Vivitek Qumi Q2 HD Pocket Projector - Review

Page 1: Introduction - Features - Setup

Vivitek Qumi Q2 HD Pocket Projector - Photo of Front View With Included Accessories
Vivitek Qumi Q2 HD Pocket Projector - Photo of Front View With Included Accessories. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to

The Vivitek Qumi Q2 HD Pocket Projector one of an increasingly popular class of mini-sized projectors that are designed to be used in a variety of settings. The Qumi combines DLP (Pico Chip) and LED light source technologies to produce an image that is bright enough to be projected on a large surface or screen, but is compact enough to fit in your hand, making it very portable and easy to set up for home entertainment, gaming, presentation, and travel uses. Continue reading this review for more details and perspective. After reading this review, also be sure to check out my additional Vivitek Qumi Product Photos and Video Performance Tests.

Product Overview

The features of the Vivitek Qumi include:

1. DLP Video Projector, using DLP Pico Chip, with 300 Lumens of light output, 720p Native Resolution, and 120Hz refresh rate.

2. 3D Compatibility - Requires PC equipped with NVidia Quadro FX (or similar) graphics card, and use of DLP Link Compatible Active Shutter 3D Glasses. Not compatible with 3D from Blu-ray Disc player or broadcast/cable.

3. Lens Characteristics: No Zoom. Manual focus via side mounted focus dial.

4. Throw Ratio: 1.55:1 (Distance/Width)

5. Image size range: 30 to 90 inches.

6. Projection Distance: 3.92 feet to 9.84 feet.

7. Aspect Ratio: Native 16x10 - Can be set for both 16x9 and 4x3. The 16x9 aspect ratio is desirable for widescreen films and HD sources. The aspect ratio can be switched to 4x3 for projection of material shot in the 4x3 format.

8. Contrast Ratio 2,500:1 (full on/full off).

9. LED Light Source: Approx 30,000 hour lifespan. That is equivalent to 4 viewing hours a day for about 20 years or 8 viewing hours a day for about 10 years.

10. Video Inputs and Other Connections: HDMI (mini-HDMI version), and one each of the following: Component (Red, Green, Blue) and VGA via optional Universal I/O adapter cable, Composite Video via optional AV mini-jack adapter cable, USB port, and MicroSD card slot. Audio output (3.5mm connectors required) is also included for looping audio in and then out of the Qumi.

11. Input Signal Support: Compatible with input resolutions up to 1080p. NTSC/PAL Compatible. However, it must be noted that all video input signals are scaled to 720p for screen display.

12. Video Processing: Video processing and upscaling to 720p for standard resolution signals. Downscaling to 720p for 1080i and 1080p input signals.

13. Controls: Manual Focus control, On-screen menu system for other functions. Wireless remote control provided.

14. Input Access: Automatic video input Detection. Manual video input selection also available via remote control or buttons on projector.

15. Speaker: 1 Watt Mono.

16. Fan Noise: 28 db (standard mode) - 32 db (boost mode).

17. Dimensions (WxHxD): 6.3” x 1.3” x 4.0” (162 x 32 x 102 mm)

18. Weight: 21.7 ounces

19. Power Consumption: 85 watts (boost mode), Less than .5W watts in standby mode.

20. Included Accessories: Power Adapter, Universal I/O to VGA Cable Adapter, Mini-HDMI to HDMI Cable, Mini-HDMI to Mini-HDMI Cable, Soft carrying bag, Remote Control, Warranty Card.

Suggested Price: $499

Setup and Installation

First, set up a screen (size of your choosing). Then, position the unit any were from 3 to 9 feet from the screen. The Qumi can be placed on a table or rack, but probably the most flexible installation option is to mount it on a camera/camcorder tripod. The Qumi has a tripod slot on the bottom that enables the projector to be screwed onto almost any standard tripod mount.

Since the Qumi does not have adjustable feet or horizontal or vertical lens shift functions, the tripod setup option makes it much easier to get the proper height and lens angle in relation to your selected screen.

Next, plug in your source component(s). Turn on of the components on, then turn on the projector. The Vivitek Qumi will automatically search for the active input source.You can also access the source manually via the controls on the top of the projector or on the remote control

At this point, you will see the screen light up. To fit the image onto the screen properly, raise or lower the tripod or another mount that you are using for the Qumi. Also, since the projector has no Zoom function, you will have to move the projector forward or back in order display the desired size of the image on your screen or wall. You can also adjust the geometric shape of the image using the Keystone Correction function via the onscreen menu system.

Hardware Used

The additional home theater hardware used in this review included:

Blu-ray Disc Player: OPPO BDP-93.

Home Theater Receiver: Harman Kardon AVR147.

DVDO EDGE Video Scaler used for baseline video upscaling comparisons.

Audio/Video Cables: Accell and Atlona cables.

Software Used

The software used in this review included the following titles:

Blu-ray Discs: Across The Universe, Ben Hur, Hairspray, Inception, Iron Man 1&2, Jurassic Park Trilogy, Shakira - Oral Fixation Tour, The Dark Knight, The Incredibles, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Standard DVDs: The Cave, House of the Flying Daggers, Kill Bill - Vol 1/2, Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut), Lord of Rings Trilogy, Master and Commander, Outlander, U571, and V For Vendetta.

Additional content from USB flash drives and 2nd Generation iPod Nano.

Video Performance

The video performance from high definition 2D source material, especially Blu-ray, turned out to be better than I expected.

Starting with the fact that the lumens output is lower than larger, "standard", home theater video projectors, I did several projection tests in both a dimly lit and complete dark room and, as expected, the Qumi really requires a completely dark room to project a good image on the screen or white wall that is suitable for movie or TV-type viewing.

