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Home / Tips and Tricks / It's a Mini Cinema In A Can – Review Geek

It's a Mini Cinema In A Can – Review Geek



Rating:
8/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute hot garbage
  • 2 – Sorta lukewarm garbage
  • 3 – Heavily defective design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptable imperfectly
  • 6 – Good enough to to buy in the trade
  • 7 – Great, but not class best class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money [19659004] 1
    0 – Absolut Design Nirvana

Price: $ 299.99

  Nebula Capsule pico projector on a glass table next to its remote control
Jason Fitzpatrick

The Nebula Capsule is a mini projector with the form factor of a soda can. It's cute, eye-catching and frankly, the design sells virtually straight out of the gate. But is this can size projector worth the price of approval?

Here's What Like

  • Large Form Factor
  • Long Battery Life
  • Stable Construction
  • Plays a Wide Range of Media

And What We Do not

  • Standard Definition
  • No Google Play Store
  • Expensive

What's in the box

The Nebula Capsule is the first offering from Anker on the market for pico projectors. The projector literally has the size of a 12 ounce soda that can yield or weigh a few millimeters and weighs anything but anything – a regular coke can weigh about 400 grams while the fog weighs 470 grams , 19659028] Inside the can profile is a compact DLP projector that can output 100 ANSI lumens with a resolution of 854 * 480 pixels. For a reference frame, 100 ANSI lumens are about 1/15 to 1/20. The full-screen brightness of a home projector and the resolution is standard resolution (480p) but with extra width for a 16: 9 format. For more information on brightness and resolution, see the overview later.

In addition to the critical part – you know the bright moving-picture bit – there's a 360-degree speaker concept that gives the projector a unique look for Bluetooth speakers and the whole thing is supported by Android 7.1.2. The small projector has an internal memory of 8 GB (about 5 GB of which are used for Android and the standard apps). The 5200 mAh battery charges in about two hours with the included Quick Charge 2.0 Charger and provides 4 hours of play in projector mode and 30 hours of play in Bluetooth speaker mode.

  Nebula Capsule Projector with Light Bulb On
Jason Fitzpatrick

The smoke capsule protrudes from a small opening in the can half, about the size of a quarter. There is no built-in lens cover or removable cover. When not in use, the projector should be stored in the supplied storage bag. There is a small gear next to the lens that is used for focus adjustment (unfortunately, no automatic focus adjustment is used even though auto keystoning is used.)

  View of the Nebula Capsule Control Panel
The controls on the device are simple, but they do the job. Jason Fitzpatrick

The top of the projector is a directional pad that allows easy interaction with the projector. The only other visible ports or points of interest are on the back and bottom of the projector cabinet.

On the back there is a small IR port for the remote control. On the lower back there is an "Input" port that serves as both a charging port and an input for USB storage (which you can connect using the included USB Micro OTG cable). Next to the input port is an HDMI port. On the bottom of the cylinder is a standard tripod attachment point, which makes it easy to attach the Nebula Capsule to a standard tripod or other suitable device (such as a Joby GorillaPod or other flexible tripod) with a standard screw. [19659037] Facility and Interaction with the Mist: Easy Peasy

There are three ways to interact with the projector. The first option is to use the circular control panel on top of the device. There you can press the parallel arrow key at the top of the pad to switch between the projector and speaker modes, the +/- left and right keys to adjust the volume, and the power key to toggle the power on and off (Check Also, carefully tap the battery life by quickly tapping the button, turning on the projector for 3 seconds and projecting a battery meter onto a nearby surface. Of course, the direction pad is more intended for the actions that are performed when It is also quite limited.

The second way to interact with the capsule is with the included IR remote control, which works just like any other IR remote control and includes one quite standardized media player interface known to anyone who uses an Apple TV od he used a Fire TV.

