to be serious presentation tools even before a group of 2 or three people, unlike this AAXA projector which can tackle 5-30+ people or more in a conference room, training room, or classroom, without any real difficulty.
One thing that really sets the P700 apart from most of the competition is that it will run on batteries. In fact, by our measurements it produces about 250 lumens when running on its internal battery. And you can buy spares, in case you are far from reliable AC power. Battery life is just over one hour, so with multiple batteries charged and ready to go, you can watch movies or present for hours.
Color out of the box isn't bad, but quickly and easily improvable. I simply suggest that you look to our User menu image (hardware page), and drop those settings into the User mode of your P700, and enjoy far better looking color. We didn't attempt to calibrate the P700, and for that matter it lacks a full set of controls for a proper calibration, but it has good basic controls that will deliver the color you see in our photo examples! Not bad, not bad at all!!!
I like the small remote. Sound is actually pretty impressive from two, tiny 1 watt speakers all considered, but remember this is a very small device. There's an audio out for headphones or a separate sound system. The inputs are great with one exception The P700 has an HDMI input, but doesn't have full MHL support so you can just plug in a streaming stick like Roku, call up Netflix and watch a movie, as so many cord cutting millennials are now doing. There's a cable work around for some Samsung Android devices. Apple TV works fine.
I would have liked to see Wifi capabilities, even as an option. If you need that, there are a couple of pocket projectors that can provide that. BTW there's no 3D, but that's OK, as a rule these pocket projectors just aren't bright enough for reasonable 3D, although the full output of the P700 is close.
P700 Value Proposition Business
As a business portable I think that the P700 is an excellent overall choice if you are looking for something far smaller and lighter than lamp based projectors. It's feature set is very good, especially the many inputs. It's plenty bright, has enough sound output to carry a small conference room (not very hifi of course - no real bass).
It sets up quickly, even comes with a matching tiny tripod. It's WXGA resolution is basically the current standard for business and education, even though higher resolutions are out there now at higher prices (WUXGA, 1080p and 4K). Still I can't think of a higher resolution pocket projector under $1000, nor a higher resolution, far larger, lamp based projector under $600. Full MHL support would have been nice for more interfacing to some mobile devices, but you can deal with many of those with traditional HDMI. I have used the P700 extensively, for example with my MacBook Pro.
There are always trade-offs but the P700 is one of the best choices for typical business/education portable (and in office) use when considering pocket projectors. What can really set it apart though from most of the competition out there at the moment is the ability to run an hour plus on battery (and that you can swap out spare batteries too.)
All considered, it is the strength of the AAXA P700 for a wide variety of business and education use that earns it our Special Interest Award.
P700 Value Proposition - Home
I'm equally impressed with the P700 as a home entertainment pocket projector but for two issues. If not for those, I certainly would have awarded the P700 our Hot Product Award, which differs from our Special Interest award by indicating a more versatile product that can well serve a wider range of uses and people.
Everything previously said still applies, in terms of respectable color, impressive sound for its size, and generally great interfacing options.
This portable is bright enough for movie night running in your back yard on batteries! (Just be sure to have a spare or two, since each lasts just about one hour.) More generally, at full Boost, or Normal modes its bright enough to easily fill a 100" diagonal screen, or a lot larger - in a fully darkened room, and has enough juice to fight more than a little ambient light on screen sizes from 50 to 100 inch diagonal! Nice!
The downsides are twofold. One is a "flaw" - something that needs to be fixed by AAXA. The good news that all it requires is a firmware update - if AAXA comes out with one. The P700 is designed to allow a user to upgrade the firmware. I have, and it's easy.
What's the flaw? The aspect ratio is wrong for movie viewing off of devices such as DVD and Blu-ray players, satellite and cable boxes. What's happening is that it's taking 16:9 content (720p or 1080p) and vertically stretching it to fill the full height of the 16:10 image. Thus you get everything stretched by about 10%. Many folks won't notice, but many will. Some like me will find that to be enough of a flaw to lose enthusiasm, others will fit into the "could care less" category. When you look at our various movie and HDTV images in this review - is the stretching something that you notice/bothers you?
The other issue is not a flaw, it's just a feature that the P700 lacks. I had hoped for full MHL support on HDMI, so you can easily plug in a streaming stick. That's big for those unplugged millennials. Of course there are other solutions, but none as small, light and portable as a streaming stick. I'll bet you whatever replaces the P700 in a year or two will have MHL!
On the plus side, I watched football, and movies, and some HDTV on the P700 and folks, it was pretty reasonable (both brightness and color) - that assessment coming from a hard core crazy enthusiast. Oh, true, I couldn't wait to switch back to a $2300 Epson home theater projector at first, and now, the second I power this P700 down, I'm switching to my own current personal slice of heaven, the new $15,000 true 4K Sony VPL-VW665ES which just arrived.
Still, the P700 did good!
AAXA P700: The Bottom Line, plus Pros and Cons
The bottom line: The P700 is an excellent choice among serious portable pocket projectors - or as some call them, large pico projectors - for business and education field and in building use. Due to the aspect ratio issue, it's not quite as great a choice for pure home use, and having MHL would have been nice for at least some folks, but, my opinion of the P700 for home/portable use moves up a couple of notches, if AAXA deals with that aspect ratio issue.
Overall, I really like the projector, and consider it one of the better values out there. Warranty is one year parts and labor, as good or better than most, but there are some longer ones, both in pocket, and lamp based projectors at this price point. I'll finish up with this thought about manufacturers supporting their products, then get into the bulleted Pros and Cons.
As I see it, whether AAXA comes out with a firmware upgrade for the aspect or not is an indication of how seriously they take their support of their products. Some companies are outstanding in this regard, others, ok, and some are simply shipping boxes and good luck to you. I can say this much, I spoke extensively with AAXA support (which is here in the US), and they are aware of the issue now (if they weren't before). Somehow the couple of existing reviews out there failed to notice this flaw! Well, I do believe we are the first projector review site to tackle this projector, the others are Mac sites, or general reviewers.
Hey, AAXA, if you are reading this about bringing out that firmware upgrade, I'm "motivating you!" Fix the aspect ratio issue, impress your fans, show the world that you have great support! Someone's got to yell occasionally to represent the consumers.
- Very Portable - lightweight and small
- Yet very bright - up to almost 750 lumens, well over claim
- LED light engine claims 15,000 hours life (this will be obsolete tech long before you get there)
- It will run on internal battery - over 1 hour, at almost 250 lumens
- You can change out batteries
- HDMI input (also microSD, USB, VGA, and AV (composite video)
- Comes with small tripod
- Capable of some pretty good color
- Good menus (once you get used to how they work)
- Small remote works well for one its size
- Sound is surprisingly good for a small projector, but still...
- There is a stereo audio out for headphones or bigger sound system
- Well priced
- Has a slight vertical image stretch issue with 16:9 sources
- Although still impressive at 239 lumens on battery, they claim 350
- Does not have MHL support on HDMI, so no streaming sticks...
- As a portable, it would have been nice to include a soft carry case!
- Color out of the box could be better, but easily adjusted
- Lacks Wifi (even optional Wifi would have been nice)
- No backlight on remote (hey, "credit card" remotes never have backlights, so rare would be the pocket projector that has one
- Not a real con, but if you are using the small tripod, get a light weight HDMI cable so it does't pull on, or even knock over the projector. This is an issue with all pico and pocket projectors