Optoma LH150 First Look Review – Compact, Portable, and 1080p

Optoma-LH150_Front

The Optoma LH150 was on display this year at CES, held in Las Vegas in the beginning of 2019. This 1080p projector is a portable home entertainment projector that’s compact enough to fit in a backpack or briefcase. Whether you’re looking to bring it to a friend’s house for some casual gaming, on the road for a presentation, or in your carry on for a flight going halfway across the world. Simple in design, this little projector packs a punch, boasting 1,300 lumens – enough for rooms with a mild amount of ambient light.

Before we get into it – what is a First Look Review? Our First Look Reviews are one-page, simple reviews based on the projector’s specs, features, and our thoughts based on those aspects, before we get the projector in for review – these First Looks are a mixture of insight and common sense. We won’t know if the projector lives up to our expectations unless we get it in for testing, but we can make assumptions from what we know about similar projectors from the manufacturers, in addition to those specs/features. Now, on with our First Look Review of the Optoma LH150!

Overview

The Optoma LH150 is an $899, 1080p projector that can run on battery power – but more on that in the Special Features section. It claims 1,300 lumens, which means it’s no bright room projector, but can handle a mild amount of ambient light. It will do well in rooms where there is some control over ambient light, and, of course, in a fully darkened room. In my bright living room, I installed blackout curtains, since I have a home theater projector that, when calibrated, emits around the same amount of lumens as this little guy.

The LH150 is a single chip DLP projector with an RGB LED light engine. That light engine claims a lifetime up to 30,000 hours. That’s good for a decade or so of some serious viewing, and by then, there will probably be 8K projectors of this size. Or, maybe even better (one can home). The projector has a contrast ratio of 160,000:1, but we tend to judge projectors on their black level performance rather than go by these manufacturer claims. In the case of this Optoma, I think it’s safe to say that black levels will be entry level – that is, recognizable as blacks, but more of a medium dark grey.

The projector is about the size of a small text book, measuring just 11” long, 7.5” wide, and 2.25” thick. At just under 5 lbs, it is light enough to take in your carry on when traveling by air. As an added bonus, the Optoma LH150 has its own carrying case. The projector comes with that case, a power supply, remote control, batteries, and the Quick Start Guide. Let’s check out the LH150’s highlights before moving on to our discussion of its special features.

Highlights

  • $899 List Price
  • 1080p (1920 x 1080) Resolution
  • 1,300 Lumens – Bright Enough to Handle Mild Ambient Light
  • DLP Technology
  • RGB LED Light Engine – Up to 30,000 Hours
  • 160,000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • Short Throw
  • Lightweight and Portable
  • Optional Wireless – Screen-mirror Android, Windows, and Mac Devices
  • USB Display to Screen-mirror Android and iOS Devices
  • 4-Watt Stereo Speakers
  • Bluetooth Connectivity for Wireless Speakers
  • 5 Hour Battery Life
  • 1 Year Parts and Labor Warranty, 1 Year or 20,000 Hours on the Light Engine

The Special Features

The Optoma LH150 has more special features than I expected. First off, that Bluetooth connectivity for wireless speakers is a nice touch. It does have two 4-watt stereo speakers, which is fantastic for those who don’t have, a deep, bass-y Bluetooth speaker, but if you do, it’s super cool that you can use it! That’ll spice up your outdoor movie night (come on, Spring, we’re ready for you!) and get you the robust sound your movies deserve. It also has a 2.5-hour battery life, so you don’t even need to run a power source outside to watch.

The LH150 has some optional wireless capabilities. Using the optional wireless module, not included, you can screen-mirror your Android, Windows, or Mac device to share documents, photos, and even videos directly to the projector. Additionally, the projector has USB display to screen-mirror Android and iOS devices. Nice. Its short throw design means you can project from just a few feet away from your wall or screen surface – a nice touch for those compact urban apartments, hotel rooms, and dorm rooms.

The Hardware

Optoma-LH150_Back

The Optoma LH150 has a super simple back panel for the inputs and connectors. There are just six inputs total, including the DC power port. Starting at the left, we have the Audio Out port, two HDMI inputs (one for MHL), and two USBs next to the power connector. The USB on the left is for the optional wireless module, while the one on the right is to connect mobile devices for screen-mirroring, which we talked about in the previous section.

The Bottom Line

Overall, the Optoma LH150 seems to be a great new addition to the Optoma line of compact home entertainment projectors. Though we don’t have an input lag claim for this projector, Optomas tend to be fantastic gaming projectors, and the manufacturer mentions that the LH150 can be used for gaming. I wouldn’t assume it’s one of the faster projectors, but perhaps around the 30-40ms mark. This is just conjecture, of course. All in all, I like the LH150’s portability, simplicity, features, and its lumen claim of 1,300 lumens. Not bad, Optoma.

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