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Elmo BOXi T-200 Pocket Projector: Performance

Posted on January 6, 2014 by Art Feierman

BOXi T-200 Brightness

Brightness of BOXi T200 Projector:  Measurements by Mode
Display Mode Lumens
User 131
Cinema 122
Photo 125
Normal 126
Game 129
Presentation 127
MAX 148

Note that with the exception of the brightest mode which is MAX and measured 148 lumens - almost hitting the 150 lumen claim, All of of the other modes are near identical in brightness.  with only about an 8% difference between the brightest of those others - User Mode at 131 measured lumens (at least the way I adjusted it), and the least bright, which was Cinema at 122 lumens.  Color Temps and other aspects vary, but most of the modes are overall similar other than the noticeable difference as to whether a mode is designed to be warm, cool, or somewhere in the middle.

As mentioned previously, User mode gives you three choices of color temp, three choices of gamma, and a choice of two color spaces!  Not bad.


Shown here, the Boxi projector is projecting about a 30" diagonal image.  Note that at, this size it's brighter than the display of my MacBook Pro, which has the display on maximum brightness.  The shutters to the right are almost all the way open, on a sunny day, as you can see.  Another shuttered window, in the back of the room is equally open.  Not bad!

Click Image to Enlarge

Eco-Mode on the T-200 Projector

Brightness variation:  Full Power vs. Eco-mode
Full Power (Cinema) 122
Eco-mode (Cinema) 59.4

Elmo states that Eco mode reduces brightness by 46%.

As you can see in our table, that was pretty close to what we measured.  I measured the Cinema  display mode, and then switched to Eco.  I measured a reduction of about 51% which for trying to measure this size projector seems within the margin of error.

On the other hand, I seriously doubt that any but a few, would run this projector in less than full power.  Hey, 120-150 lumens just isn't "that" bright, that many would find it too bright - even if only projecting a 15 or 20 inch screen size!

BOXi Audible Noise

It's time to now discuss my single biggest complaint about Elmo's BOXi pocket projector:

It has a high pitched fan whine.  It's nothing so loud to be insurmountable, but, let's say you are done using your BOXi for a small business presentation, where the noise wasn't a problem, you wouldn't have to shout over it, or anything.  Then, perhaps you find yourself back in your hotel room, ready to shine the BOXi on the wall to enjoy a movie.

You will notice the whine on quiet scenes.  It's not devastating, nor is it likely to even measure overly loud, it's just not a good frequency, and the pitch does change as the fan seems to run at a variable speed, likely speeding up automatically if it starts warming up.

Fan whine on pocket projectors is nothing new, and I've not yet encountered a pocket projector where I found the whine to be so offensive that I wouldn't recommend the projector on that basis.

Again, the whine would be only a minor inconvenience if you are using the projector for a presentation to two or three people no more so than some other projectors which might be lower pitched, but louder.

That said, I don't think I'd want to watch a music video on this projector when the music is mostly soft  with lots of pretty quiet passages with this projector.  Of course, I really wouldn't want to be listening to serious music on a one watt sound system either.

The good news: I eventually concluded that if it's just me watching / listening, I'll just take out my good Shure earbuds that are noise canceling, and enjoy the music on high quality earpieces rather than a too small speaker devoid of bass.  You can figure out your best plan!


BOXi T-200 Sharpness

The BOXi projector is reasonably sharp.  I'm working with what are most likely pre-production projectors (very low serial number - on paper on the bottom, and no manuals).  I have two of them here.  The first projector I got in, focused well enough, but if I wasn't careful holding it, it would shift slightly after I finished.  I'd have to be careful, or rather I got the hang of it, but I was able to get a good focus and have it hold.

It was a little too much work, so I asked for them to send another.  Sure enough the second T-200 arrived, the focus dial on the side was a little tighter, and there was no issue at all.  Oh, it's still a small dial, a larger one would be less coarse, but, all and all, I don't consider focusing the projector to be an issue.

More to the point, the picture, once focused looks pretty sharp.  It's not "razor sharp" but It's more than sharp enough for displaying emails and spreadsheets and other fine type.

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