The UO Smart Beam Laser, Focus Free, No Need for Focus Adjustment, 150″, 120 Min is one of only three Laser Projectors currently on the market. It’s also the only one to get Class 1 FDA Registration for eye safety. I was intrigued, not only by this but also by the promise that buyers will be able to throw up images anywhere and on any surface. If I had a Dollar for every time a projection company promised me that I’d be in a mansion somewhere, instead of being a reviewer of technological devices. In this review I’ll be checking out that claim, and all the claims made by UO, so that you can decide for yourself if it’s a worthwhile purchase. Was it great? Was it even good? Did it hit a bulls-eye? or Did the Arrow fall short of the mark? You can find out here.
Next Generation Portability
No Set-Up Time
Low Contrast Ratio
Size and Design:
The major selling point of the Smart Beam is its size. It’s a 2 inch by 2 inch brown Cube with a small Vent and an equally small Lens. The Key word here is ‘small’ because that is what people who buy devices like these look for. The Smart Beam is one of a group of Projectors that you can slip into your pocket, take over to a friends house, or work and then flip it back on immediately throwing up images. It’s simple, convenient, and it looks ok too. I wouldn’t say it’s the most stylish device on the market so if you’re looking for major style then perhaps you’d want to consider a different model, but the Smart Beam is highly functional.
Super-Portables like the Smart Beam have to be functional, because they’re not as powerful as larger models. They make up for that with portability and simplicity of use. I’m happy to inform you that as far as transporting it to another location and throwing up images, the Smart Beam is amazing because it has no set-up. By no set-up I mean you literally have to do nothing to get images. It even has auto-focus so you don’t need to shift the Lens. It’s a case of just turning it on and you have images.
More good news comes with the connections. It does some things that other Super-Portables don’t do, like connecting wirelessly to ios Devices. So you could project whatever you’re doing on your iPhone onto a 150 inch maximum screen size. They also have wireless connection to all other mobile devices with Bluetooth. The Bluetooth here is version 3.0 so you should get a 200 foot range. Place your mobile device up to 200 feet away from the Projector and display images on the wall or ceiling. Great for online gaming and for streaming movies from the internet. There’s even MHL for faster connection to Phones and Tablets via cable. Plus there’s an HDMI connection for your games consoles and DVD Players.
Sounds great right? Well, you have to weigh these points up with the fact that the Speaker is only 1 Watt, so you’ll need to invest in External Speakers. Also the Contrast Ratio is only 400-1 so blacks and whites can be slightly muffled. While the resolution is 720p which is outrageously good for a Super-Portable, the low Contrast Ratio is still noticeable. The picture is fair, not great but you should never expect anything like 1080p from these small Projectors
So, Can you throw up images anywhere and on any surface? This was the manufacturers promise, and in the complex world of projection, the answer isn’t simple. Yes, with the lack of set-up and the easy operation you can throw up an image on any surface within seconds of turning it on. However you can’t really do that anywhere because has to be somewhere dark. With only 100 Lumens you can’t afford much light in the room or you won’t be able to see the images you’re throwing up. So, if you don’t like darkness you’ll most likely prefer Super-Portables within the 400-600 Lumen range, although they probably won’t have the connection options you get here.
The cost here is around $350 so they had to offer something special and I believe they did. Although the Contrast Ratio is low meaning it’s no where near 1080p, the connection options are endless. It’s for people who have iPhone, Tablets, and any other Smartphone. It’s for people who play console games and online games. These buyers will be thrilled with the fact that you can flip a switch and immediately play games on the ceiling or wall. They’ll be able to use their phone wirelessly on a 150 inch screen in the living room without going up to the bedroom to get it. You can even leave your phone at home and go next door to a friends house and still wirelessly surf the internet on your Tablet. It’s the ultimate accessory for your phone, tablet or games console, but if to want the cinema experience of watching movies then it’s not for you. So ask yourself what you’re buying it for and then you’ll know if it’s right for you. Thank you for reading.