Review Nebula Mars II Pro Projector A Compact Projector from Anker

hey everybody it’s lon zeidman and i’ve had a lot of people asking me about backyard projectors so they can do outdoor movie nights and this is something that a viewer sent to the show that i thought might be interesting to look at this is the mars nebula pro 2 from anchor and this is a self-contained android device that has a projector built in along with speakers and a battery and you can basically put this thing on a tripod in your backyard and have an instant movie night there are some limitations to it that i’m not crazy about which we’re going to explore in this review but it might be useful for some of you watching now i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that a viewer let me borrow this to review brian parker who’s also a supporter here on the channel he had bought this to do business presentations but he found that it wasn’t bright enough in a lit room to accomplish what he was after and all of the opinions therefore are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this projector is all about now the price point on this one is 549 it is definitely on the pricier side of things given its specifications although i have found in this business that things that are compact thin or light or all of the above tend to cost more than devices that are larger and bulkier so you’re paying for some of the industrial design and compactness that they’ve built into this thing let’s take a look at the physical attributes and then we’ll get into all of the other specifications it does have a built-in lens cover here that doubles as a power switch so when you pull this down here it will turn itself on and start projecting the lens cover here looks like it covers part of the lens but it doesn’t i haven’t found any issues with the image getting blocked it does have an auto focusing mechanism and auto keystoning which we will demo in a little bit on the side you’ve got speakers

in fact there are two speakers 10 watts of power in total it actually sounds pretty good i tested this from the other side of my room a little while earlier and i was quite pleased with the audio quality out of it the bass isn’t quite there but it sounds pretty good actually for a compact device like this you do have a big vent here on the back because the fan will always be running that’s one of the things you have to deal with with projectors they do have loud fans and this one is no exception the fan is not variable it is always on and running let me see if i can turn it off here and you will likely hear it in a quiet room but outdoors it probably won’t be as big of a deal it doesn’t get all that hot though because it does use an led lamp on the back here i’ll give you the overhead view you’ve got a number of ports it does have an ac power adapter that comes with it so you can power it off of that versus the internal battery now the battery life on this they say is three hours but that requires you to put it into its battery mode which will give you a slightly dimmer image so you’re going to want to do that outside at night if you have it in the standard mode which is slightly brighter that’s going to give you only about an hour and a half so you should be able to get a movie in or maybe two tv episodes in on that battery mode before it goes on you now it does have an internal android computer but you can also plug in devices via hdmi right here and what i like about it is that you don’t have to do anything once it detects that hdmi device attached it will automatically switch to it and there are ways to switch out of that if you did want to go back to the android mode so it was very well implemented there you have a usb port here you can plug in memory devices like usb sticks you can plug

keyboards and mice into it basically it’s a standard usb port that interfaces with the android side of the device you also have analog audio out here so you could plug in louder speakers if you want and it does have bluetooth on board so you could connect a bluetooth speaker too and on the back here you also have an infrared receiver for the remote control that it comes with it’s your basic run-of-the-mill remote nothing fancy now oddly due to how they implemented android on the projector many apps don’t actually work with the remote control netflix is one of those apps so to control netflix you have to install an app on your phone connect the phone to the projector and then you can control netflix through your phone with a weird mouse interface i’ll demo that in a few minutes and that’s one of the shortfalls that i was talking about but the overall size and weight here are pretty nice it’s three pounds seven ounces about 1.5 kilograms that’s light enough that you can mount it on a camera tripod they do sell a tripod for this device but if you have any other tripod that can support about three and a half pounds of weight this will work fine on there you just screw it into the bottom and you’re all set so that’s easier than using a stack of books or something like that you’ve got a nice little strap here on the top to carry it it’s kind of a fake synthetic leather but it feels nice and classy and again that’s why you’re paying more here for this compact design there are some controls on the top as well which you can use to navigate the interface you also have your bluetooth pairing button and volume controls here and you have a battery indicator on the top to let you know what the status of the battery charge is now as far as the tech specs on this go this is a 720p dlp projector with a maximum of 500 ansi lumens as you’ll see in a minute it’s not very bright for well-lit or even moderately lit rooms and we’ll give you a demo of that when

