XGIMI Elfin 1080p projector review: a great entry-level option
Who is the XGIMI Elfin 1080p for?
- The XGIMI Elfin projector is much smaller than other XGIMI projectors, making it easy to store between uses
- The Elfin projector is very light and has a smaller power cable, which is ideal for travel
- The Elfin features XGIMI’s excellent automatic keystone correction system, ensuring a perfect projected image every time
For a very long time, spotlights were those bulky, bulky devices that are either permanently attached to a ceiling or annoying to have to hang around and install every time. However, projector technology has improved rapidly, with projectors now getting smaller and smaller every year.
This raises a new problem with projectors so small that they lack the power to create a clear and bright image. Fortunately, XGIMI has managed to thread the needle of making a projector small enough to be portable, yet powerful enough to create a large, vivid image. It’s called the XGIMI Elfin, and it’s pretty awesome.
Small and light
The big selling point of the Elfin XGIMI projector is that it is much smaller than other offerings from XGIMI. The projector measures just under two inches and weighs just under two pounds. Comparing the Elfin to the XGIMI Horizon, the Elfin is easily half the height and a fraction of the weight.
While this makes it easier to carry the Elfin anywhere, there are some limitations that prevent the projector from being truly portable. On the one hand, the Elfin must be plugged in at all times to be used. Fortunately, the power cable that comes with the Elfin doesn’t take up much space. It’s about the same size as my laptop’s cable, which is a lot smaller than the big brick of a power cable that came with the Horizon.
The reduced size also means the Elfin doesn’t have as many ports and connections as other projectors. There’s still an HDMI port (which is ARC enabled, more on that later), a single USB port, and a 3.5mm audio port with the DC-in port. It would have been nice to have a second HDMI port in there, but I’m sure it would require expanding the entire projector to compensate.
Same great user experience
Despite its smaller size, the XGIMI Elfin is still virtually identical to other XGIMI projectors when turned on. The Elfin has Android 10 TV built in, which means users can stream from all of their favorite apps straight from the projector. This includes Hulu, Disney +, Peacock, HBO Max, YouTube, and more. If there is an app that is not supported, the Elfin also has Chromecast features built in.
Signing in to Elfin with a Google account opens up another layer of personalization. Once logged in, the Elfin home screen will offer suggested videos to watch based on YouTube history and more.
However, all of this is nothing compared to XGIMI’s true signature: automatic keystone correction. Once turned on, the Elfin is able to adjust its projected image on its own to ensure that the “screen” is perfectly sized. This automatic process starts whenever the Elfin’s placement has been adjusted, and it’s so smart it can identify potential obstructions like switches or windows and ensure that the projected image isn’t blocked or blocked. distorted.
The Elfin comes with a Bluetooth remote, which is great for controlling the projector without having to make sure the remote is pointed directly at it like an IR remote would require. Elfin’s remote is plastic, which looks a bit of a downgrade from Horizon’s pretty metal remote. That said, the battery compartment on the Elfin remote is much better than the one on the Horizon, so there are tradeoffs to be made here.
The XGIMI Elfin might be small, but its image quality is very impressive. The projector displays images at 1080p and 60Hz, which means everything from movies and video games to static images is fantastic. The only real downside to the Elfin is that it isn’t as bright as other XGIMI projectors, so the more ambient light there is, the more washed out of Elfin’s image. That said, at 800 ANSI Lumens, the Elfin is still just as bright.
I’ll say there’s something about the Elfin’s picture quality that isn’t as crisp as the Horizon, although the Horizon is a 1080p projector as well. When playing video games through the Elfin’s HDMI port, straight lines often appeared slightly jagged. These are minor complaints in the grand scheme of things, but if someone is looking for the best picture quality available, the Elfin isn’t.
Of all the aspects of the Elfin projector, the weakest has to be the audio. The Elfin packs two Harman Kardon 3W speakers, which is pretty decent considering the size of the projector, but those speakers aren’t enough to get past the “thin enough” level. Things still seem okay when using the built-in speakers, and I’ve always enjoyed all kinds of content, but the sound is a bit flat and rather quiet.
The great thing about the Elfin when it comes to audio is that there are a number of ways to use external hardware instead of the built-in speakers. There is Bluetooth, but it can cause a delay between picture and audio thanks to the natural latency of Bluetooth itself. There is the 3.5mm jack on the back of the projector for connecting speakers or headphones as well. However, my favorite is to use the HDMI ARC port.
If you, like me a few weeks ago, don’t know what HDMI ARC is, it’s a way to connect devices like soundbars. The Elfin, or any device with an HDMI ARC port, can then send all audio from the HDMI port and to any connected device. I hooked up the Elfin to the Bluesound POWERNODE from a separate exam, and the experience was seamless. Once everything was plugged in, I didn’t have to change any settings or dive into the options. Everything just worked. The only major downside here is that the Elfin only has one HDMI port, so if a user wants to plug in something else like a game console or Blu-Ray player, they can’t use a soundbar as well. via HDMI.
The XGIMI Elfin is a great intro level projector. Video quality is surprisingly good considering the small size of the projector, and the fact that the Elfin is small enough to carry and use virtually anywhere makes it very versatile. While the audio on the Elfin isn’t as powerful, it’s still quite good and there are a number of ways to improve it with other hardware.
At $ 650, the Elfin sits roughly in the middle of the pack in terms of price for what you get. While there are certainly projectors available at a lower cost, these lack XGIMI’s automatic keystone correction feature which really makes the setup process easier.