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JMGO’s O1 is a surprisingly affordable ultra-short-throw projector

Ultra-short-throw projectors prevent the difficulty of discovering house someplace in the course of the room, which is best for cramped flats like mine. These machines come at a value, although, with respectable fashions beginning at round $2,800 as we observe in our latest projector information. Xiaomi’s Mi Laser Projector is a little extra affordable with a sub-$2,000 checklist value, however an up-and-coming Chinese model referred to as JMGO needs to considerably decrease the entry barrier to ultra-short-throw projectors. It’s launching two fashions: the $699 O1 and $859 O1 Pro, the latter “co-engineered” with Leica.

Chances are you won’t have heard of JMGO, but it surely’s really been round for 10 years and claims to be one of many high projector manufacturers in China. It’s actually arduous to overlook this model’s projectors round retailers right here in Hong Kong, no less than. Given that this is Engadget’s first time making an attempt a JMGO machine, although, and provided that each fashions are launching globally by way of Indiegogo, we borrowed a Chinese model of the futuristic-looking O1 to see if there’s a catch.

Gallery: JMGO O1 ultra-short throw LED projector | 15 Photos

Gallery: JMGO O1 ultra-short throw LED projector | 15 Photos

The O1 is an Android-powered ultra-short-throw projector, with an LED mild supply relatively than the type of laser mild supply you’d discover on dearer machines. With a throw ratio of 0.25:1, it initiatives a advisable 80-inch display screen dimension when it is positioned 10 inches away from the wall. You can push this as much as a 100-inch display screen by growing the wall distance to 14 inches, or go all the way down to a humble 65-inch display screen with a 5.5-inch distance.

The projector has a native 1080p decision, together with 120-percent protection of the NTSC gamut, 800 ANSI lumen brightness and 5,000:1 distinction ratio. While this is removed from the brightest projector on the market, the O1 nonetheless has a sensible eye safety system, which mechanically dims the image when a human or pet is detected throughout the projection vary, simply in case they give the impression of being straight on the mild supply.

Richard Lai/Engadget

While among the specs are nowhere close to as spectacular because the O1’s laser counterparts, LED does convey the advantage of a longer lifespan — 45,000 hours right here as an alternative of, say, the 20,000 hours Xiaomi’s mannequin provides. Auto focus and auto keystone correction can be found, and you too can tweak these manually if wanted. There’s additionally a wall colour calibration characteristic to assist enhance accuracy.

On the again, there are two HDMI sockets, two USB connections, a LAN port and an optical-in socket for audio. For those that actually care about specs, the O1 has a quad-core, 4K-friendly MediaTek MT9669 processor plus 3GB of RAM and 16GB of inner storage. As you may need guessed, you additionally get WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. The latter is primarily for the distant management, but it surely additionally turns out to be useful for those who simply wish to blast music out of the pair of 7W Dynaudio audio system.

For streaming and mirroring, iPhones can merely use AirPlay, however Androids should use a third-party app referred to as EShare. It’s unclear whether or not JMGO can add Google Cast assist sooner or later, so for now, I’ve to plug in a Chromecast dongle.

Richard Lai/Engadget

Removing the shiny O1 from its field, I used to be shocked by how mild it felt — 2.3 kilograms (about 5 kilos) is insubstantial in comparison with most projectors. I used to be in a position to arrange the equipment inside minutes by hooking it as much as my WiFi community, adopted by pairing the Bluetooth distant management. 

When I turned on the O1, I used to be greeted by the Android-based Luna OS’ “message board” homescreen. This is merely a large clock widget hovering above a music widget, a climate widget and a voice assistant widget (this can be Amazon Alexa within the international firmware). These modules stand in entrance of a black backdrop, and the darkish interface blends properly into my wall, particularly when the room is nearly pitch black.

Richard Lai/Engadget

From the homescreen, you’ll be able to toggle the music participant which provides numerous visualizers to go together with the tune and, if out there, lyrics. Scrolling left walks you thru a digital artwork gallery, which mainly turns the wall into a creative dynamic wallpaper. I might see these coming in useful on your subsequent home get together (for those who may even keep in mind what these are like).

In phrases of image high quality, you’ll be able to most likely guess from the specs that you will have to decrease your expectations considerably: This is not a $3,000 projector. But however, the projection is fairly good for a $699 machine, not to mention an ultra-short-throw one. 

Richard Lai/Engadget

If I could nitpick for a second, the colours are a little over-saturated, which is probably the results of a restricted dynamic vary. But I discovered the image completely high-quality for my casual video watching. I additionally struggled to get auto keystone correction to work on the high proper nook of the projection, as you’ll be able to see within the picture above. This tends to occur if my projection is above 55 inches vast on that wall, and it is potential that the floor is not clean sufficient for this characteristic to operate correctly. It’s simple to repair this manually, anyway. Maybe sometime I’ll purchase myself a devoted projection display screen.

The greatest shock was the audio efficiency. The Dynaudio stereo audio system produced clear sound with sufficient bass, a lot that I might see myself utilizing the O1 for background music when my associates are visiting — the music visualizer on the wall could be one thing to speak about, no less than.


Even although I did not get to check JMGO’s bigger and heavier O1 Pro (pictured in the best half of the above picture), it is price stating the variations. Supposedly with assist from the high-end digicam model Leica, this machine provides a higher throw ratio of 0.21:1, greater brightness at 1,250 ANSI lumens, decrease image distortion rate (lower than 0.5 p.c as an alternative of 1 p.c) and better distinction ratio at 6,000:1. Apparently, Leica additionally had a say in distinction, colour copy, sharpness, noise discount and extra, so it will be fascinating to check the image high quality between this and the O1, particularly given the cheaper mannequin’s over-saturated colour.

The O1 Pro additionally comes with extra highly effective 10W Dynaudio audio system in a bigger sound cavity, which ought to produce extra cinematic audio. You’ll additionally discover two extra “AI cameras” on this machine: the entrance digicam is for gesture management and brightness adjustment, whereas the rear digicam is for auto body becoming when utilizing the machine with an ambient-light-rejecting display screen.

The one factor I’m baffled by right here is JMGO’s choice to launch two comparatively affordable ultra-short-throw projectors with “just” a $160 value distinction, which is most likely why most backers as of writing have opted for the O1 Pro as an alternative. For me, having already seen what the O1 is able to, for those who’re set on shopping for one in all these projectors then the O1 Pro is more than likely a no-brainer at this value. That is, until you have got tight necessities on the scale of the machine, or possibly simply cannot wait an additional month for the Pro to launch. (The O1 is slated to ship in August, whereas the O1 Pro will not arrive till September.) Either method, I’m impressed by what JMGO has achieved in such a low-cost product. Hopefully it conjures up different manufacturers to play catch-up.

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