Qumi Q6 portable projector review

Qumi q6Following on from the well rated Vivitek Qumi Q3, can its bigger brother, the Qumi Q6 do any better?

Jay took the ultraportable projector for a spin a few months ago. Today I take a look at the next level up, the Q6.

Is bigger better?

Qumi Q6 design

The same but different?

Dimension wise, the Qumi Q6 measures 165 x 103 x 34 mm giving it a reduced width but slightly more height then the Q3. It weighs in at a supermodel like 0.475 kg, only slightly heavier than its sibling.

The extra height means you won’t be slipping this into your pocket, but the projector does come with a handy travel case that also holds all the required connectors. So it fits neatly inside your bag, with the added weight not impacting its portability.

As with most devices that have glossy finishes, be prepared to wipe away those fingerprints on a regular basis.

Differences between the Q3 and Q6 can be seen all over this model from the get go.

The top of the projector sports touch controls, meaning if you do lose the remote you’ll still be able to access all regular functions. This is excellent for the absent minded amongst us and me in particular as the watch battery in the remote was dead!

Q6 projectorAs you can see above, the front of the device lacks a sliding cover, but as this won’t be travelling around in your pocket its loss wont be missed too much.

The grill at the front continues the same design that exists on its side. The side section now also boasts a focus dial.

We were sent the black and silver version which looks very professional, but the Q6 comes in a variety of colours which look great!

Q6 sideThe biggest changes can be seen at the rear of the device, and in some ways are a big boon.

Check out our review of the ultra-portable Qumi Q3 projector

Ports

The Q6 loses one of the USB A ports, and surprisingly the Micro SD port, but is now 3D ready and sports an extra HDMI Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) port.

While MHL isn’t a term many people will be aware of (I wasn’t), from what I understand in layman’s terms it is optimised to output your devices’ images/videos to a larger screen as long as they also support MHL.

Theoretically you could connect a keyboard and mouse to your tablet, plug in the included HDMI to MHL cable and have a fully functioning workstation to play around with!

Q6 rear portsPower

Unlike the rear of the Q3, the Q6 does not have a teeny tiny battery symbol on it, simply because it isn’t rechargeable.

I assume this is because of the extra power this thing has over its little brother, which we’ll get into later.

But, it did surprise me as I’d expect the line to continue the trend, and for me does impact its portability as you have to carry around the power cable and mini brick with you.

Added to this, the mini stand has also been removed, meaning this either has to lie flat, or a tripod will need to be bought which I imagine will be essential.

They’ve taken away quite a lot…

Qumi Q6 performance

As alluded to, this thing is mostly about a step up in power rather than portability.

Full specs are at the end of the article, but stand outs to me include WXGA (1280 x 800) output (which lends credence to being used more with workstations as a lot of LCD monitors use this same resolution), and a boost from 500 to 800 ANSI Lumens.

Files and apps

Image size has been lowered to 90-inches max. This improves the clarity of picture and I don’t think the extra 10-inches the Q3 offers will be missed too much.

The Q6 also improves the support for different file types, and contains a 2.5 gb on-board memory meaning you can preload the projector before you go on any travels. Probably not great for films, but very handy for files/presentations as you wont need a separate external device.

In addition to the ports mentioned earlier, there are several ways to connect wirelessly to the projector.

Q6 EZ CastYou can get the EZCastPro app for iOS and Android devices (although it doesn’t have great reviews or look particularly official), or visit a site when using a PC/Mac (www.iezvu.com) to purchase a dongle. Both options are displayed on the Q6 when powered up so you don’t need to remember them.

Your Q6 will appear on your wireless devices list – connect to it, open the app and you’ll be able to connect the Q6 to your wifi network.

You’ll probably be faced with the firmware updating which you cant skip, a bit annoying but once done hopefully wont appear very often.

vivitek-qumi-q7-plus-general-settings-menuThere are some niggles – once I had downloaded the app and updated the projector, it then told me I would need to download a different app – QumiCast, and also kicked me out of the first app.

Personally, think the OS is pretty unwieldy: the process needs to be streamlined a bit, and needs to be slicker. You definitely want to sort out all the settings and updates before taking this little guy on the road.

Enough talk, lets get to the using bit

I tested using an iOS device initially.

The app allows you to display your photos and annotate them while on screen which was pretty cool although screams for use with a stylus rather than fingers.

iTunes

It’ll play music and videos that exist in your iTunes library (although you cant play videos you have taken yourself which is odd!). You can also access documents and iCloud, and mirror your web browsing, although I did run into problems attempting to do the latter.

You should also be able to use split screen using the app, but this did not work at all and disconnected me from my session. You’ll also be disconnected if your pc/phone/tablet sleeps or becomes idle (grrrr).

Live stream

One cool (but potentially useless) feature was being able to live stream from your device: my test subject was my puppy who looked suitably confused about seeing himself on the big screen.

Menus

The menus themselves are quite basic, and can become a chore to navigate through.

Q6 image settingsIt left me wanting a really good app that you could use to control all aspects of the projector rather than using the touch controls on top or the tiny remote supplied.

PC

As expected, connecting a PC via HDMI was easy. Everything looked sharp and crisp, perfect for presentations.

Colours were nice and bright, even in well lit room, and stood out even more once the lights were turned down.

