The iRulu BL20 Home Cinema Projector was designed to bring movies and games to your living room on a larger screen. As such it’s not going to be all that great for office presentations. But for home entertainment it’s intended to be excellent. Every manufacturer boasts about how great their new model is, but I put the iRulu projector to the test. I’m going to be letting you know which claims where true and which where company exaggerations. Ultimately I’ll be filling you in on the details and then you can decide whether or not it’s worth the money.
- 2600 Lumens
- Very Cheap Price
- Upscaled 1080p
- Easy Set-Up
- Great Connectivity
- 2 Watt Speakers
- Not Quite 3D
Size and Design:
The design is rather minimalist, so there’s not much going on around the shell. Except of course for the ample Vents and the large Lens. At the back you’ll find lots of connection options which i’ll discuss in the performance section, but as far as the design goes you get a simple and functional piece of equipment. It weighs only 4.8 pounds which makes it one of the most portable high resolution Projectors out there. The measurements are 10.2 inches, by 8.9 inches, by 3.7 inches, so this is very small. As such it’ll be easy to place in a carry-on bag, or any bag for that matter. Transportation will be much easier than with comparative systems.
The Set-up is pretty reasonable too. You can be throwing up images within 10 minutes which is very good for an upscaled 1080p model. The Lens turns blue when throwing up images and if you haven’t seen anything like this before don’t worry. It’s because of the LCD technology inside, and it doesn’t affect the image quality. LCD actually boosts your lamp-life up to 20,000 hours so it enables the iRulu BL20 to last longer than almost all other Projectors.
Time for the finer details. Although you may have seen the iRulu BL20 advertised as a 1080p Projector, the 1080p images are actually upscaled. Imagine you have a Blu-Ray Player. The 1080p images it sends are then decoded and displayed by your Projector. A Full HD 1080p Projector will simply broadcast the 1080p images it gets. A 800X480 resolution projector like the iRulu will have to convert the information from the Blu-Ray Player into 1080p, from its lower resolution. A few of the pixels will be lost during this process, so what you actually get with the iRulu BL20 is something a little less than 1080p. The images are still amazing for around 170 Dollars, especially with the portability you get here. A consequence of this not being a standard 1080p Projector is that the 3D is also not quite full 3D. For the money you’re paying here though, I wouldn’t have expected 3D at all. Something close to 3D can be obtained and that has to be viewed as a quality inclusion.
For 170 Dollars the average brightness available is around 1200 Lumens. Here you get 2600 Lumens so this opens the door to larger screen viewing in the afternoon than you’d get on most Projectors in this price range. I was astounded that we’ve reached such a point that so many Lumens can exist on a value model like this. The Lumens also heighten the picture quality so colors will appear more vibrant and crisp than on other upscaled 1080p systems.
The biggest selling point here though is the connectivity on the iRulu BL20. There are 2 HDMI connections, so you can hook up your Blu-Ray Player and your Games System at once. There’s also a VGA connection for your Computer. There’s 2 USB connections as well so you can even plug in a Flash Drive and External Memory which enables you to play downloaded movies so you can consider this a usb projector. On top of all this they’ve thrown in a Composite Input for DVD’s and VHS Tapes. All this means that you can do more on this model than you can on many systems costing twice the price. Was an MHL connection for faster information transfer from Tablets and Phones too much to ask for? At 170 Dollars it probably was, especially as you can hook up your Tablet and Phone through the USB and still get great pictures.
The downside of all this is that they could only afford 2 Watt Speakers so you’ll need external speakers to get terrific sound. You’ll want to invest in these because the screen goes out to 200 inches from a throw distance of 6 metres back, which is excellent. The 2 Watt Speakers really let the movie experience down without extra help.
It’s quite a design masterpiece with all those connections. If you have many devices and you’re on a budget, the iRulu BL20 should be your first choice. It’s not 1080p but it is practically 1080p through upscaling, so you get great value. The 2600 Lumens where a welcome feature as was the ability to watch movies from online through the external memory connection. If you have 400 Dollars you’ll get a better system than this, but if you have less than 200 Dollars certain decisions have to be made, and you’re not compromising quality too much here. With the 200 inch screen you can have that cinema experience at home as long as you have External Speakers so this comes strongly recommend.