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Anker Nebula Capsule II R2-D2 Tiny Edition evaluation: The Force is solid with this one

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This diminutive projector packs a monumental punch, staunch luxuriate in its droid namesake. But only hardcore followers will tolerate the upsell.




anker nebula r2 d2 oblique

Michael Brown / IDG

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  • Anker Nebula Capsule II R2-D2 Tiny Edition

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After I heard Anker modified into as soon as coming out with an R2-D2 Tiny Edition of its gorgeous Nebula Capsule II video projector, I hoped it would maybe maybe watch precisely luxuriate in the illustration on its field, nonetheless in shade. Alas, the shade is there, nonetheless the R2-D2 treatment is staunch a paint job on the reward projector, making the $120 upsell over the bustle-of-the-mill Nebula Capsule II—$700 versus $580—a diminutive exhausting to swallow.

Other than the paint plot, the most effective other characteristic that informs you this is a Well-known individual Wars-impressed dwelling-theater tool is the beep-beep-boop sound the projector makes when first powered up. Yes, it sounds precisely luxuriate in the loveable droid, nonetheless that’s the most effective time you’ll hear it.

anker nebula r2 d2 box Michael Brown / IDG

I hoped the diminutive-model R2-D2 Nebula video projector would watch staunch luxuriate in what’s printed on the field, nonetheless in shade. The shade is there, nonetheless that’s it.

Android TV—and loads extra

The Nebula II is extremely extremely effective for its size, especially ought to you save in mind that it’s fully self-contained, with Android TV 9.0; Google Assistant; Chromecast; a self-amplified, 8-watt speaker; and a Wi-Fi adapter onboard. It’ll bustle on AC or battery energy (up to 2.5 hours in the latter instance), and its DLP engine delivers up to a 100-recede image in 720p resolution with a legitimate brightness of 200 lumens. The one boom you’ll want to create is a projection surface. You’ll need something white and non-reflective for that: a bed sheet or a matte-white-painted wall would kind in a pinch; I evaluated its efficiency with a tripod-mounted Epson ELPSC80 projection show conceal conceal.

As successfully as to its onboard media sources, the Nebula II moreover an HDMI port with ARC, and a USB port for streaming media from a flash memory tool (drives up to 2TB are supported). There’s a Bluetooth radio in there, too. Energy is geared up by a USB charging port with Energy Supply to payment its battery extra instantly. A too-quick (3-foot) USB-C cable and USB-PD AC adapter are incorporated in the field, as is an infrared distant regulate. The distant has a directional pad, volume regulate, and residential-show conceal conceal buttons for navigating Android TV and the projector’s beget settings, plus a button to summon Google Assistant.

anker nebula remote Michael Brown / IDG

You’re going to be ready to summon Google Assisteant with the Anker Nebula II’s distant regulate.

Utilizing the Nebula II

You’re going to be ready to operate the projector on a tabletop, nonetheless a higher resolution would be to prefer again of the 1/4-recede thread mount in the underside of the enclosure and mount it to a tripod. That’s what I did, and it made it so noteworthy more straightforward to catch the tool to the optimum high and to stage it (it doesn’t beget adjustable ft for that aim). As successfully as to entrance projection, the Nebula II can moreover be configured for rear projection, and it will invert the image so you would possibly well maybe mount it from the ceiling in entrance of or in the support of the show conceal conceal.

I needed only eight ft of distance from the show conceal conceal to mission a 72-recede image, and I took again of the computerized focal level and keystone adjustments to make certain the image regarded its most interesting.

On startup, the projector’s auto-focal level characteristic analyzes its imprint projected on the show conceal conceal to maintain the most interesting adjustment in about one second. In the event you’re now not fully delighted with the final end result, otherwise you progress the projector, you would possibly well maybe call up a extra detailed image and both focal level manually or repeat the auto-focal level. Both means, the focus is pretty snug in comparison with a TV, nonetheless that’s the personality of the know-how—and the resolution.

anker nebula threaded mount Michael Brown / IDG

This 1/4-recede thread mount makes it clear-prick to set up the Nebula II on a tripod or the ceiling for entrance or rear projection.

There’s an computerized keystone-adjustment characteristic as successfully, and it modified into as soon as equally like a flash to bring the most interesting setting after I purposely distorted it the utilization of the manual controls. I don’t judge anyone will catch it mandatory to maintain manual focal level or keystone adjustments, since the computerized instruments work relatively successfully. I would maybe well inform the identical for the shade temperature adjustments of “heat,” “common” (the default), or “chilly.” I chanced on it now not easy to discern the variation between the latter two settings, and I didn’t luxuriate in the consequences “heat” delivered.

Video and audio efficiency

Now, 200 lumens of brightness isn’t a lot of gentle. You’ll catch no shortage of AC-powered projectors offering 10 occasions the lumens, nonetheless they after all don’t bustle on battery energy and aren’t on the subject of as self-contained. All that mentioned, I tested the projector in my dwelling theater at evening and modified into as soon as joyful with the consequences.

Searching at films on this class of projector is nothing luxuriate in looking out at on a excessive-end TV. The resolution is lower, for one boom, and the Nebula II doesn’t fortify any HDR formats (and it’s now not shiny enough to bring them anyway). It modified into as soon as in most cases unusable throughout the daylight except I closed the Graber room-darkening motorized shades on the two dwelling windows in that room.

In a suitably dusky room, the Nebula II delivered a scrumptious image with reasonably successfully-saturated shade. The principle focal level, as I mentioned earlier, modified into as soon as pretty snug, nonetheless now not objectionably so. And even with the Well-known individual Wars top rate incorporated, getting a 72-recede image this means is with out boom a pair of thousand bucks more affordable than procuring for a similarly sized flat-show conceal conceal TV.

anker nebula r2 d2 ports Michael Brown / IDG

You’ll catch the total ports you’ll need on the Nebula II, in conjunction with HDMI ARC.

However the characteristic that an excellent deal surprised me the most, to be staunch, modified into as soon as the projector’s audio quality. A single speaker plus a passive radiator for enhanced bass response delivered a robustly satisfying audio efficiency with a 270-stage sound discipline that with out boom fooled my ears into pondering the audio modified into as soon as emanating from the show conceal conceal eight ft away and now not the projector that modified into as soon as inches from my seating put. And in case you undoubtedly want to safe loopy, be conscious that there’s ARC fortify onboard (and as well you would possibly well maybe have interaction up a 15-foot HDMI cable for lower than $15).

The bottom line

The Nebula II is pretty costly pondering its brightness and spine, nonetheless level to me a identical tool that delivers the identical combine of entertainment parts that can match in a backpack and operate off the grid for bigger than two hours. I’d with out boom award that product four stars. But except you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Well-known individual Wars fanatic, it’s exhausting to define the upcharge for this R2-D2 mannequin—regardless of how diminutive of an model it is—so I’m docking it a half of-celebrity.

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  • Anker Nebula Capsule II R2-D2 Tiny Edition

    This recede-wherever video projector is a monumental entertainer, nonetheless the Well-known individual Wars tie-in pushes its label mark to a galaxy a long way, a long way away.

    Pros

    • A factual all-in-one entertainer
    • All the pieces’s onboard: Android TV, Chromecast, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI ARC…
    • Can operate on battery energy for 2.5 hours

    Cons

    • Well-known individual Wars tie-in balloons the worth trace
    • 720p resolution
    • 200 lumens of brightness
    • No HDR fortify

Michael covers the tidy-dwelling, dwelling-entertainment, and residential-networking beats, working in the tidy dwelling he in-built 2007.