Jeremy Laukkonen is automotive and tech writer for numerous major trade publications as well as the creator of a popular blog and video game startup. A fan of EVs since the early 2000s, he stays up-to-date on the myriad complex systems that power battery electric vehicles.
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Lifewire / Jeremy Laukkonen
Includes built-in speakers
Includes HDMI cable
Lots of inputs
Not bright enough for daytime use
Washed out colors
Difficult to focus
Remote doesn’t work well
Poor build quality
The iDGLAX iDG-787 is an entry-level projector that isn’t suitable for presentations or anything that requires crisp text, but the affordable price tag makes it an attractive choice for movies and casual gaming.
We purchased the iDGLAX iDG-787W Projector so our expert reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it. Keep reading for our full product review.
The iDGLAX iDG-787W is an entry-level projector that’s small and light enough to move around wherever it’s needed and boasts an affordable price tag. It features plenty of inputs, decent specifications, and even has built-in speakers. We set one up in our home theater to test things like the setup process, ease of use, and image quality. Read on to see if the iDG-787W is worth a purchase.
The first thing we noticed upon unboxing the iDGLAX iDG-787W was that it’s small, very light, and built out of cheap plastic. The design is very basic and boxy, although the two-tone white and black styling does add a bit of additional flair.
The top of the unit features two focus adjustments and some basic controls if you lose the remote or don’t have it handy. The power button is also located in the same place, along with an LED that indicates when the device is powered up.
Most of the inputs are located on one side of the projector, including an audio output, A/V input, HDMI, and USB. In addition to the USB input, which is designed for use with flash drives, it also has a second USB port that’s specifically there to provide 5V power to any peripheral device that’s able to receive power over USB.
The back of the projector features vents, a VGA port, and the infrared receiver for the remote, which is a pretty poor place to position it. With the projector placed on a shelf, the sensor isn’t able to read the remote in anything like a reliable manner. Even if it isn’t on a shelf, the projector will typically be placed behind you during use, making it difficult for the sensor to function properly.
On the bottom of the projector, you’ll find a screw-out tilt adjustment. This is designed to allow you to place the projector at a lower level than your screen, although we found that the picture looks better if you’re able to position it at the same level as the screen.
Setting up the iDGLAX iDG-787W is a fairly straightforward process, although getting it properly focused isn’t the easiest task. It’s more or less ready to go out of the box, as all you have to do is plug in the power cable, remove the lens cap, connect a video source, and turn it on.
Getting the iDG-787W focused is another matter. It has a manual focus dial, but we found it to be incredibly touchy when trying to zero in on the clearest picture possible. We found that while it does have a keystone adjustment, this projector works best if you’re able to aim it directly at the screen, not have it angled from the side or tilted up from below.
Since this is an entry-level projector with a native resolution of 800 x 480, we tempered our expectations in terms of image quality. While we weren’t too disappointed, the image quality does leave a lot to be desired.
We found the picture to be sharp and clear enough when displaying 1080p content from a game console, computer, and Fire TV Stick. The main issue is that the edges were a bit out of focus compared to the center of the picture. It wasn’t bad enough to impact the viewing experience, but it was an annoyance because the on-screen menus appear in the upper right corner.
We found the picture to be sharp and clear enough when displaying 1080p content from a game console, computer, and Fire TV Stick.
The important point here is that this projector isn’t suited for presentations or any other scenario that requires crisp text. It’s even something of a headache to play games that require a lot of reading.
iDGLAX claims a brightness of 2000 lumens, but the picture just didn’t seem that bright during testing. In any kind of light, even with the shades drawn during the day, it’s virtually impossible to make anything out. The picture is much better in dark conditions, but the color still looks a bit washed out.
The iDGLAX iDG-787W includes built-in speakers, which is a nice touch. With built-in speakers, it’s easy to pick the iDG-787W up and use it wherever you want, including outdoors, without having to worry about any additional hardware for sound.
The speakers are clear enough, and we were able to understand dialog without any trouble, but they’re very tinny and unpleasant to listen to.
The problem is that the built-in speakers aren’t very good. The speakers are clear enough, and we were able to understand dialog without any trouble, but they’re very tinny and unpleasant to listen to. So the speakers are there if you need them, but you’ll want to plug in an external speaker or soundbar if you have one.
The iDG-787W works well enough for a budget projector, but the build quality makes it questionable as a long term investment. Our test unit stopped working after only a few hours, after which it refused to even turn on. We were able to get a replacement under warranty, but other iDG-787W owners have expressed similar concerns, suggesting an above average failure rate on this projector.
As an affordable entry-level projector, the iDGLAX iDG-787W isn’t exactly feature-rich. The one feature we really appreciated was the inclusion of a 5V USB power output right next to the USB input. This adds to the already great portability of this unit, as including a USB power source makes it extremely easy to power a device like a Fire TV Stick without worrying about additional cables.
Including a USB power source makes it extremely easy to power a device like a Fire TV Stick without worrying about additional cables.
The iDGLAX iDG-787W runs on custom firmware that includes all of the standard options and settings. It allows you to change the aspect ratio, adjust settings like brightness and contrast, and includes some presets to help you get started.
We found the interface to be a bit clunky and unresponsive, which makes it somewhat difficult to navigate the menus and adjust settings. We experienced significant lag between pressing buttons on the remote and seeing the effects, which made it difficult to tell, at times, whether or not a button press had even registered.
The price is one thing that the iDG-787W gets right. Typically selling in the $70 to $90 range on Amazon, it’s priced appropriately for an entry-level projector. You even get some features that you don’t see in every projector in this price range, like a 5V USB power port. As an option for someone working on a tight budget, it’s a decent option for projecting movies and games on a big screen in a very dark room.
The iDG-787W is a decent option for watching movies and playing casual games if you don’t have room in your budget for a better unit, but even spending a little more opens up a lot of options like the Vankyo Leisure 420.
The Vankyo Leisure 420 typically sells for about $110, so it isn’t that much more expensive than the iDG-787W. For that small bump in price, you step up to 3,200 lumens compared to the questionable 2,000 you get with the iDGLAX projector. It’s also capable of projecting a larger picture, up to 140 inches compared to the 100 inches that the iDG-787W is capable of.
Color reproduction and picture clarity is also better, so upgrading to something like the Leisure 420 makes a lot of sense if you have a little extra room in your budget.
An affordable option for movies and basic gaming.
The iDGLAX iDG-787W is a decent choice for movie night and casual gaming, as long as you aren’t watching a subtitled film or playing a game that requires reading a lot of text. It’s priced right for an entry-level projector of its capabilities and even includes some nice bonus features like built-in speakers and a 5V USB power port. We have trouble giving it a firm recommendation due to the questionable build quality, but this is a budget-friendly projector that gets the job done well enough.
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