XGIMI AURA 4K ULTRA SHORT THROW PROJECTOR SPECS
|Rated Brightness||2400 ANSI lumens|
|Native Resolution||3840 by 2160 using 1920 by 1080 DLP chip with XPR fast-switch pixel shifting|
|Maximum Resolution||4096 by 2160; Full HD 3D|
|Inputs and Interfaces||HDMI|
|Dimensions (HWD)||0.9 by 3.9 by 3.9 inches|
The Xgimi Aura is not inexpensive, with a list price of $2,499; nevertheless, in comparison to other 4K home entertainment projectors, it is a steal. Among its features are compatibility for HDR10 and HLG, a 2,400-ANSI-lumen laser-phosphor light source certified at 25,000 hours, and an ultra-short-throw (UST) lens that enables the projector to be placed just inches away from the screen while still producing an image that is 150 inches diagonally. You won’t even be able to find a television with 110 inches for that amount. The Aura itself is a smart television that has Android TV 10 fully built into it. It also has an attractive style, with a handsome silver-and-black case that will look fantastic on a cabinet in your family room placed below a screen that is mounted on the wall. As a result of these factors, our team has selected it as the best 4K UST projector in its price and performance class. It is also an excellent candidate for taking the place of a television.
The Advantages of Using an Extremely Short Throw
The Xgimi Horizon Pro, which retails for $1,699, and the Aura are virtually identical in terms of their feature sets. Each one is constructed around a solid-state light source that is intended to survive for the entirety of the projector’s lifespan, and each one is combined with a single 1,920-by-1,080 DLP chip that makes use of TI’s fast-switch pixel shifting in order to display 3,840 by 2,160 pixels on the screen. In contrast, the Horizon Pro employs an LED light source, whilst the Aura makes use of a laser-phosphor light source, which is considerably more luminous. Both of these projectors use sound systems that are manufactured by Harman Kardon, which results in exceptionally good sound quality. However, the Aura ups the ante in terms of both volume and quality by incorporating two 15-watt woofers in addition to two 15-watt tweeters.
The selection of a particular lens constitutes the primary distinction between the two. Due to the standard-throw lens on the Horizon Pro, the projector needs to be positioned at a considerable distance from the screen. When compared, the Aura can be placed just inches away from a screen that is mounted on the wall. This eliminates the need to run power, data, and audio cables through walls, floors, or ceilings, and makes it just as easy to connect the wires as it is with a flat screen TV. The sole disadvantage is that UST lenses are expensive, which is one of the key reasons why the Aura costs $800 more than the Horizon Pro while having capabilities that are otherwise comparable. The other reason is that the laser-phosphor engine.
Large and Weighty, but the Assembly Is Quite Straightforward
The Aura is a heavy beast, weighing in at a hefty 24.25 pounds and measuring 5.5 inches in height, 23.9 inches in width, and 15.8 inches in depth (HWD). But the configuration is simple after it has been installed. Only the power wire needs to be connected, but you may also connect an Ethernet cable and HDMI connections to any number of video sources if you like. Connectors are located on the panel that is facing the screen, and they consist of a LAN port and three HDMI 2.0 ports. If you would rather use Wi-Fi to connect to your network, that option is available to you as well.
Because there is no optical zoom, as is the case with the vast majority of UST models, you will need to change the location of the camera in order to make the image fit on your screen. Because digital changes can sometimes generate artifacts and result in a reduction in image brightness, it is advisable to avoid utilizing the eight-point keystone adjustment if at all possible. The use of a powered automatic focus that consistently brings the subject into sharp focus upon command makes focusing a breeze. Configuring Android TV is a routine process.
It has been established that the sound system manufactured by Harman Kardon, which is compatible with both Dolby and DTS audio, provides a high level of audio quality for a projector. In addition to this, it features a capacity that is adequate for a sizable family room. Connecting an external system to the 3.5mm audio out, the S/PDIF optical audio out, or the one HDMI port that supports ARC will result in even greater sound quality than what is already provided. You are able to connect to a Bluetooth speaker; however, there is no audio lag setting to compensate for the possibility of the audio and video falling out of sync with one another. Additionally, it is possible to use the Aura as a Bluetooth speaker.
According to Xgimi, the lens on the Aura can project an image with a diagonal of 150 inches even when the viewer is only 17.3 inches away from the screen. During my tests, I had no problems using a screen that was 110 inches in size, and I measured the distance to the screen to be 9.5 inches. A screen that is at least 80 inches in size is suggested for use with Xgimi.
According to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), a brightness of 2,400 lumens is sufficient to illuminate a screen with a diagonal measurement of more than 150 inches when the room is completely dark. It is suited for a 125-inch diagonal image in 16:9 aspect ratio on a screen with 1.0 gain when there is moderate ambient light. You can alter the power setting to lessen the image brightness if you have a smaller screen or there is less light in the surrounding environment.
