The VAVA Chroma measures 21.34 x 14.88 x 4.62 inches which is dimensionally just a little larger than the previous model but much lighter at roughly 23 ½ lbs.
The design of the VAVA Chroma is a complete departure from the previous model. Outside of the same general shape as every other ultra-short-throw projector on the market.
VAVA opted for a more in-your-face design with a black chassis and a black cloth front which is accented by seven rows of chrome accents running the entire length of the left and right side, extending a couple of inches around both front corners of the face of the projector.
VAVA has also put a very bright four-inch power indicator light on the front of the projector that becomes visible at startup and shutdown. Fortunately, this light does disappear about a minute after the projector finishes starting up. I discovered that the light stays on once the projector is shut off. The good news is that there's a control to shut the light off inside the menu.
The projector has three feet, but only the two on the front are adjustable via wheels on the left and right sides.
INPUTS AND CONNECTIONS
The number and type of inputs on the Chroma are identical to the previous model. VAVA has added a single Audio Return Channel (ARC) connection to HDMI input #3.
There are three (3) HDMI inputs. They are all 2.0 HDMI, with HDCP 2.2 copy protection. A USB is used with the media player and put in a USB thumb drive with photos or videos.
A 3.5-inch stereo audio output can feed powered speakers or headphones with a 3.5-inch AV input next to that. Next is a Digital Audio Output, and the last digital connector on the back, on the far right, is the RJ45 connector for the wired networking.
Lastly, there is the three-prong power cord receptacle.
There are multiple functions with the VAVA Chroma's Bluetooth connection, allowing users to pair additional Bluetooth devices to the projector, like an external speaker, a keyboard, or a mouse.
The projector's speaker can also be used as a standalone Bluetooth speaker to play audio from external Bluetooth-enabled devices like smartphones.
Like most consumer Ultra-short Throw projectors, the Chroma has a fixed lens. The VAVA Chroma has an ultra-short-throw lens with a throw ratio of 0.233:1, so the unit an project a 100" image from just 7.2" from the screen. The chart below shows the throw distances for several screen sizes.
Diagonal Screen Size
The projector has an adjustable focus to maximize the sharpness on different screen sizes. VAVA claims the Chroma can project an image up to 150 inches. I tested projecting an image on a screen as large as 120 inches, and the picture looked fine.
The VAVA Chroma's image was a little soft, especially toward the top-right side of my 120" screen. Using the motorized focus from the remote, I split the difference between the more in-focus bottom half and the softer top, resulting in a more even but slightly soft image.
The VAVA Chroma projector has motion detection, which will dim the picture if anything, such as a child, comes between the lens and the screen. Once the lamp is dimmed for safety, users must press any key on the remote, except the power key, to return the full image. This feature can be turned off in the menu if the user wishes.
The VAVA Chroma's remote control is a Bluetooth remote. Like the previous model, VAVA has chosen to forgo a backlight which is a big miss, in my opinion. That said, with the limited number of buttons, I could pretty quickly remember the layout.
On the top left is the power button, and right next to it is the microphone button for Alexa voice control. The remote control's navigation area is directly below those, laid out in a ring rather than four arrows. Inside the ring is the Select button.
Next is the Back button, and on the right is the Menu button. Right below, in the middle, is the Home button. To the right of the Menu button is the Input button. The last is a horizontal bar for Volume Up / Volume Down.
The VAVA uses a launch screen that primarily offers direct connections to the projector's inputs, the core menu system, and a shortcut to the projector's network and Bluetooth settings.
The core menu looks like they were trying to emulate an Android TV menu experience, which is fairly intuitive and easy to navigate.
The remote control gives users access to another menu similar to, but not identical to, the core menu's main screen. I'm guessing this menu is meant to be a shortcut menu to features VAVA considers commonly used. I did not find the number of steps or time I spent using the menu reduced with this additional menu.
Many other manufacturers have embraced a more unified menu experience provided by Android instead of just being built on Android. While I could figure out where features could be adjusted or turned on or off, the experience was frustrating.
VAVA provides only one CUSTOM menu setting; there is no way to apply changes to the other preset modes. For example, any changes I made while in the projector's STANDARD mode were applied to the projector's single CUSTOM mode without telling me to override any previous adjustments I had made in the CUSTOM mode.