  The Nebula Capsule Remote
If you do not use this app, you will often use this small remote. Jason Fitzpatrick

The usual suspects are shown here: a home button, a back button, a direction pad and an OK button, as well as a menu and an on / off switch. There is even a "mouse" button in the upper right corner, which allows a cursor to be dragged up the screen and moved with the mouse in the mouse, if necessary. You may think, "When do I need a mouse for a smart projector?" – we'll come to that later in the report.

Although the keys and functions of the remote were working properly, we found the placement of the IR camera port on the projector to be problematic. If you are not behind the projector, the remote will be missed or missed. Since you often leave a projector behind to get the maximum screen size, with tiny projectors you can even put it on the floor to shine on the ceiling, a remote that only works when you're working more or less directly behind the projector with a clear line of sight is a big pain. An RF or Bluetooth remote control would fix this problem.

Fortunately, the last method of interaction with the projector largely compensates for the delicate physical remote interface. The Nebula Connect app, which you can download from the App Store and the Play Store, turns your iOS or Android device into a remote control for the projector.

The app works well and for the most part just turns your phone into a huge touchpad with few buttons. Last but not least, typing your streaming video signatures thanks to a pop-up keyboard becomes so much easier.

You can set up the device using the physical remote because the app connects to the projector via Bluetooth. You even need to use the remote control with the on-screen keyboard to connect the projector to your wireless network. Simply download the app, pair it with the projector, and use the app for the rest of the setup process. Incidentally, this process is trivial, and if you've ever set up a new phone, it's an almost identical process with less effort.

What you can play on it: All about everything

Knowing what's in the phone's box and how to control the projector is fine and good, but what is a projector without some material being blown onto the wall can, right? Luckily, you can play pretty much on the Nebula Capsule. If you want to bring your own movies and pictures with you, you can easily do so via the USB input via the OTG cable (for the unknown, this is just a simple USB-to-micro USB adapter.)

  The fog capsule with the OTG attached cable and flash drive
Jason Fitzpatrick

You can view the usual suspects as a slideshow: JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, and TIF. You can enjoy H.264, H.265, and MPEG4 video, as well as MP3, ACC, FLAC, and other audio formats in speaker mode. For information on the various compatible formats, see the Specifications section. Our tests were no different than connecting an OTG cable and a flash drive to an Android phone or tablet. Loading the files was not a problem at all.

While most people do not, they spend a lot of time at home to load a flash drive full of media if they want to use the projector in a remote place like a campsite or even in a park where You do not have to rely on a stable Internet (or you do not want to be concerned with bringing an HDMI-based device that requires its own power source). The flash drive of cunning movies is a true lifesaver, and we're glad there's an option. However, it's a bit of a mystery why they do not have a Micro SD card slot. Given the incredibly low cost of microSD cards these days, it would be really fantastic to place a movie-charged card instead of playing around with a cable adapter. This would also allow for simultaneous playback and charging.

Also on the front of the physical port, the HDMI port is suitable for anything you want to throw at it: you can connect your Xbox to it, you can connect your Bluray player to it. You can even use streaming media devices like one Connect Chromecast or a Roku stick.

Finally, because Android is running on the device, instead of just stupidly watching what's on the USB or HDMI input, of course, run streaming apps. This includes all the likes of the likes of YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video. While all of these popular services on the Capsule worked well enough, there are some clear flaws in how the apps work, which leads us to a great time to move on to our experience with the Capsule in action.

Real World Use: With some streaming hiccups it is a lot of fun

All in all, we really liked the capsule. It's just fun . But before we talk about all the fun, we have to get rid of the biggest hassle over the device. Despite running Android 7.1.2, the Google Play Store is not installed on the device. (However, if you send an e-mail to Nebula Technical Support requesting to be included in the beta test group, you will receive a code to update your firmware to a version with Google Play Store and other Google services

By default, there's an app delivery system that you've probably never heard of: Aptoide. The ten-second Aptoide explanation program is a specialized app store that can be used to create customized stores that work like Linux app repositories. That way, Anker can curate her own little Appstore.

