Small in Size, Big on Features: P1 Mini Projector Review (and Giveaway)
Good colors are projected in a compact package, but clunky design choices and an average brightness make this projector hard to use.
This is the P1, a tiny pico projector measuring just 0.8 by 3.2 by 5.7 inches, and weighing 0.51 lbs. It has a built-in battery, full-size HDMI port, built-in Wi-Fi, and comes with a mini tripod to get you started. Let’s see if it’s any good, and don’t forget to enter our giveaway contest at the end of this review, for the chance to win a P1 Mini Projector of your own!
Design and Features
Priced under $300 (under the brand Haidiscool in the US, and iXunGo in the UK [Broken URL Removed]), the P1 Mini Projector is more expensive than many rivals. With a largely rectangular design, the P1 is small and lightweight. The built-in 4500 mAh battery is enough to run the projector for two hours, and the included charger connects via the Mini-USB port.
The left side contains a small wheel to focus the lens. This is a design common to many projectors, but it’s so small and fiddly that you’ll spend most of your time trying to perfect the focus, rather than watching your film.
You’ll find most of the I/O on the right edge. This comprises a full-size HDMI port, USB type-A, TF card slot, and Mini-USB (for charging). You’ll find the on/off switch here, and tucked away on the rear edge is the headphone jack.
Dual stereo speakers deliver average sound quality. It’s ok, but nothing special.
On the top, you’ll find a series of buttons to navigate the menus. These closely mimic the included remote control, but neither of these control methods are perfect.
By using the buttons on the projector itself, you risk adjusting the position of the projector. This throws out the focus, so you’ll need to adjust it again. The remote control doesn’t actually work! Even with several sets of new batteries, and a lot of tinkering.
We couldn’t get this to work—and we’re not alone. A quick Google search reveals several other users who have experienced a similar issue.
The DLP sensor and LED lamp are able to output 100 ANSI lumens, which is more than many similar pico projectors. The bulb lasts 30,000 hours and operates at a native resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. This is a pretty appalling resolution, but it is able to display a 1080p signal. It’s worth noting that this is no worse than any other pico projector.
As this output is rated in ANSI lumens, it’s considerably brighter than many competitors. By using ANSI lumens as a unit of measurement, projectors have to follow a specific set of rules and guidelines. Any projector that doesn’t use ANSI lumens may as well make up the brightness figures.
You’ll be able to see this projector inside a dimly lit room. You won’t need to close the curtains and turn off all the lights, but you will struggle with any bright light source such as the midday sun streaming in. You can achieve a maximum screen size of 120 inches, but you really will need a darkened room to be able to see anything. As the screen size gets larger, the brightness reduces.
The contrast ratio of 2000:1 helps to make the images look great.
A loud fan keeps the internals cool, but this isn’t so loud as to be a distraction unless you’re sitting close to the projector and using internal speakers.
In the box, you’ll find the projector alongside a USB cable and charger, mini tripod, remote control, and quick start manuals.
This mini tripod is a bit rubbish. It’s more substantial than that found in the AAXA P2-B projector, but it’s really not up to the task required. It can support the projector at a low angle, but it’s just not strong enough the hold the projector any higher than one to two inches.
Fortunately, the bottom of the projector contains a small flip-out stand, which angles the front of the projector up. This flips out the way to sit flush against the body when not in use. This works well and almost makes up for the terrible tripod.
By connecting to the projector’s Wi-Fi network, it’s possible to play content or mirror your mobile device. This is a great feature and supports AirPlay, DLNA (does anyone still use that?), or Miracast. There’s no support for Chromecast. You won’t be able to play back protected content from the likes of Netflix or Hulu, however.
The image quality is surprising. It’s much better than it has any right to be, especially given the design problems highlighted above.
Colors look excellent, due in part to the DLP sensor. Even projecting onto a plain white wall the colors look vibrant and lush.
Watching movies is great fun—providing you sit far enough away so that you don’t notice the low resolution.
Video games also look great, but not quite as good as movies. Here’s where the lack of sharpness causes a problem. With films produced with super-high quality cameras, you can notice the details. That’s not to say that games look bad, just that films look so much better on this projector.
The basic menu interface looks nice. It works well to accomplish the basics but still looks a bit dated. The choice of colors and font may contribute here.
Is It Worth It?
It’s tough to recommend the P1 Mini projector. While it has some neat features and can reproduce a reasonable image, it suffers the same fate that afflicts many pico projectors. It’s not terribly bright, and it’s very fiddly to use, with some badly thought out features.
That said, if you need a battery powered projector for watching movies on the go, the P1 is about as good as everything else. Although if you can afford it, we’d really recommend the Nebula Capsule. Overall, it’s so much better than the P1.
If you’d like to win a P1 Mini projector for yourself, then all you have to do is enter our giveaway contest. Don’t forget to follow the instructions to gain some extra entries!