Posted on October 28, 2021 By Kam Valentine
XGIMI designed the Aura to be elegant and modern. The Aura’s luxurious look and feel show XGIMI is not willing to compromise on aesthetics at any price point. The Aura measures 23.85-inches wide x 15.78-inches deep x 5.49-inches high. The Aura weighs a substantial 32.91 pounds. The sleek silver and charcoal chassis should fit into almost any home’s décor. While I had the Aura for testing, numerous house guests stopped and asked me what type of high-end device the Aura was; none believed it was a projector until I turned it on for them.
Plenty of ports and connections are on the Aura, including three HDMI 2.0, three USB 2.0, one 3.5mm headphone jack, a LAN port, and an optical port. The Aura also has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0, ensuring it is ready for almost anything. The DC input port is located on the rear of the chassis.
The Aura chassis does not have a control panel on it. If you misplace the remote control, you can still power the projector off and on with the power button on the projector’s right side. However, you would not be able to control anything else on the Aura unless you had the XGIMI projector app.
Ultra short throw projectors spread out the light from the lens when sitting on a tabletop. At the far lower right and left, the light travels only a few degrees above horizontal. However, light also exits the projector lens from just above horizontal to fully vertical at almost every angle. Therefore, light is being projected over an arc of nearly 180-degrees. Even when placing the projector inches away, the Aura does an outstanding job of spreading light evenly across the screen.
XGIMI lists the Aura lens as having a clear focus range of 80-inches to 150-inches. The Aura has a throw distance of 4.3-inches to 17.3-inches and a throw ratio of 0.233:1. The chart below was provided by XGIMI. The chart shows the Aura laser projection distance and image size. The lens does not have lens shift capability or optical zoom. By XGIMI design, I did not have a need for lens shift or optical zoom. The Aura was easy to set up in minutes. I placed the projector on a flat surface and moved the chassis until the image matched up to my screen for a perfect image on my Elite Screens Aeon CLR® 3 Series, 103-inch ALR screen. I took my time and did not have to use any of the eight keystone adjustments on the Aura, which would slightly degrade the image quality.
The distance from the projector lens to the screen and the video format are all factors of the projected image size. For example, if you are using a 150-inch screen, the recommended projection distance is 17.3-inches, and a 100-inch screen requires only 8.2-inches of projection distance. As I mentioned in the Aura overview section, if you are short on space, the Aura could even be placed a measly 4.3-inches away from a wall or UST projector screen to project an 80-inch image.
The Aura was put through various tests, from solid colors to highly detailed scenes, test patterns, and text slides. The images showed minimal distortion, and the edge-to-edge focus was good on my 103-inch screen.
Ultra short throw projectors are designed to replace traditional flat-panel TVs. However, as we all know, many TVs are in rooms with uncontrolled or partially controlled ambient light. Therefore, I highly recommend utilizing an ALR screen to get the best out of the Aura and any other ultra-short throw projector. Although I utilized an Elite Screens Aeon CLR® 3 Series, 103-inch ALR screen during this review, there are numerous manufactures of ALR screens.
The XGIMI Aura remote is made from great feeling aluminum and plastic. The remote has the standard buttons one would expect for everyday operations, including power on/off, settings shortcut, Google Assistant voice control, D-Pad, select, back, menu, home, volume, and screen focus. In addition, the remote has a Google Assistant microphone button, which is the only colored button on the remote. It is used for voice control of the projector and compatible 3rd party Internet of Things (IoT) devices via the Android TV and Google Assistant. The XGIMI Aura remote could control my Apple 4K TV via HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) as an added perk.
I found the home screen menu to be well organized and easy to navigate. Once you are on the Aura home screen menu, you can do things like select a specific input, streaming app, or explore the Google Play Store.
The push-button on the remote that looks like a gear (below the power button) is the Shortcut Setting button; it takes you directly to the basic settings menu. Scrolling down and pressing the All Settings tab from the Shortcut Settings takes you to the projector’s more advanced settings. The Home push button, which looks like a house, allows you to access apps and other entertaining services.
While watching content, users can bring up the Shortcut Setting button on the remote and adjust the five Image Modes. Users can choose any of the five image modes presets, or you can customize your perfect image mode from one of the Custom image modes.
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