The Q3 Plus, is a 720p HD LED projector. True, that's the lower of two HD standards, but that's "the good stuff" considering an under $400 street price.
Its 500 lumens really can properly light up a 100" diagonal screen (or white wall) in a darkened room. Perhaps the best question is how they pack that into a 1 pound projector along with:
- A built in rechargeable battery that can power the projector for up to two hours. That's impressive, but also
- A built in power supply - so no separate "power brick" with extra weight!
- 2 (small internal speakers)
- tripod mount screw, and fold down front foot
- Bluetooth - to feed the audio to larger powered speakers
- Built in media player and over 5 Gig of space (more than enough for a movie). And memory is expandable.
- MHL and mirroring - for streaming, working with portable devices...
All considered, this Qumi is the brightest, smallest, most feature laden "pocket" projector around. Oh what fun! For you, for family, for friends.
Perhaps the Qumi 3 Plus is the best stocking stuffer this side of diamonds!
A Screen that can handle ambient light: EliteScreen's Aeon CineGrey 3D
Elite screens announced their first Aeon screen just over two years ago. The Aeon series screens
are cosmetically interesting. There’s been a growing trend away from fixed screens with wide black borders of velour, to borderless screens like this Aeon, which Elite calls Edge Free. Optional is a fine 10mm (.4 inch) black edge trim. You likely would opt for the edge if the wall behind the screen is lighter colored to create a fine defining edge.
Elite Screens Aeon Edge Free - manufacturer's image, they say no "photoshopping" done, real lighting
That’s cool, certainly if frameless is your taste, go for it, but even more important are the screen surface options.
Elite’s Aeon screen offers a choice of two different surfaces depending on your viewing needs. There’s the traditional matte white, which will work great in your theater or cave, or Cinegrey 3D, Elite's ALR (ambient light rejecting) surface, which is ideal in a media, family, or living room environment as it is optimized to “reject” ambient light. This can make a huge difference. I personally considered this surface for my upcoming living room installation, but unfortunately, my room calls for a motorized screen – call it the “spouse factor”, and the Aeon Cinegrey 3D screen is only available in fixed screen configuration! Darn!
Elite Aeon Screen with included LED RGB lighting kit (Photo taken with iPhone at trade show)
Pricing is, to say the least – aggressive! A huge, 120″ 16:9 Aeon screen with the 1.5 gain Cinegrey 3D surface retails for a impressively low price of $749, while a 100" is only $574. Considering the special surface, that’s great. Of course if you only need a classic 1.1 gain matte white surface, instead of the ALR, the MSRP is only $560 on the 120"... Pick the one that works for your room and viewing tastes!
You might even want the ALR surface in your dedicated theater as well. If you are mostly a movie person, and therefore lights and ambient light is minimal, the traditional matte surface is probably all you need, but if you also want controlled ambient light from windows or lights, for social gatherings, choose the Aeon ALR, as it will negate a significant portion of the light coming in, especially from the sides.
Elite Screens is one of the best selling (and affordable) brands of projection screens available in the US. They have been importing their screens from Asia since the early 2000's, and have a truly extensive lineup of screen types, sizes and frames, including some advanced screen surfaces such as their ALR.
I have one Elite screen (their HC Gray) that I use in my testing room. I have been considering adding one of these CineGrey 3D screens to my home theater, so I can really light up the room when viewing sports.
We piled awards on that first 7820HD projector. Viewsonic still isn't done torturing the competition, for their prices are still as competitive as any, but they're serving up a 3 year warranty when the other guys are mostly 1 year, (OK in fairness, there are some two year warranties in the price range.)
The images in the player above, are from our review of the PJD7835HD that this Viewsonic replaces. Expect even better.
3500 lumens! OK I hate to use this now overused expression, but 3500 lumens is HUGE! This is one serious projector for a street price between $800 and $900! When I say serious, here's a projector that can play in relatively bright rooms that previously were the domain of only LCD TVs and not projectors.
Yep, this really is great news: As there's no more reason to settle for 65" or 71" diagonal TVs, this projector is not only ready to take those TVs on, but you can watch your sports, HDTV and movies twice the size and then some, compared to those little TVs. We recommend pairing with the right screen of course. So you might just want to check out the two "bright room" screens in our other guide. Amazing, without breaking the bank.
The new PJD7836 has MHL (an upgrade from the older version), and some pretty big sound built in, so no problem streaming your favorite content. Or go "old school" with cable or satellite, but of course for the best picture, you'll want a Blu-ray player (nice that those start at under $50 these days).
Sports fans, this Viewsonic will rock your world - try DirecTV's Sunday Ticket GameMix and watch 2, 4, or 8 games at once, and because you've got a big screen, you can see all the action - even with 8 games going! (Yes, you can read the numbers on the uniforms, easily see the ball, and the various ticker info across the bottom of each game!)
If you want to run your projector in the real world (family rooms, etc.), rather than a fully darkened cave, aka "dedicated home theater," and if the PJD7836HDL fits your budget, this may be your perfect gift to you, or the whole family. (Besides, a Maserati won't fit under your Christmas tree, Hanukah bush, etc...)
OK, we're not done yet. Two more projectors to go, so check out the next page, where we feature our smallest entry:
Epson's Brand New Home Cinema 3700 - a "step-up" 3LCD Bright Room projector loaded with impressive features, and
Sony' VPL-HW45ES - My idea of the best serious home theater projector under $2000!