I wasn’t able to play sound through the projector (probably due to my settings) so was still relying on the speakers attached to my laptop, but that might not be a bad thing: the speakers on the Q6 are still only 2W so would struggle with conveying the power of the Star Wars opening crawl.

USB

Also tried a USB with mixed results: photos and documents worked fine, but video play was a bit jarring, odd as the consoles and laptop play the videos without issues.

Q6 ThorSound

Next up I plugged the Q6 into my console, which is what I was really looking forward to trying out.

Sound did come through the speakers, and it was my first massive disappointment with the projector.

The speaker was far too quiet and really tinny.

While OK for presentations you’ll definitely want to find an alternative to these speakers if you are relying on audio.

Netflix

Watching Netflix the picture was great, and the unit has a number of pre-programmed display settings, with ‘Bright’, ‘Movie’ and ‘Game’ being the best for me, although you can create and save two of your own schemes.

Gaming

Gaming up next, and up first was an First Person Shooter (FPS).

Diving straight into a multiplayer game, am happy to say there was little to no lag for me, and using it with a headset was very much the preferred option.

I find FPS hard to play on big screens, so went to a couple of other games, with party/sports games being best for this size of screen.

Q6 gamingI was very impressed with how quiet the unit was while running. There wasn’t anything that would take me out of a movie or game at all.

It also remained cool through the 3 to 4 hours of use, but in case it does get hot the Qumi Q6 has a little light on top to indicate when you should turn it off.

Qumi Q6 portable projector review conclusion

Having read the Q3 review, I was really looking forward to testing the Q6 out but it is definitely aiming for a different audience. than

Without a doubt the Q6 has a lot more power and offers more options for those who want more out of their projectors, but does come at the expense of not being truly portable. By removing the rechargeable battery, needing a stand/tripod, and having poor connectivity wirelessly means you’ll have to carry a power brick (however small), shell out for a stand and carry that, as well as needing to plug into another device to get the most out of the projector. Additionally, you really should invest in some portable speakers if you need better sound.

I think it’s a bit of a shame that with all the great ports the system has, it doesn’t have an optical out for use with compatible surround sound systems.

However, I thought the picture quality was excellent, and barring the video play via USB (which could have been down to the file format i used) it was spot on.

The preset display options were all useful, and being able to create your own presets is an excellent idea.

The unit itself looks great and although not pocket sized I was impressed with all it could do in such a small shell.

Having heard some projectors suffer in low light conditions I have to say it excelled. I could easily see myself using this during the day for work, and watching films/playing games in the evening. I imagine conference centres/schools etc would be more than happy with it too!

To sum up: A great projector in of itself (if you have the set up for it!) even though it’s not as portable as the Q3.

Qumi Q6 price and availability

The Vivitek Qumi Q6 is available now for £525 from Amazon.

Check out the Vivitek website for a full list of stockists.

Qumi Q6 specs at a glance

Native Resolution WXGA (1280 x 800)
Brightness 800 ANSI Lumens
Contrast Ratio 30,000:1
Max. Supported Resolution 1080p (1920 x 1080) @60Hz
Native Aspect Ratio 16:10
Lamp Life and Type Lamp free design. LED light source last up to 30,000 hours
Display Type Single chip DLP® Technology by Texas Instruments
Chip Size 0.45” DMD
Throw Ratio 1.55:1
Image Size (Diagonal) 30″ – 90″
Projection Distance 1 – 3 m
Projection Lens F = 1.9, f = 15.3 mm
Zoom Ratio 1x
Offset (Based on Full Image Height) 105%
Keystone Correction Vertical: + 33°/ – 45°
Speakers 2W
Video Compatibility SDTV/EDTV/HDTV(480i/p, 720p, 1080i/p), NTSC 4.43, PAL(B/G/H/I/M/N/60), SECAM(B, D, G, K, K1, L)
I/O Connection Ports HDMI (x2: HDMI/MHLx1, HDMIx1), Audio-Out (Mini-Jack), USB A
PC Free Viewer Images: JPEG, BMP; Audio: MP1/MP2/MP3, WAV, WMA, OGG, ADPCM-WAV, PCM-WAV; Video: AVI, MKV, TS, DAT, VOB, MPG, MPEG, MOV, MP4, WMV; Document: Microsoft® Office 2010 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint w/o animation); PDF, TXT
Dimensions (W x D x H) 165 x 103 x 34 mm
Weight 0.475 kg
Noise Level 34dB / 30dB (Normal / Eco. Mode)
Power Supply: AC 100-240V, 50/60Hz Consumption: 52W (Eco. Mode), 66W (Normal Mode), <0.5W (Standby)
3D Ready(DLP link, PC+Video) Yes
Wireless Yes
Remote Control P/N 5041848500
WiFi USB Dongle USB type A Built-in
Standard Accessories HDMI-MHL Cable, User Manual (CD), Carrying Case, Quick Start Guide, Warranty Card (by region), Remote Controller (with battery), WiFi USB Dongle USB type A , AC Power Cord
Optional Accessories Remote Control P/N: 5041848500
Warranty 3 years warranty for projector and light source
UPC Code Q6-WT:813097 021151; Q6-BK:813097 020543; Q6-RD:813097 021182; Q6-OR:813097 021212; Q6-BU:813097 021243; Q6-GD:813097 021274: Q6-GY: 813097021816

 

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