we get it hooked up it has eight gigabytes of on-board flash storage one gigabyte of ram and a cortex a7 processor so it’s not all that fast as an android device either if you’re into emulating old video games you could probably get a lot of the 8 and 16 bit stuff done pretty well on here but some of the more advanced consoles will struggle a bit it’s also running with an older version of android which is android 7.1 and as you’ll see when we hook it up they did not implement android tv on this either so it’s going to be running the tablet version of a lot of your favorite media apps and that’s why the remote control doesn’t work with every app that you might try to run on it so there’s a lot of limitations here and you’ll see those demoed in a minute and i think for a lot of folks getting like a roku streaming stick or a chromecast or something might make more sense in that hdmi port than using the onboard android with it and without further ado why don’t we plug it in now and take a look at some of those limitations and some of the strengths of the product too so let me get it on its tripod and we’ll be right back all right so we’ve got everything set up now we’re in a pretty darkened room here you can see the overhead lights are off as i zoom out we’ve got a little bit of ambient light coming in from the left hand side of the image there but it looks pretty good and what you’re seeing here is about what my eyes see so i’ve got the camera kind of adjusted to what things look like to me and as you can see just looking at the menu here it’s got a decent image quality nice saturation here not too overly saturated a decent contrast ratio i’m very pleased actually with the image quality even for a 720p projector the projector is about eight feet from the wall and

that’s giving us a 75 inch image right now so i’m at the kind of at the halfway point of what i think is effective for this projector probably at its sweet spot now i’m going to merge in a another video that i shot a little bit earlier to give you a sense as to what happens when you turn lights on in the rooms as you can see in a darkened environment it looks fine but once those lights come on you can’t see much and that’s kind of the trade-off here is that this projector really needs a dark room to be useful and again this is at its highest brightness setting so you’re definitely going to want to get those lights dim and get those blinds drawn for the best results here and that was my only real disappointment with its image quality is that it should be a little brighter for the price point now the range on the remote control is pretty good i’m sitting about 30 feet away from where the projector is currently located i do have a line of sight to it but i’m able to control things pretty easily here i want to jump into the settings though and show you a couple of things to be aware of we’re going to go into the projector options here and as you can see we have the image mode right now set to standard and this is the brightest image setting so you don’t have a brightness adjustment per se you’ve got standard mode or battery mode so if i switch it into battery mode this will double the battery life but also cut the brightness probably about a third to a half so it’s definitely a lot dimmer in that battery mode but that will give you longer life if you have it set to auto it’ll auto dim when you disconnect the power cable that might be the best place to leave it but if you want to have it running full brightness on battery that’s how you get there and by the way a little bit earlier when we were doing that indoor testing we were in standard mode so you can imagine how difficult it will be to see the display when it’s

running in battery mode indoors with natural lighting you have some adjustments here for color temperature i have auto keystone correction set to on and i think that’s one of the strengths of this projector is that it’s very good at automatically focusing it’s got an autofocus built in and the keystone adjustment here works pretty nicely too so that’ll help you give you a nice flat image even if you’re a little off-center in how you’ve got the projector pointed at the screen and i do think it’s compact nature and the fact that you can put it on a tripod does give you a little more flexibility to get the image right as well and that’s one thing that i really like about this if you are looking at using a rear projection screen it will support that so it can reverse the image here and you can also invert it so if you wanted to hang it upside down from a ceiling or something you can do that as well they don’t have any mounting brackets that i could see for it at least on the amazon site but i’m sure you could construct something or whatever and you’ve got the option to run the projector that way it does have wi-fi on board it does not though support ac wireless but it will connect to 5 gigahertz networks using wireless n or g so the connectivity here feels pretty good now i want to show you what happens when you go into netflix because what will happen here is you’ll get a warning on screen talking about how you can’t use the remote control with netflix and the reason is as you’ll see netflix loading up is that this is not running with the android tv version of netflix it’s actually running uh with the tablet version what you would normally run on a phone or a tablet device so what you need to do