Putting the Xgimi Aura to the Test: It Performs Best When It’s Shiniest
When it comes to brilliantly light scenarios, which make up the overwhelming bulk of film and video scenes, the image quality of the Aura scores great grades. In my tests, it produced colors that were pleasantly saturated, had more than sufficient color accuracy by the standards of most people, provided detail that was appropriate for the resolution, and produced decent contrast for both video and film as long as the scene was well-lit. However, a substantial amount of shadow information was lost in situations that were predominantly dark, as well as in gloomy sections of scenes that were otherwise well illuminated.
When compared to standard dynamic range (SDR), dark situations in 4K HDR content did not achieve the improvement that was promised by HDR. When I compared the 1080p standard dynamic range (SDR) versions of the same movies on disc to the 4K high dynamic range (HDR) versions of the same movies, the 4K versions had substantially less shadow detail, the black level was not nearly as dark, and the contrast was significantly less. However, this is less of an issue when viewed in ambient light, which has a tendency to wash out dark blacks anyway, as opposed to when viewed in a room that is completely dark. Therefore, whether or not you think this is a problem will be determined by whether or not you intend to watch in the dark, as well as how picky you are about the quality of the image.
The vast majority of viewers will probably concentrate on how nice the bright moments appear and will be willing to tolerate the infrequent dark scenes without making any complaints. Complaints from video fans are to be expected, but the Aura was not created with them in mind. The four different preconfigured picture modes have very few or no options that can be adjusted. In addition, there is a Custom mode that consists of fundamental adjustments; nevertheless, there is no color management system, which is essential for the calibration process for video fans. All modes, with the exception of the Game mode, support both 2D and 3D input.
Even while all of them periodically wander just outside the area of realistic color for memory colors (colors that you are familiar with, such as skin color, blue sky, and popular fruits), the majority of people will consider any of the predefined modes to be appropriate for casual viewing. In my experiments, the color accuracy that was supplied by the preconfigured Office mode was the best. However, I ended up selecting the Custom mode since it was simple to alter to improve the accuracy, and it also benefited from the ability to adjust the brightness and contrast.
|AURA||HORIZON Pro||HORIZON||Elfin||Halo||MoGo Pro|
|Product Classification||UST Laser Projector||Home Projector||Home Projector||Home Projector||Protable Projector||Protable Projector|
|Brightness||2400 ANSI Lumens||2200 ANSI Lumens||2200 ANSI Lumens||800 ANSI lumens||800 ANSI Lumens||300 ANSI Lumens|
|Display Technique||DLP/0.47” DMD||DLP/0.47” DMD||DLP/0.47” DMD||DLP/0.33” DMD||DLP/0.33” DMD||DLP/0.23” DMD|
|Standard Resolution||3840 x 2160 (4K)||3840 x 2160 (4K)||1920 x1080||1920 x1080||1920 x1080||1920 x1080|
|Compatible Resolution||4096 x 2160 @60Hz||4096 x 2160 @60Hz||2K/4K||2K/4K||2K/4K||2K/4K|
|Speaker||4 x15W Harman/Kardon||2 x8W Harman/Kardon||2 x8W Harman/Kardon||2 x3W Harman/Kardon||2 x5W Harman/Kardon||2 x3W Harman Kardon|
Frame interpolation is available in the Custom, Football, and Movie game modes. Because adding frames also adds a digital video effect (also known as the soap opera effect), which makes movies look like live video, most people find it disturbing when applied to filmed material. This is because adding frames makes movies look like live video. However, it has the potential to improve the appearance of both live and recorded footage.
Because of the relatively low input lag that it has, game mode is the mode that should be used for gaming. I used a Bodnar meter to measure it, and I got 35 milliseconds for a 1080p 60Hz input and 34 milliseconds for a 4K 60Hz input, both of which are certainly acceptable for casual gaming.
Rainbow artifacts, which are flashes of red, green, and blue, can be displayed by the Aura, just like they can be displayed by any single-chip projector. However, I am able to spot these artifacts readily, and I saw them only rarely with the Aura. There shouldn’t be a problem with them as long as neither of you has trouble seeing them or finds them extremely bothersome. Our normal piece of advise is still relevant: If you find rainbow artifacts annoying, purchase the projector from a dealer that allows returns without charging a restocking fee so that you may test it out for yourself and see if it meets your needs.
The verdict is that the UST must be beaten.
When contrasted with its most direct rivals, the Xgimi Aura distinguishes out as a product that provides exceptional value for the money spent. In my tests, it showed more color fidelity and produced less rainbow artifacts than the $2,999 model did. 99 JMGO U2, for example, and offered a far higher image quality for movies that were played on Blu-ray discs than the $2,699 Wemax Nova did. And in terms of advantages for games, it has a lower latency than either.
If you are a video fan who demands even higher color accuracy in addition to a color management system for calibration, you will need to explore options that are more expensive, such as the BenQ V7050i, which can be purchased for $3,499. However, the improvement in picture quality won’t be enough to convince many individuals that the additional $1,000 is money well spent. If you want the convenience of an ultra-short-throw projector and don’t see (or don’t mind seeing) the occasional rainbow artifact, the Xgimi Aura delivers the best bang for the buck at this writing, making it our Editors’ Choice pick for entry-level 4K UST laser projectors and earning it the title of best overall value.