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Lifewire / Gannon Burgett
Terrible light output
Terrible image quality
Minimal image adjustments.
The QKK Mini Projector is a budget projector that might look decent based on its spec sheet, but the reality is this projector just isn’t worth it.
In any category of electronics, you will always find budget-minded options that get the job done without breaking the bank. Sure, it oftentimes means you’re missing a feature or function, but generally speaking, it still tends to be a functional product worth getting if the price is the most important factor.
For my latest review, I’m taking one such product for a spin to see if it manages to offer a decent bang for your buck —the QKK Mini Projector. I’ve spent more than two weeks testing this projector with roughly 40 hours in total put into testing nearly every detail I came across. Below are my thoughts, summed up in various sections pertaining to major features and specifications, and compared against the devices on our best projectors list.
The QKK Mini Projector looks like pretty much any other projector you’ll find on the market. It features a rectangular design with an offset lens, a grill around the edge for cooling, inputs on the rear for playing media, and a few buttons and adjustments on the top to tweak the image.
The projector is incredibly small, measuring just 9.5 x 9.3 x 4.2 inches (WDH) and weighing just 3 pounds. This compact form factor makes it great for putting in a backpack or carry-on luggage if you plan to travel around with it, but as the remainder of the review attests to, it’s probably not worth doing so.
Setting up the W100 is as simple as taking it out of the box, installing the included battery, and turning the device on. Once turned on, it’ll ask you to input the date (for the purpose of adding it to the metadata embedded within images captured with the W100), and once it’s set you’re ready to start shooting as soon as you install a compatible SD card.
Projectors are a tricky beast when it comes to comparing one to another. Even it the spec sheets are identical on paper, the resulting image from two similar projectors will likely yield very different results depending on the quality of components used. This exact scenario is what I came across when looking at the QKK Mini Projector on paper versus putting it to the test in real-world situations. QKK is also very misleading with its product listing and specifications.
To first address the misleading claims, QKK marks very proudly in the product name on Amazon that its Mini Projector supports 1080p video. This not only makes the product show up when you search for ‘1080p projectors’ but also suggests it is indeed a 1080p projector. Even in the bullet-points underneath the product name on Amazon, QKK says the projector ‘supports 1920x1080 resolution,’ another statement that implies this is a 1080p projector. It’s not until you dig through the text halfway down the Amazon listing that you discover the projector features a native resolution of just 800x480 pixels.
That is, the actual resolution of the projector is half that of the 1080p resolution that it technically supports. It is misleading at best and false advertisement at worst, but the phrase ‘support’ likely keeps QKK out of the hot waters of false advertising. In other words, you can plug a 1080p video source into the projector, but it will only project that 1080p signal at 480p.
With that out of the way, let’s move on to the other specs. According to QKK, its Mini Projector features a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and a 2,200 lumen maximum brightness. The projector is, according to QKK, capable of outputting a 170-inch projection from five meters away and features multiple inputs on the back of the unit for connecting computers, tablets, DVD players, game consoles, SD cards, and more. Not taking into account the native resolution, the other specifications are decent, especially for the price point. But as our tests confirmed, it seems as though these specs also fall short of what QKK suggests.
The combination of the low light output and low native resolution meant even the brightest scenes in videos were washed out in a pitch black room and the pixels were large enough to notice on the screen when sitting eight feet away.
To see how well the QKK Mini Projector performed, I tested it on a 100-inch Silver Ticket 16:9 projector screen in a variety of lighting situations. I started with ambient light in the form of natural, indirect light coming through a window and also tested the picture quality with a small lamp light in the back of the room. With the natural light, the picture was barely visible to the point I wasn’t able to even navigate the menu with the included remote. It was marginally better when it was just the lamp, but I still struggled to navigate the menu, let alone watch a video or attempt to play a game.
It wasn’t until I cut all of the lights in the room and had it pitch black that I was able to easily navigate the menu of the projector and at least see my video source with some clarity. Even then, the image quality was uninspiring. The combination of the low light output and low native resolution meant even the brightest scenes in videos were washed out in a pitch black room and the pixels were large enough to notice on the screen when sitting eight feet away.
I even attempted to test the color reproduction of the projector with a DataColor SpyderX Elite calibration tool and when trying to calibrate in a perfectly dark room, the calibration software told me it was unable to run the analysis due to insufficient light output.
I could go on, but the reality is, this projector fails to live up to its specifications. There are few environments where you will get a clear picture and even in the best situations, the video quality isn’t worth the hassle of setting it up.
I could go on, but the reality is, this projector fails to live up to its specifications.
The QKK Mini Projector has a 5W internal speaker. Similar to the image quality, the sound quality of the projector leaves much to be desired. The bass is decent for such a small device, but the midtones are muddled and the highs are noticeably compressed. Thankfully, QKK has included a 3.5mm audio output so you can plug in the speakers of your choosing.
The QKK Mini Projector costs $99.99 (MSRP). For a projector, this is an absolute steal. However, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. This projector was made with some of the cheapest components out there and as a result you’re going to get some of the worst image quality I’ve seen from a projector. If budget is the only factor, the QKK Mini Projector will get the job done, but if you have even the slightest interest in decent image quality, don’t just look in the other direction—run.
Comparing the QKK Mini Projector to its contemporaries is all but futile, as it’s quite clear from Amazon listings that its competitors are likely manufactured in the same facility. That said, for the sake of comparison, I’m going to take a look at the equally-vaguely-named Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector (view at Amazon).
The Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector features the same 800x480 pixel native resolution and 2,000:1 contrast ratio. It features slightly more light output at 3,600 lumens, but that comes at the cost of a lower lap life of 40K hours compared to the 50K hours of the QKK. The Vankyo Leisure 3 is also slightly smaller, measuring just 7.9x 5.9x 3.1 inches (width x depth x height) and weighing just 2.1lbs.
All in all, the Vankyo projector has slightly better specifications in a smaller form factor, but considering it too retails for just $80 and features a nearly identical design that is likely made with nearly identical components, it’s best to keep away unless the price is the only thing that matters.
A tempting price, but it’s not worth the pain.
Save your time and your money. The QKK Mini Projector isn’t worth it, even at its ridiculously low price. Even in the most ideal environment for using a projector, the image quality is barely usable at best. For $100, you’re better off buying a used television from Craigslist.
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