and i’ll pull up the app here is install their app in order to get things to work and you can put it into mouse mode here and then you can use your phone to move the pointer around to select things to watch and you can scroll up and down like you would on a tablet screen so you have to kind of bring your own touch screen to the mix to use netflix and that’s one of the frustrations that i’m sure you will have with this and they do have an app store and i’ll jump back out here and show you that so let me go back to home you have to pretty much give up your remote control when you’ve got netflix loaded here and if we go into their nebula manager that’s the app store the problem that i have is that i don’t know where these apps are coming from because they’re all side loaded tablet apps as opposed to being official android tv things so you have to kind of trust that anchor here is installing apps that are legit so it’s just not ideal and i’m really concerned that you’re side loading unofficial apps that are designed to run on tablets and not on tv screens like this and my advice would be get yourself a chromecast one of these cheap chromecast plug it into the projector you can actually power it off of the usb port on the projector it will eat into your battery life a little bit but you’ll have something more secure something that you can chromecast to and something that will allow you to run the official apps on your phone which are a much safer way to go about it and the chromecast here will pick up whatever you want to stream to it and take it from there so the built-in android thing is cool but it’s just not well implemented now for a better implementation the nebula capsule 2 projector which actually costs about the same that this one does has

android tv integrated it has chromecast built in it’s really the better way to go about doing something like this but the smaller projector if you’re looking at both doesn’t have anywhere near the brightness of this larger one so there’s always these trade-offs to work with here and that is one of them but by and large the android implementation here is a real miss but it’s not all bad the youtube client here looks pretty decent it feels and operates a lot like it would on a smart television again i don’t know if this is an official implementation of youtube or if it’s something that they side loaded here but as you can see things pop up here pretty quickly and it feels a lot like it does on my smart television the image quality again i’m very impressed with on the projector even though it is only 720p and by and large from a youtube standpoint it’s a pretty good experience here i also installed plex on it and this i think is the tablet version of plex but it detects that you’re on a tv kind of layout and it allows you to switch to their tv interface so you should be able to do well with youtube and plex but some of the other apps are going to be not so great and many apps are missing so hbo max is a good example a lot of other ones out there as well you will not be able to find on here and sometimes when you do find the app like disney plus it’s running the tablet version and not the tv one now unfortunately gaming on this projector is not something i’m going to recommend we’ve got my analog nt mini nes clone console hooked up to it right now playing super mario brothers 3.

the image quality is actually really good in fact my camera is not doing the image quality justice here it actually looks much better in person than what you’re seeing here but the real problem is input lag it is atrocious on this projector i measured some of the worst input lag scores i have ever seen from any display or projector ever i was getting about 180 to 200 milliseconds of lag it was so bad that i could actually feel it when i was playing the game here and the console that we’re running is one of the lowest input lag devices that i own so the console itself is not generating the problem here it is just how slow the projector is to process the images coming over that hdmi port so if you’ve got you know super fast action games like this this is not the way to play them it’ll do fine with role-playing games and other things that don’t require instantaneous button pushes but anything else is going to really suffer here and i can’t recommend it for gamers as a result of that so what’s the use case for this one well i think the only good use case for this is going to be those summer movie nights where you’ve got friends coming over and you want to project something out in the backyard if you can get everything fairly dark you’re going to get a good high quality large image projected you’re going to get great sound out of the speakers here and as an all-in-one solution for that kind of thing it’s really easy to implement and i love the fact that you can mount it on a tripod which makes it a lot easier to get the image looking properly displayed so that’s good very easy to plug in stuff via hdmi if you want to plug in a blu-ray player or something so for movie nights great implementation here but for everything else not so great it’s not great as a traveling presentation

projector because it’s not bright enough to overpower office lights for example you’re going to need something a little larger and brighter for that i don’t like the input lag here for gamers and i really don’t like the android implementation that they’ve picked for this they really should have had android tv running on the device especially because i think this is a second generation of this product and i just don’t know why they went the way they did with that and you’re running apps that have questionable sources and i think some security questions as well so if you are looking to stream movies for your movie night get a chromecast get a roku get something that you can plug into the back of this that’s going to be a little more secure and that’s pretty much it it is expensive given all of its limitations so i think if you can find it for a good price go for it but just know that there are a lot of compromises for the compact size that you’re dealing with here so good for movie nights not good for anything else at the moment that’s going to do it for now until next time this is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters chris alegretta tom albrecht mark bollinger sergio morales mark dell jim calliger and stephen sue if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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