Geek pick of the week: XGIMI’s Elfin projector – Cinelinx
Functioning as both a portable / smart TV option, XGIMI’s recent Elfin projector makes a great gift option for the nerds on your list and is our last pick of the week!
As the holiday season approaches, we’re bringing back our Geek Pick of the Week. Each week before Christmas, we’ll be showcasing a cool product we’ve found that we think would be the perfect gift for geeks of all kinds. Use them to help you fill your own wishlist or to find the perfect gift for the nerds in your life. Click HERE to learn more about the previous picks of the week!
The Elfin isn’t the first XGIMI projector I’ve had the opportunity to review, and I’m continually impressed with what they are able to deliver in such a small package. Like many of their recent launches, the Elfin is touted as a portable projector that lets you take all the features you want, wherever you can think of (with a power supply). Unlike the MoGo Pro, which is a more vertical affair, the Elfin adopts a more traditional projector profile.
It’s still not “big” by any stretch of the imagination. The device weighs just under two pounds and only about 2 inches thick all around. However, don’t be fooled by its smaller size, as it still manages to contain a bit of power and quality. The minimalist design still includes an HDMI 2.0 port, a USB 2.0 port and a 3.5mm audio jack on the back. So you can plug everything in from a Blu-ray player, pretty much any game console, or even load a movie from a flash drive.
It also incorporates 3W stereo speakers. With the small size of the device as a whole, I was surprised at the strength of the speakers. If you are watching with a larger group of people or in a larger space, you will likely need external options. For use in your bedroom / living space, however, this will work just fine.
Despite its compact nature, the Elfin still manages to reach 800 ANSI lumens. That’s 500 ANSI MORE Lumens than the MoGo Pro. While it might not be as bright as some of the high-end projectors on the market, it’s still pretty darn impressive, especially considering its size.
I’m not going to bore you with every last detail of Lumens / ANSI Lumens, and who they work with, but suffice to say, the brighter the image, the better. For more practical reasons, what that means with the Elfin is that it works great even without the lights off. So if you wanted to use it in your living room during the day just for changing channels / watching TV, you absolutely could. It is bright enough that other ambient light does not erase the projected image.
When you turn off all the lights and use the Elfin in a dark room, the results are impressive. While it keeps things locked to 1080P HD resolution, being able to maintain that high level of fidelity even on a 120-inch screen is amazing. I had mine installed to test in my room, with a real screen stretched over the wall. It was crazy and it was like being in a movie theater.
Even when I stretched out to the limits furthest from its projection limits, the image remained crisp and clear. It’s not easy to get a good picture of what the projector looks like in action, but I think this one does a decent enough job of showing what you can expect:
Yeah, it’s 120 inches tall Dune in my room. I couldn’t imagine a better film to use for my initial test. This is possible because, like their other portable projectors, the Elfin uses the Android TV 10 operating system. So you can run this, connect to your internet and download all kinds of apps (like HBO Max, Hulu, Disney Plus, etc.). This is one of the main things I love about these XGIMI projectors. Even without needing anything else to connect to it, you can still watch / enjoy pretty much anything. It’s like having a Smart TV that you can take with you anywhere.
Certainly there are some setbacks. On the one hand, it requires you to sign in with a Google account from the start. This is not a major problem, but even if you plan to use only external devices for the projector, you still need to connect so that it can do anything. Again, it’s not a big deal, but it sure could be a little frustrating.
On top of that, for some reason, it really does support the Netflix app. There are workarounds, but it sounds like a strange oversight given how important Netflix is ââto the overall streaming experience. I had no issues with the other streaming apps on the platform, other than a slight lag on the remote control and Google Assistant voice function.
In general, “minor” is a good way to describe just about any problem I have with the Elfin. It’s very frustrating that they removed the internal battery from it, so it needs to be connected to a power source at all times. While that’s not a big deal, it certainly detracts a bit from the portable look they’re looking for.
Otherwise, I really loved the Elfin, even more than the MoGo Pro. It’s sharp enough, with plenty of features for $ 650, it’s a solid contender against many smart TVs. Sure, it doesn’t hit 4K, but the size, apps, and the ability to move it anywhere on a whim work in its favor.
If you are looking for something to improve your home setup this holiday season, or want to please the moviegoers / gamers in your home, this is a great option.
The Elfin is available now direct from XGIMI and Amazon.
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