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LG Minibeam PW800 Projector Review - Performance

Posted on July 26, 2015 by Art Feierman
LG Minibeam PW800 Projector - Performance:  Brightness - Color Saturation - Display Lag - Noise


PW800 Picture Brightness
Picture Mode Lumens (note 1)
Vivid 265 (note 2)
 Standard  258
 Cinema  191
 Sport  265
 Game  228
Expert 191


Note 1 - The listed lumen levels were measured using the factory default settings for each picture mode offered on the PW800 and the video source was a Blu-ray Disc providing a 100% white test pattern.

Note 2 - When the brightness level of the white test pattern was adjusted to produce a reference white level the lumens increased to 305.  Therefore, I would consider 305 as the maximum lumens produced by the PW800.

While most LED powered pico and pocket projectors we have reviewed have produced, on average, only about 2/3 of the manufacturer claimed maximum light output, the LG PH300 measured just under 40% as bright as specified.

I also measured the effect of the projector’s Energy Saving setting.  The table shows the lumens output in the full power mode (i.e, minimum energy saving).  Going to the middle power mode reduces the image brightness by about 10% and the lowest power mode (i.e., maximum energy savings) reduces the image brightness by about 33%.

With the projector sitting level on a table and projecting a 78″ wide image, I measured the brightness uniformity and found the top corners were the dimmest with about a 23% drop in brightness as compared to the peak image brightness value that I had measured near the center of the image.

I observed very good color uniformity when projecting a full white test image.

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Color Saturation

LED based projectors generally have an easier time than lamp based models at producing images with deep color saturations  (i.e., a wide color gamut).  LG's on-line product page for the PW800 claims the projector has 114% color gamut.  I did a quick measurement of the color gamut of the PW800 when operating in Cinema mode and it produced the results shown in the following figure.

LG PW800 Color Gamut

I was able to confirm that primary color points (RGB) were beyond the HDTV, Rec. 709, standard saturation levels.

Input Display Lag

I evaluated the PW800 operating in Game picture mode and with the various processing options turned off or the minimum available setting.  I was unable to find any settings on the PH300 that could reduce the display lag down to even 50 milliseconds.  The display lag would perhaps be OK for casual gamers but not short enough for the really serious gamers.

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Noise Level

LG does not specify how much noise is produced by the PW800’s cooling fan.  Even when operated in the brightness mode, I found the audible noise level produced by the projector to be only moderate and very quiet in the lower power modes.

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