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HB Opto HBP503D - Performance

Posted on July 31, 2013 by Phil Jones

HB Opto HBP503D HBP503D Brightness

HBP503D brightness measurements came in a bit under claim, but that is typical. We normally "rejoice" when we review a projector that measures better than what the manufacturer claims.  (Perhaps we are too conservative?)

The image was taken during a family vacation.  We took the HBP503D to use it for movie watching, and viewing photos we took.  It worked out great.  Note that the HBP503D is running off of it's battery pack.  The dining room lights (there are something like 8 in that chandelier), were about 2/3 dimmed, but still throwing plenty of light as you can tell around the projected image, and on the projector at the bottom.  Yet colors are still pretty well saturated.

We did measurements fro Bright and Eco mode using default settings, and measured first with AC power plugged in, then repeated with the battery pack connected:


HBP503D Measured Brightness, Bright mode, AC power:  275 lumens

HBP503D Measured Brightness, Eco mode, AC power:  193 lumens almost exactly a 30% drop

HBP503D Measured Brightness, Bright mode, Battery Pack:  196 lumens
HBP503D Measured Brightness, Bright mode, Battery Pack (while charging):  204 lumens

HBP503D Measured Brightness, Eco mode, Battery Pack: 140 lumens
HBP503D Measured Brightness, Eco mode, Battery Pack (while charging): 143 lumen

Click Image to Enlarge

Some notes, the battery seems to be have just slightly differently in terms of measured lumens, depending on whether the battery is charging or not, and depending on whether the battery is fully charged or nearing discharge.  Fortunately the differences are very slight, never exceeding 10 lumens.

Image :  The projector is running off of the battery pack (206 lumens).. MacBook Pro is blocking view of projector.  MacBook Pro screen is at about half brightness.  Projected image size is almost 50 inches wide. Rear room lights (2 60 watt down facing) are on, lighting up the equipment on the table (table is about half way from lights to screen).

Click Image to Enlarge

Bottom Line on the HBP503D projector's brightness:  Assuming you want max brightness possible, you've got 275 lumens or about  200 lumens depending on whether you are on AC or battery.  Eco mode always brings about a drop of about 30%, but you probably won't use eco-mode except when running on battery power, and then when it is important to have the battery to power the HBP503D projector for as long as possible.

The important thing to note is that 275 or 200 lumens is real brightness.  True, no match for today's larger projectors which are typically about 10 times as bright (2000 to 3500 lumens), but bright enough to be used seriously.  This projector has the brightness to do a 5 foot diagonal image with a modest amount of room light.  At a 2 foot diagonal, it can cut through an awful lot of ambient light.

If a classroom, for example, has a typical 5 foot diagonal screen, AND good room lighting control, so that it can be mostly dark, this pocket HB Opto projector can, in that environment do what most larger projectors could do in the same room, but with full lighting on.  It's like the "good old days", when using a projector meant lights way down or off.  Note that the best projector around in 1995 claimed 250 lumens (Epson ELP3000 and an identical InFocus who's model I can't remember). Both were referred to as auditorium capable - able to handle a 25 foot screen.  (the assumption was pitch darkness).


Sharpness Slideshow

Test Image

Here's a test image at 720p resolution that gives you a good idea how sharp the projector is .

Test Pattern

In the test pattern, we have zoomed in at the text at the bottom center. You are looking at only about 15% of the entire image, the rest has been cropped away. Even the tiny type is very readable. That type is smaller than one would ever use in a presentation.

Light Leakage

The HB Opto HBP503D does leak light.  That light is coming through the lens, and can be seen as a soft haze around the actual full resolution image.  That leakage can be noticeable with a bright image being projected, but it's hardly dramatic, and most aren't likely to notice.  It could be better, but not enough for a serious complaint, especially considering we're talking pico and pocket projectors here.  I've seen far worse, from other "tiny" projectors.

In addition to the slight general haze around the projected image, you will also see a slightly curved additional light further to the right of the image.  That's a little brighter, but still no problem.  That slice of light leakage is about 5 inches wide when projecting about a 4 foot diagonal image.  No worries!

Audible Noise

Wow!  No, the HBP503D isn't silent, but it claims only 30db, and that's believable, upon hearing it in action.  No question about it, running at full power, this HBP503D is quieter than a number of home theater projectors running at full power.

Even more to the point, its quieter than almost all larger portable business projectors.   Nicely done.

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