Mirror M1200S Ultra Pro Smart Projector Review
Priced at $699.99 (although its website has a sale of $599.99 so far), the Mirror M1200S Ultra Pro Smart Projector is superior in some aspects and inferior in others, sometimes speaking of the same functionality. Unlike most Android-based streaming projectors, including the Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 ($999.99) and Editors’ Choice award-winning Xgimi Horizon ($1,099), the Mirror offers a Netflix app. But while Netflix support is a plus, the app is somewhat flawed (more on that in a minute), so it matters less than it should. The same goes for the M1200S as a whole: it’s worth considering if you’re buying a home projector, but that recommendation comes with some hurdles.
Simple setup, but Android OS, not Android TV
The Mirror M1200S is built around a 1920 x 1080 pixel DLP chip and an RGB LED light source with a rated life of 30,000 hours in Eco mode or 20,000 hours at full brightness. Physical setup is simple: find a location for the projector, which isn’t difficult since it’s a compact 5.6 x 7.6 x 7.5 inch, and connect the power cord. power supply and cables, then turn it on. The rear panel includes an HDMI 2.2 port and an Ethernet port, the latter for those who prefer a wired network connection for streaming, although you can also use Wi-Fi.
There’s no optical zoom, but at just 4.8 pounds the device is easy to move around to adjust image size. You can also use digital zoom, although you probably don’t want to, as with any projector, using it reduces brightness and can add artifacts.
By default, the Mirror focuses automatically. However, I found I could get more consistent focus across the entire frame by manually adjusting the motorized focus using the remote. The end result was a little soft, but crisp enough that few viewers seated at a typical distance would complain.
Another automatic feature worth mentioning is the keystone adjustment. I don’t usually mention digital keystone in reviews, because it’s best avoided for the same reasons digital zoom should be. For those who love it, however, the projector version is outstanding for adjusting vertical and horizontal keystone distortion. It works by briefly projecting a stored image onto the screen, analyzing it, and then adjusting keystone settings to compensate. In my testing I found it could be misled by objects close to the edge of the screen, but it otherwise worked as advertised.
The Android 9-based operating system uses Aptoide apps, which have earned a reputation for being less reliable for streaming than the versions used by Android TV and other streaming platforms. In my testing, for example, the Netflix M1200S app skipped a second or two of video occasionally. Mirror says it’s working on a replacement operating system it calls Synq TV, which it plans to make available for download on current units in March 2022, though it plans to continue selling the projector with its current operating system for those who prefer it. According to the company, the new operating system will “bring together all the streaming services you’ve signed up for into a single interface,” so the controls on the remote will work the same no matter what service you’re watching. .
The integrated audio is surprisingly robust for a compact projector. Dual 10-watt speakers, along with Dolby and DTS audio, deliver exceptionally good sound quality for the size of the device and enough volume to fill a large family room. You can also connect to an external audio system for even higher quality, using the S/PDIF optical audio output.
An above-average picture
Image quality is a strong point, with good color accuracy and better contrast and shadow detail than is typical for this category of laptops from room to room. The Mirror offers four preset picture modes with no settings, plus a custom mode that lets you tweak only brightness, contrast, sharpness, and saturation. Preliminary testing allowed me to quickly decide on Monitor mode as the best choice, a decision that served me well throughout my viewing. For 1080p SDR hardware, it delivered the best color accuracy of the five modes—better color accuracy than most comparable LED projectors—and fine contrast and shadow detail given the price of the projector. It also retained detail well in highlights.
Although the M1200S does not support HDR, it can accept 4K input (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) for conversion to its native 1080p. Comparing the disc versions of the same films in 4K HDR and 1080p SDR formats, the two looked similar, but the 4K versions were slightly improved overall. Black levels were a bit higher, making dark scenes less dramatic. However, the 4K versions also revealed more shadow detail, and dark scenes held up better in ambient light when I turned on a streetlight.
Note that the M1200S doesn’t offer frame interpolation for motion smoothing, and its input lag is long enough to be a potential problem even for casual gamers, let alone fast-twitch gamers. I measured the lag with a Bodnar meter at 141 milliseconds or more, at 1080p and 60Hz. (The offset variance depended on the picture mode.)
The projector also offers Full HD 3D, using only DLP-Link glasses. The unique 3D image mode supports two 3D formats, top-on-bottom and side-by-side. To use either, you have to manually switch to 3D and the format you want in the menus, then manually switch back to 2D when you’re done. In my testing, I saw no crosstalk, and 3D-related motion artifacts were within the typical range of today’s 3D projectors.
Mirror rates the brightness of the M1200S at 1,000 LED lumens or 700 ANSI lumens. With no standard for LED ratings, the former is not useful for comparing the unit to other projectors, although it essentially translates to a claim that (in a dark room) the images projector would be rated as bright as a 1000 lumen. lamp projector.
In my tests in Monitor mode, the Mirror’s image was bright enough to illuminate a 90-inch screen at 1.0 gain in a darkened room, but unable to withstand ambient light well at that size, making it about as bright as me. d expect 500 ANSI lumens. It was also bright enough to produce a watchable but slightly washed-out image on an 80-inch 1.0-gain screen in a family room on an overcast day. (See our guide to choosing the right projector screen.)
On the plus side, the M1200S does a good job of avoiding rainbow artifacts, red/green/blue flashes which are a potential concern for any single-chip projector. I only saw hints of it with the Mirror, and not many of them. That said, if you’re sensitive to rainbow artifacts (some viewers aren’t), it’s always a good idea to buy from a retailer who accepts returns with no restocking fees so you can test the projector. by yourself.
Complement, not replace, a TV
The Mirror M1200S is a natural fit as a room-to-room portable for changing setups. Its built-in audio is good enough that you don’t need to worry about a separate audio system in many cases, and its picture quality and brightness are good enough for casual viewing in places you don’t keep no TV normally, including outside for a movie night in the garden.
If you want a streaming projector bright enough to replace or serve as a TV in your family room, consider the $1,099 Xgimi Horizon (1080p), $1,699 Xgimi Horizon Pro (4K), or the $1,699 Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12. $999.99. The last is our favorite among 1080p room-to-room streaming projectors with a solid-state light source. Both Xgimi models are brighter than the Epson (and the Horizon Pro is the only one of the bunch with native 4K resolution), but the EF12 is the only one with guaranteed freedom from rainbow artifacts.
As for the Miroir M1200S, its major advantage is its low price. If you can live without the higher brightness offered by the other models, that could easily make it your best bet.
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