Deal | Handy iMUVI RFV mini portable 720p video projector is on sale for just $69 USD
Projectors based on mini-LEDs have gone down in price dramatically over the last few years with many retailing for well under $100 USD. TikTech was kind enough to send us a sample RFV Milano Mini portable video projector for our honest impressions. The unit can be had for just $69 USD when on sale at Amazon.
The first thing users will likely notice when taking the unit out of its box is how lightweight it is. At just 1140 grams, it truly does feel like the projector was designed for trips and on-the-spot movie nights for families who don't want to invest in a full-size home theater projector. We especially appreciate that the AC power cord is just a generic 1-15P cord and not some proprietary adapter. Unfortunately, the retail packaging includes no carrying bag or even a lens cover which we think is essential for any projector.
Setup is as easy as connecting the cord and pressing the power button on the unit itself or on the remote control. Users will be treated to a Windows Vista-like setup screen with direct access to settings and any music, video, audio, or text files from a connected USB drive. The latter feature in particular can be very useful as the projector not need rely on a connected PC for multimedia playback.
|USB Drive File Type||Supported Formats|
|Image||JPG, PNG, BMP, JPEG|
|Video||MP4, MKV, MOV, WMV, RMVB, RM, AVI, FLV, TRP, VOB, 3GP, DIVX, TP, TS, MPG, M2TS, F4V, DAT|
|Audio||MP3, AAC, WAV, FLAC, WMA, M4A|
|+ Lightweight and portable|
+ Quick plug-and-play setup
+ Relatively bright with good colors and contrast considering the price
+ No external AC power brick
+ Built-in speaker is relatively loud
+ Can play video and music from a USB drive; no PC required
+ Can easily mount onto any tripod
+ HDCP compliant
|- Loud, constant fan noise|
- No left, right, up, or down image shifting
- Short AC power cable
- Vertical keystone wheel occasionally gets stuck
- Not as bright or sharp around the corners
- Remote control buttons lack backlighting
- Very few lens adjustment features
- No lens cover included
- Native 720p instead of 1080p
- No internal battery
|Resolution||1280 x 720 (native)|
Supports input up to 1080p
|Brightness||4000 lux (not 4000 nits)|
|Speaker||4 W mono|
|Installation||Front, Rear, or Ceiling|
|Aspect Ratio||16:9, 4:3|
|Screen Size||Up to 236" (Realistically, we recommend staying under 90")|
|Input Voltage||AC 100 - 240 V|
|Languages||English + 25 others|
|Net Weight||1 kg (Our own scale shows 1.14 kg)|
|Dimensions||218 x 174 x 96 mm|
|Environment||0 - 35 C|
|Ports||3.5 mm headphones, HDMI-in, USB-A, AV composite|
Colors, brightness, and black levels look great considering the low price and fast setup time. Clarity could be better, however, as the edges and corners are noticeably dimmer and blurrier than the center no matter how much we fiddle with the settings. We find 80 to 90 inches to be the maximum screen size before brightness becomes too dim for comfort.
Speaking of settings, the projector has very few lens functions. In fact, the only features available are screen rotation, vertical keystone, and manual focus. We're not expecting as many options as a full-fledged HTPC projector, of course, but users should keep in mind that the limited adjustments also limit where the iMUVI projector can be placed. Screen size, for example, is fixed at 10 inches per feet from the wall (ex., 5 feet for 50-inch screen size, 6 feet for 60-inch screen size, and so on). Thus, if you're aiming for a certain screen size, then you'll have to make sure that the projector is a certain distance away.
Secondly, the lack of horizontal or vertical image shifting means that the iMUVI projector must be relatively leveled with the screen whereas most home theater projectors can be positioned far below or above the screen. Owners are not going to have much freedom in terms of where they can place the projector which may or may not be an issue depending on the surroundings. If on a flat table, for example, the projector may need to be placed on a stack of books or else the table itself will cut off half the screen.
The next disadvantage to keep in mind is the native 1280 x 720 resolution instead of 1920 x 1080. Though the projector can accept 1080p sources, the actual image will be downscaled to 720p.
Our last major complaint relates to fan noise. While full-size projectors are relatively quiet, this RFV mini projector can be louder than most laptops. We're able to record a constant fan noise of 43 dB(A) when sitting next to the projector which is what most users will likely be doing. The noise is loud enough to be distracting when gaming, watching movies or giving presentations. It's unfortunate that there is no "quiet" mode and so we recommend mounting the projector as far away as possible to optimize the viewing experience.
Other than these few noticeable flaws, there's not much else to complain given the low price. We found that mounting the projector onto a regular camera tripod or the edge of a table will work best in most conditions. Be prepared to use an extension cord as well because of how short the included 140 cm AC power cable is.