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Nebula Capsule 3 Laser Portable Projector Review – Hardware

Posted on February 27, 2023 by Kam Valentine

 

CHASSIS

The Nebula Capsule 3 Lasercylindrical chassis dimensions are 3.3” D (Diameter) x 6.6” H (Height). The projector only weighs 2.1 pounds. Its cylindrical, compact size and light weight make the Nebula 3 Laser highly portable if you require portability like road trips and block parties. So if you’re a military member always on the move, a road warrior, an RVer (a recreational vehicle user), a student living in an apartment or dormitory, or a homeowner who values projector portability, the Nebula Capsule 3 Laser may be for you.

The front of the Capsule 3 Laser contains the lens and sensors for automatically focusing and keystone correction. There are also navigation and volume control buttons on the top of the projector. The rear of the projector contains a single speaker, an aux-out socket to connect to an external sound output device, an infrared receiver, a MODE button (press to switch between Bluetooth speaker mode and projector mode), a power button, USB-C port, and an HDMI 2.1 port. The bottom of the Capsule 3 has a ¼” tripod socket.

While the Nebula Capsule 3 Laser has an integrated audio system, some end-users may want to attach the projector to a sound bar or an AV Receiver to take advantage of high-quality sound with the Capsule 3 Laser’s HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel). HDMI ARC is a feature of the HDMI standard that allows for two-way communication between an audio device, such as a soundbar and a projector. In addition to sending audio, HDMI ARC allows some control of the audio device using the projector remote control. This includes basic controls such as volume.

It is important to note that HDMI ARC is not the same as HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control), which is another feature of the HDMI standard that allows for control of multiple devices using a single remote. However, many devices that support HDMI ARC also support HDMI CEC, and the two features can work together to provide a more seamless user experience.

Nebula Capsule 3 Remote Control - Projector Reviews - Image

The Capsule 3 Laser includes a single remote to control the projector and access the unit’s smart interface. We at Projector Reviews like this feature because some “smart” projectors utilize a smart dongle that requires a second remote.

The remote control has all the buttons you would expect on a modern projector remote control. In addition, there’s a built-in microphone on the remote for voice control systems with Google Assistant. Some of the things you can say to Google Assistant are “Open YouTube,” “Show comedy movies,” “What is “Airport” in Spanish,” “What movie should I watch tonight” for a list of popular movies, and much more.

The only thing missing from the remote control is backlighting. Finding and using the correct remote control buttons in the dark is difficult since the remote is black and the buttons are black with grey icons.

LENS

Nebula Capsule 3 Projector Lens - Projector Reviews - Image

Nebula states that the Capsule 3 Laser can project 40” to 120”. I projected 50” to 100” images in my projector lab with the Capsule 3 Laser. The Capsule 3 Laser’s 1.2:1 throw ratio means that at 3.47 ft from a projector screen or wall, the unit projects a 40” image, and at 8.67 ft away, the unit projects a 120” image. Remember that the distance from the projector lens to the projection surface, the video format, and the zoom setting all factor in the projected image quality and size. I found the projector bright enough to produce a good image at 100” even if my blackout shade was partially open, allowing a small amount of ambient light to sneak into the room. On the other hand, an overhead light completely washed out the image. I don’t typically use any projector with overhead lights on, so I imagine this is a non-issue for most users.

Nebula Capsule 3 Laser Throw Distance

Screen Size (Diagonal) Distance Between Projector Lens and Screen
40 inches 1.06 m / 3.47 ft
50 inches 1.33 m / 4.36 ft
60 inches 1.60 m / 5.24 ft
70 inches 1.86 m / 6.10 ft
80 inches 2.13 m / 6.98 ft
90 inches 2.39 m / 7.84 ft
100 inches 2.65 m / 8.69 ft
110 inches 2.92 m / 9.58 ft
120 inches 3.18 m / 10.43 ft

The Capsule 3 Laser has a digital SCALING menu. From the SCALING menu, simply press the ZOOM option to zoom in or out of the projection image from 50% to 100%. The projector has autofocus, and digital keystone correction can be set up for auto at startup or auto after movement. You can also use manual focus correction and manual keystone correction under the PROJECTOR SETTINGS tab. While digital correction does reduce resolution, for most Capsule 3 Laser customers, it’s a worthy sacrifice for quick and easy setup.

MENUS

The menu system is well-organized and easy to navigate. The Capsule 3 Laser’s HOME menu button brings you directly to the projector’s home menu screen. The menu images in this section represent only a small number of all the sub-menus available. I’m showing a handful of the more notable sections from the most used sub-menus (app store, image adjustments, sound adjustments, etc.).

Nebula Capsule 3 Projector Menus - Projector Reviews - Image
Nebula Capsule 3 Laser Wall Color Menu.

A unique menu item is called WALL COLOR. Let’s say you’re on the road and not traveling with a projector screen because you plan to use the Nebula Capsule 3 Laser to project against the wall of your hotel room. You check into your hotel only to find that your room has Orange walls. Don’t fear; simply select PICTURE CUSTOM under PICTURE MODE and select the WALL COLOR option. From there, you can access the following wall colors: White, Red, Orange, Blue, Green, Cyan, Yellow, and Purple. This feature will automatically adjust the projector based on wall color to try to optimize the viewing experience in your space. 

Since the Capsule 3 Laser is a smart projector, numerous menu and entertainment options exist. As previously mentioned, many streaming apps like Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime Video are available on the Nebula Capsule 3 Laser. However, it should be noted that there are extra steps to take to install Netflix. Page 30 of the Nebula Capsule 3 Laser Owner’s Manual states, “On your projector, download and install the Nebula Play app from Google Play. Open Nebula Play and select Tips > Netflix Installation. Then follow the on-screen instructions to install Netflix”. I found the instructions to be relatively straightforward, and I was enjoying Netflix on the Capsule 3 Laser in a matter of minutes. Also, when I initially installed the Netflix app, I could only control it with the Nebula Connect app I had to download onto my iPhone. However, a few days later, the Capsule 3 Laser prompted me to update the projector. After the update, I could control Netflix with the projector’s remote control.

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