The Vimgo P10 is one of those seemingly countlessI will christen it “ultra budget” on Amazon. It’s priced between $200 and $250, similar to the AAXA P8, the cheapest projector we’ve reviewed so far. To answer the most obvious question: Yes, the Vimgo P10 actually works.
I was prepared with a long list of hilarious comparisons to describe how bad the Vimgo P10 was. After all, how good can a projector be that costs less than a couplereally be? The answer is, to my surprise, not bad. It’s certainly not good, but for the low price it’s fairly bright, has an impressive contrast ratio, and even has built-in, even if there is no built-in battery.
- Stylish design
- Surprisingly good contrast and brightness
I do not like
- Crazy color
- Various problems with small images
- No throwing up
So you should trade yoursget this amazing achievement in video projection? Definitely not. But you might be surprised at how far the lower end of the projector market has come.
Here’s what a cheap (but good enough) projector looks like
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Look into the lens
- Native resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
- Compatible with HDR: No
- 4K compatible: Yes
- 3D compatible: No
- Lumens specification: 300
- Zoom: Nope
- Lens shift: No
- LED life: 30,000 hours
Many of the P10’s biggest problems and one strength stem from its bizarre lens. It’s by far the easiest – and largest for this category – lens I’ve seen on a projector like this. Large lenses are usually a good thing because they let in more light. For cameras, a large lens offers a number of image quality advantages. There are similar benefits with a projector, but there are also different trade-offs. Without getting too far into the weeds of lens design, I’ll just say that the P10’s abnormal lens gives it surprisingly good brightness and contrast, seemingly at the cost of uniformity and overall sharpness. P10 iswhich is rare among cheap projectors, but its sharpness and detail suffer quite a bit towards the edges of the image.
Another odd thing: There is no throwing up. Projectors are usually designed to project an image with the bottom edge being at or above the top of the projector itself, so you can place the projector on a coffee table or mount it upside down on the ceiling and project the image roughly in the middle of the wall. The P10 projects straight ahead. That’s not unheard of – high-end, and do this, for example. But what those projectors have, the P10 doesn’t: zoom. Without zoom, the P10 produces a 100-inch image when placed roughly 9 feet from the screen, right where you’re likely to be sitting, and then it needs to be about 4 feet off the ground. That is, more or less at eye level.
I recommend using a tripod with the P10 rather than trying to stack books or boxes on the table to make it tall enough. That, or you have to create a smaller image than you might want by sitting closer to the screen and watching from behind. Yes, you can use keystone adjustment,.
The P10 is surprisingly quite bright. Vimgo claims 300 lumens and I measured 271, which is not only one of the closest claimed readings I’ve tested, but also roughly the same as the AAXA P8 and even the much more expensive Xgimi Halo Plus. The simplicity of the lens also seems to lend itself to a solid contrast ratio. I measured an absolutely impressive ratio of 1907:1, which is technically better than the $4,000 Epson LS11000. Hold your applause, though; that’s not the whole story.
- HDMI inputs: 1
- USB port: 1
- Audio output: Headphone output/Bluetooth
- Internet: 2.4GHz/5GHz
- Remote control: No backlight
The P10’s inputs are pretty traditional – HDMI, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Although the design suggests that there are large speakers on both sides, they are not. Instead, there are two small 5W speakers on the back. They do sound better than a lot of small, cheap projector speakers – a bit boomy at maximum volume, but I’ve heard worse.
There are somebuilt in like Netflix , youtube, and . It isn’t or Voodoo. These are often mobile versions of these apps, so for example you can’t send Netflix from your phone to the P10 because Netflix treats the P10 as a source, not a display. Likewise, it’s a pain to navigate with the remote control. But it works, so there’s that.
And whatever you do, don’t lose your remote because the only button on the projector itself is power. Without the clicker, you won’t be able to scroll through the menus or focus the image. The P10’s digital focus adjustment is not automatic like most small projectors.
IVimgo P10 on AAXA P8 and . The AAXA P8 comes as close to the Vimgo in price as any projector we’ve reviewed. However, the P8 is significantly smaller. Closer in size to the Vimgo is the Anker Mars II Pro, which is also roughly twice as expensive. It’s our favorite choice for a portable projector, and unlike the other two, it has a built-in battery. I connected all three to a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amp and viewed them side-by-side on a 102-inch screen with a gain of 1.0.
All three are on the same playing field when it comes to brightness. They can produce a 100-inch image, but look much more comfortable producing something in the 50-inch range.
Image sharpness makes a bigger difference. AAXA is only 960×540 and displays with big chunky pixels. The Mars II Pro is 720p so it looks sharper. The Vimgo is 1080p, and despite some issues with its lens, it looks the sharpest – by a bit. As long as the subject is in the center of the frame, there is plenty of detail. However, the sides of the image don’t look nearly as sharp, a problem I blame on this lens. Unless you adjust the image settings, some of this apparent sharpness is due to extremely demanding edge enhancement, which is why the Vimgo, like most displays,.
is Vimga’s biggest strength, and if you’re a projector and only have one stat to choose as the best performer, choose contrast ratio. It’s like designing a race car and early on deciding, “You know what would make this car really good? If we made it fast.” Compared to the other two, Vimgo looks significantly less washed out with more depth and is not subtle. We are talking levels of difference here. I’m not sure how Vimgo did it, but I’m guessing it’s a weird simple lens.
With strong contrast comes a lot of weaknesses. The brightness uniformity of the P10 is abysmal, again probably due to the simple lens. The center of the screen is noticeably brighter than the edges, as if someone activated the “vignette” control to stylishly darken the corners. The P10 also has the worst color of any display I’ve tested in over two decades. Reds are practically pastel pink, blues are somewhat blue-green, greens are pale and yellowish.
Even so, with this great contrast ratio and decent brightness, the Vimgo should be an easy winner among the three, but it isn’t. It’s definitely better than AAXA. Both have terrible color accuracy, but otherwise terrible if you can believe that. So unless you need something that fits in the palm of your hand, the Vimgo image is better.
But the Anker Nebula Mars just looks much more natural and its color is much more accurate. I mean, even slightly grounded in reality, it’s an improvement over Vimg, and Mars II Pro goes further. So yes, Anker is overall better than AAXA or Vimgo.
The Mars II Pro isn’t as detailed, is more expensive, and has a fraction of the contrast ratio, but it just has a more pleasing picture overall. This is why it has done so well compared to many others, despite its own problems. However, it is two and a half times more expensive than Vimgo, so one would hope it would be better.
And what? At $300, the Capsule is definitely much closer in price to the P10 than the Mars II Pro. However, with a measured 85 lumens, it would look exceptionally dim in comparison. It’s a good projector for its small size and price. In the same line, it’s $360, but significantly brighter than either of those, and like the Capsule, has a built-in battery.
Bottom line: Can’t beat the price
Honestly, I don’t know what to think about the Vimgo P10. The image it creates is pretty bad in many ways. I feel like I could crush it to dust if I pressed too hard. The lens and overall design looks like a pastel HAL 9000. I want to lose it completely but sorry Dave I’m afraid I can’t. Because the image it creates is surprisingly perfectly watchable, especially considering how little it costs. If you can afford better, should you get something else? Yes, sure. But for more money I’ve seen far worse.
So if you keep in mind that this is an ultra-budget projector, one of the cheapest products in a category that includes models priced above $50,000, it’s a steal. I wouldn’t consider it a TV replacement, but if you want something on hand for the occasional big screen party, it’s an easy and cheap option.