Theoretically, this sounds like a cool way to keep the user experience tight, clean, and controlled. In practice, the end result is that you sometimes get stuck with the mobile version (instead of TV) of streaming apps, which means that they are optimized for input via the touch screen rather than for remote input. Using the YouTube app was not too annoying, and Plex automatically asked if you wanted the TV interface as soon as you felt that you were clicking around with a remote (which is a blessing of the Plex app designer). However, the Netflix app had a big headache, and even if you used the Nebula app on your phone to control the interface, it was still irritating.

The only positive thing is that we can say about it apps that were fussy at least contained warnings in which it was suggested to skip the physical remote and use the phone app instead. If you are using a specific app, such as For example, if Netflix is ​​frustrated enough, connecting a Chromecast or other small streaming device (even if it somewhat softens the magic of the soda box design) is very easy. All in all, it's a little puzzling why they did not just work with Android TV, erasing all their interface issues in one fell swoop.

This complaint aside (which is in the big scheme of our use) the device, quite small) We really liked the capsule. Anything else to complain about is no shortage of the Nebula Capsule, it's a shortage of mini / pico projectors as a whole product niche.

Above all else, we want to address the solution. The Capsule's 480p 16: 9 resolution is not as big a deal as you might think. Yes, if you are close to the wall to study the picture, it is definitely not 4K. However, under the conditions under which most people will use the capsule, this is virtually irrelevant. At no time, when he showed the capsule to the people, did someone say, "What the hell is that? Is this standard def? "and although we knew that the resolution is very low compared to modern displays, we did not notice it in practice."

We had a similar opinion about brightness: 100 ANSI lumens are premium in the world It is, however, very bright for a projector that fits in your hand The Capsule does not fill a cinema with dazzling bright light, but that's not the purpose of the product Possibility to bring a projector anywhere and anytime You can pull it out of a friend's pocket, and you can carry it on your deck to light up on the wall without breaking a sweat (or a box of extension cords) and pull out cables) .You can light it on the ceiling of your bedroom for the absolutely laziest marathon of the office

 mounted on a flexible tripod b
With this elegant Joby setup, we are watching from the ceiling. Jason Fitzpatrick

Maybe one day we'll live in a future where you can get 2,000 ANSI lumens out of a lemonade eye, but that's not the case today, and that's fine too.

The same thing can be said for the sound. It sounds like you would expect a soda-size Bluetooth speaker to be heard (especially if you had to reduce the internal size to make room for a projector). In fact, it probably sounds even better than what you imagine. The bass is weak, but the volume is surprisingly loud. So loud that we seldom increased it by 30 to 40 percent in our tests. Given the distance you normally use it, it is loud and clear.

Should you buy it?

The answer to the question "Should you buy the fog?" It's more complicated than you think There's a new version of the fog projector right on the horizon. Still, the original fog that we have so closely scrutinized is still a very good value.

The fog costs $ 299.99 and while not the cheapest projector on the pico / mini projector market, is a fantastic value. For three hundred dollars, you will not get more projector and more features in a smaller package. The Nebula II can be pre-ordered for a few days and will ship in June. It's twice twice as expensive as at $ 599.99, but brings with it some big improvements in fairness, including doubling the brightness to 200 ANSI lumens, increasing the resolution to 720p, adding USB-C chargers and a separate USB port A flash drive connector that replaces Android for Android TV, autofocus and uses the Chromecast feature. This is by no means a meager number of upgrades.

Despite the many upgrades you receive with the Nebula II, we are still confident to recommend the Nebula. If you want an incredibly competent pico projector for $ 300 or less, it's hard to beat. Given that you are likely to put it on sale soon due to the imminent release of its successor, it will be an even better deal for $ 250.

If you have something against it (like the lower resolution or lack of Chromecast support) is a deal breaker, but that just means that you are a top candidate for the only pico projector currently in the series, the Nebula II.

Rating: 8/10 [19659028] Price: $ 299.99

Here's what we like

  • Great form factor
  • Long battery life
  • Stable construction [19659004] Plays a wide range of media

And what we do not [19659076] Standard Definition
  • No Google Play Store
  • Expensive

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