Posted on December 19, 2022 By Kam Valentine
The CineBeam LG PF510Q is a compact portable projector. The PF510Q’s dimensions are 5.8 inches wide x 2.6 inches high x 5.8 inches deep, with an inlet vent on the left and an outlet vent on the right side of the chassis. The projector only weighs 2.2 pounds. The chassis has a threaded tripod socket built into the bottom of it, along with two adjustable legs.
The PF510Q chassis has a joystick button for its control panel. Pushing down on the joystick button brings up Settings, Inputs, Close, and Power Off options. The joystick button also controls the volume and is used just like a traditional D-pad to move the cursor to select menu items.
Most of the connections and inputs are located on the rear of the PF510Q, which include two HDMI inputs (One ARC), a 3.5mm headphone output jack, an AC power jack, and a LAN port. In addition, a USB 2.0 Type-A connector featuring HID (Keyboard, Mouse, and Gamepad connection thru USB functionality is found on the right side of the projector chassis.
The LG PF510Q CineBeam projector has an integrated audio system that consists of a mono 5W speaker; however, some end-users may want to attach it to a soundbar or an AV Receiver to take advantage of high-quality sound with the PF510Q’s HDMI ARC.
The remote control has all the buttons you would expect to find on a projector remote control. Some of the projector’s buttons include Power On/Off, Settings, Volume, Mute, D-pad with an “OK” button, Back, Homepage, Input Source, and dedicated Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video buttons. Backlighting is the only thing missing from the remote control, so it’s easier to use in the dark. An auto keystone button would also be nice.
The PF510Q’s lens is located on the front right side of the projector. The lens is recessed to help protect it from scratches. The fixed lens does not have a zoom, which is not really needed because the projector is so small; you can pick it up and move it anywhere you want to achieve the “Zoom” you want. A focus lever is located on top of the projector and is easy to use.
The 1.2:1 throw ratio means the PF510Q can project a 30 inch image at 31.2 inches (2.6 feet) away from a projection surface and a 100-inch image at 104.4 inches (8.7 feet) away from the projection surface. Keep in mind that the distance from the projector lens to the projection surface, the video format, and the zoom setting all play a factor in the projected image quality and size.
The PF510Q remote control’s home button brings you directly to the projector’s Home Menu. Some of the things you can access from the Home Menu are the Web Browser, Input Source, Settings, Apps, and the integrated Media Player. Projectors with built-in media players are becoming more common these days. In addition, the PF510Q’s media player supports externally connected devices like a USB HDD and USB memory sticks.
Pressing the Settings button on the remote control brings up menus for numerous functions like Picture Mode, Sound Out, Game Optimizer, Sleep Timer, Network, Installation Wizard, and All Settings.
Clicking on the All Settings menu brings up Picture, Sound, General, and Support menus. In addition, items like Brightness, Color, Equalizer, Energy Saving (light source power), and Software Update are found under All Settings.
In the interest of managing expectations, the LG PF510Q is a small portable projector with 450 ANSI lumens and a reasonable price point. As expected for its small size and price point, the LG does not provide deep ultra-blacks. Instead, you have crushed black and a lack of shadow detail. That being said, the LG PF510Q still delivers a good image for its small form factor. In fact, the PF510Q provided surprisingly vivid images while watching HDR movies Top Gun: Maverick and Mad Max: Fury Road. As I said, it’s all about managing expectations. This portable projector worked tremendously well for me on the road, and in the various places I moved it around in my home. It will not replace my dedicated home theater projector, but it’s also not intended to be a dedicated home theater projector. The PF510Q is great at being what it is…a portable smart projector.
The LG PF510Q’s Advanced Settings under the Picture mode allows adjusting many image parameters, including Contrast, Black Level, Auto Dynamic Contrast, Gamma (Adjust Brightness), Color Depth, Tint, Color Gamut, White Balance, and Color Temperature. The PF510Q even has a Color Management System (CMS) where you can fine-tune color adjustments to Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. The CMS is also found in Advanced Settings. This little projector is feature packed with picture adjustability to suit the end user.
