Portability is one of the buzzwords of the projection industry. Portable devices are popular with consumers because you can take them out for movie nights under the stars, to friends’ houses, to work, or on family vacations. In other words, the portability of Projectors provides consumers with a different and more user-friendly experience than the traditional TV does. Wherever you want to go, your home entertainment can come with you. But not everyone has infinite money to spend so I’ve been reviewing some Projectors priced at under 100 Dollars to give you an example of what is out there for a cheap price. This afternoon it’s the turn of the DBPOWER T21 Upgraded LED Projector, 1800 Lumens Multimedia Home Theater Video Projector. You’ll hear about what it does well, what it does not so well. And, ultimately, you’ll be in a more informed position regarding your future Projector purchase.
- Nice Design
- Easy Interface
- Great connection options including: Phones, Tablets, PC’s, and Games Consoles
- Very good 1080p Upscaling
- 1800 Lumens
- 176 Inch Screen
- All Video and Photo Formats Supported
- Wireless connection to external devices requires Dongle or Adapter sold separately
- HDMI Cable only 1 Meter Long
At 3.3 pounds the DBPOWER T21 is significantly heavier than its predecessor, the 2.1 pound T20. But the build quality is better and more durable. And at 3.3 pounds it’s still incredibly portable. It’s also smaller than the T20 measuring 5.83×7.3×2.76. The difference is marginal but it’ll matter when you come to put it in your bag and it’s already full. It’s thinner than the T20 though so it needed the compensation of a better build otherwise it would have been flimsy. Other than these points, this is a typical DBPOWER design with a Keystone wheel going out to 15 degrees in the same position as on the T20. And, basic controls situated on the top right. Overall the design is standard, basic and what you’d expect from a budget Projector.
Set-up is easy and involves just adjusting the Keystone and the Lens focus. It’s plug-in and play so you’ll get a picture up in minutes.
Plug in: What do You See?
Immediately upon plugging in you’ll be seeing a screen with some options on it. These include: Movie, Music, Photo or Text. These are mode options which allow you to explore specific files on a connected device. There’s also some alternatives below to enable USB devices or to read an SD Card. You have a source button here too and going through this gets you to a screen with USB, HDMI, PC and SD Card options. By clicking on one of these you’re choosing to reject the mode options in favour of directly viewing on the default calibration, whatever device is connected up via the specific cable. I prefer the second option because some of the mode options aren’t all that good.
PC’s connect via the VGA cable, Tablets via USB and phones require the Wi-Fi Dongle or an adapter. Games Consoles will connect using an HDMI Cable, but it should be noted that the one supplied is only a meter long so you may need and extension or replacement.
There’s 1800 Lumens and you couldn’t expect any more for the price. Sure, you could search deeper in your pockets and go for something with 3000 Lumens but you’d be spending a lot more money. 1800 Lumens will only give you enough light for viewing in darkness so close the curtains or draw the blinds before viewing. Movies will be in perfect clarity outside at night with the DBPOWER T21.
Avoid Movie Mode as I found it to be not so good. If you want to view a movie or watch a video, go into Picture Mode and increase the brightness. If you do this you’ll get the best out of this Projector and at its best it’s very good. I noticed very few distortions as was the case with the T20 and while it doesn’t have the amazing quality you get with full 1080p HD, the upscaling does a terrific job of creating clear images. This is partly helped by the upgraded LED light source which is 50% brighter than other LED’s.
This Projector supports:
MPEG-4, RMVB and H.264 video formats. The audio formats it supports are MP2, MP3, wav.aac and OGG. Photo Formats include JPEG, GIF and PNG. What this means to you is that you get the whole formatting gamut. MPEG-4 is the format used by most streaming sites and it’s probably the only video format you’ll use. H.264 means you’ll be able to run flash video and RMVB refers to the format used by most Asian movie and game streaming sites. So, you’ll be able to run any video or movie on this.
Most internet pics are JPEG and GIFS (Graphic Interchange Format) which are becoming more widespread are also covered. In other words, you’ll be able to do all the things you currently do on your phone, PC or Tablet, on your projector by hooking them up.
Throw distance refers to how far away you need to place the DBPOWER T21 from your screen or wall, to get optimum image quality. Most super-portables have short throws and the T21 does too. The throw is between 1.5 and 5m. You’ll need the full 5 meters to get the maximum screen size of 176 inches. Although you can get 130 inches from 2-2.5 meters back. This is competitive but not outstanding although at the price it’s incredibly good
So there you have it. Everything you need to decide whether the DBPOWER T21 Upgraded LED Projector is a match made in heaven or an ugly divorce. Read this article over again, compare all the points I’ve made about it with your own personal requirements and make a decision on it. For some, it’ll be perfect. For others not so much. But I’m sure we all agree that it comes at a great price. Thank you for reading.
UPDATE: Seems to not currently be available in the US but can be found else where as per the button above.