Under Settings, you’ll find Picture Mode. The LG PF510Q has modes here to choose from. They’re named Vivid, Standard, Cinema, Sports, Game Optimizer, Brightest, Expert (Bright Space/Daytime), or Expert (Dark Space/Nighttime). Cinema and Expert (Dark Space/ Nighttime) provided the best image quality in my fully light-controlled projector testing lab.
The PF510Q features HDR10 support and HDR gaming support. HDR10 content and HDR games send static metadata to the video stream, which is encoded information on color calibration settings required to make images look more like the content creator’s intentions. After the PF510Q auto-detects metadata or Electro-Optical Transfer Function (EOTF) info from HDR content and HDR Picture Mode becomes available. HDR Picture Mode has five modes: Standard, Cinema Home, Cinema, Game Optimizer, and Brightest.
I don’t know what secret sauce LG put into the projector, but the HDR content looked fantastic on the pre-production demo unit I used for this review. I was surprised to find a tiny portable projector like the PF510Q with only 450 ANSI lumens handling HDR content as well as it did. There are projectors that are double the price of the PF510Q that can’t do HDR as well as the PF510Q. Give it a try and run Mad Max: Fury Road and Top Gun: Maverick with the LG PF510Q and tell me if you get the same impressive results.
4-Channel LED projectors are LED projectors that add a supplementary “pump” LED to a standard 3-Channel LED ecosystem, whose light is also to increase the overall output of green light. By adding this separate light, the output of light increases overall brightness compared to a traditional 3-Channel projector.
LG advertises the 4-Channel LED light source brightness of the PF510Q at 450 ANSI lumens. I also measured the PF510Q’s brightness. To measure the brightness, I set the projector’s Energy Saving (light source brightness/power) to Minimum. Minimum minimizes the PF510Q’s energy-saving efforts, thus creating the brightest image available. I then set the projector’s Picture Mode to Brightest. These settings together are the projector’s brightest settings. I then took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens, which usually gives a good approximation of ANSI lumens.
The PF510Q measured 433 ANSI lumens at maximum brightness, which is close to the LG PF510Q’s published 450 ANSI lumens specification. I measured all eight available standard Picture Modes; my measurements are below.
LG PF510Q CineBeam Projector Settings Measured Brightness
Now, you know I had to game on the LG PF510Q since it has dedicated gaming modes. If a projector claims they have a dedicated gaming mode, the gamer in me makes it mandatory for me to test it out for you all.
Of course, one of the best parts about gaming on a huge projector screen is your ability to see enemies coming and quickly align your weapon sights on the enemy. So, I fired up my PS5 and primarily played Call of Duty: Modern Ware II and some of the best games to play in 2022, like Far Cry 6, Saints Row: Self Made, and Elden Ring with the PF510Q CineBeam portable projector. LG PF510Q automatically switched to HDR Picture Mode – Game Optimizer when I connected it to my PS5 and started gaming. Game Optimizer allows you to turn the Game Dashboard off or on. I left it on because it has all the information a gamer would want to see or adjust quickly. The dashboard allows quick adjustments to Low Latency, AI Game Sound, Black Stabilizer, and Dark Room Mode. The Game Dashboard also allows you to see your Frames Per Second. In addition, the LG PF510Q has Game Genre where you can choose from Standard, First Person Shooter (FPS), Role-Playing Game (RPG), Real-Time Strategy (RTS), and Sports.
The projector handled gaming surprisingly well, without any input lag issues. However, compared to dedicated gaming projectors, the PF510Q’s crushed blacks and a lack of shadow detail were a negative for me. Good thing the PF510Q is not a dedicated gaming projector. As such, it worked great for a tiny portable projector. The crushed black and lack of shadow detail was made up for with the vivid gameplay the PF510Q provided, colors in the games I played popped.
The PF510Q’s compact size and light weight make it highly transportable if you wish to take it on the road. In fact, I took it on the road with me to my brother’s house and held Call of Duty: Modern Ware II co-op gaming sessions with him using his PS5 in his living room, his kids using their PS5 upstairs, and me using my PS5 with the LG PF510Q projecting off a tripod I set up in his family room. As you can tell by the photos above, I used the PF510Q on the road with high amounts of uncontrolled ambient light. However, I still had a usable image and had a great time gaming.
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