To put the Qumi's projected image into perspective, the color and detail were good overall, but reds and blues were slightly more prominent, especially in dimly lit or dark scenes. On the other hand, color in daylight scenes looked bright and even. Contrast was very good in the mid-range part of the grayscale, and the blacks and whites acceptable, but whites were not bright enough, nor blacks dark enough to really had a lot of depth to the image, resulting in somewhat flat, dull look. Also, with regards to detail, better than I expected, but still softer than I would expect from a 720p resolution image.

Also, in experimenting with different projected image sizes, I felt that a projected image size of about 60-to-65 inches provided a good big screen viewing experience, with a downward trend in both brightness and detail as the image size approached 80-inches or larger.

Deinterlacing and Upscaling of Standard Definition Material

In a further evaluation, focusing on the Qumi's ability to process standard definition video input signals, tests were conducted using Silicon Optix (IDT) HQV Benchmark DVD (ver 1.4). To facilitate the tests, I set the OPPO DV-980H DVD player to 480i output and connected it via HDMI to the projector. By doing this, all of the video processing and upscaling was done by the Vivitek Qumi.

The test results showed that the Vivitek Qumi had mixed results with deinterlacing, scaling, suppressing video noise, and processing film and video frame cadences, and did not do well enhancing detail. Also, I found color saturation was overblown on reds and blues. Check out a closer look at, and explanation of, some of the test results.


The Vivitek Qumi Q2 does have 3D display capability. However, I was unable to test this feature as it is not compatible from Blu-ray disc players or direct cable/satellite/broadcast sources. 3D display is only accessible on content sent from a direct connection to a PC equipped with a NVidia Quadro FX (or similar) graphics card, and the DLP Link Active Shutter 3D Glasses system.

Although I cannot comment directly regarding the 3D performance of the Qumi Q2 from direct observation at this point, one concern I do have is that good 3D display quality from a video projector normally requires a lot of lumens output capability and wide contrast ratio to compensate for the reduction in brightness when viewing through 3D glasses. It would indeed be interesting to see how the Qumi performs in 3D mode. If more info becomes available, I will update this portion of the review.

Media Suite

One interesting feature is the Qumi Media Suite. This is a menu that navigates access to audio, still photo, and video content stored on USB flash drives and microSD cards. In addition, I also was able to access audio files from my 2nd Generation iPod Nano.

When playing music files, a screen pops up that displays playback transport controls, as well as a timeline and frequency display (there are no actual EQ adjustments provided). The Qumi is compatible with the MP3 and WMA file formats.

Also, accessing video files was fairly easy. You simply scroll through your files, click on the file and it will begin playing. The Qumi is compatible with the following video file formats: H.264, MPEG-4, VC-1, WMV9, DivX(Xvid), Real Video, AVS and MJPEG.

When accessing a photo folder, a master thumbnail photo gallery is displayed, in which each photo can be clicked on to see a larger view. In my case, thumbnails did not show all photos, but when I did click on a blank thumbnail, the full-size version of the photo was displayed on the screen. The compatible photo file formats ​are: JPEG, PNG and BMP.

In addition, the Media Suite also features an Office Viewer that displays documents on the screen, which great for presentations. The Qumi is compatible with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents made in Microsoft Office 2003 and Office 2007.

Audio Performance

The Qumi Q2 is equipped with a 1 watt mono amplifier and small built-in loudspeaker that can reproduce sound from any connected input source, whether it be HDMI, USB, microSD, or analog. However, the sound quality is very poor (those old enough to remember those old pocket transistor radios from the 1960's) and it is definitely not loud enough to even fill a small room. However, there is also an audio output jack that you can use to connect a pair of headphones, or loop the audio out to a home theater receiver (via mini-jack to stereo RCA cables adapter). However, my suggestion, if using the Qumi Q2 at home, would be to forgo the audio portion completely if you are using a source such as Blu-ray/DVD player or cable/satellite box and make a separate audio connection directly for those sources to a home theater receiver.

What I Liked

1. Good image quality, in relation to light output, room darkness, size of lens assembly, and price. Accepts input resolutions up to 1080p - also accepts 1080p/24. The Vivitek Qumi also accepts both PAL and NTSC frame rate input signals. 480i/480p conversion and upscaling is acceptable, but soft. All input signals are scaled to 720p.

2. Extremely compact size makes it easy to place, move, and travel, if needed. Can be mounted on most camera/camcorder tripods.

3. The 300 lumen output produces a bright enough image provided your room is completely (or near completely) dark and you stay within a maximum 60-70 inch screen size.

4. No rainbow effect. Due to the LED light source, the color wheel assembly that is normally found in DLP projectors is not employed on the Qumi, which is great for those viewers that shy away from DLP projectors due to rainbow effect susceptibility.

5. Fast cool down and shut-off time. The start-up time is about 20 seconds and there is no real cool down time. When you turn off the Qumi, it is off. This makes it very convenient for quick repacking when on the road.

7. Easy-to-use smaller-than-credit-card size remote. There are also controls integrated into the top of the projector.

8. No lamp replacement to be concerned with.

What I Didn't Like

1. Black levels and contrast just average (however, considering the low lumens output, this is not unexpected).

2. 3D not compatible with Blu-ray or broadcast - PC-only.

3. No physical horizontal or vertical lens shift function. This makes projector screen placement little more difficult for some room environments.

5. No Zoom option.

6. Provided cables are way too short. If using provided cables, source must be right next to the projector.

7. Weak speaker volume.

8. Fan noise noise may be noticeable when using standard or brilliant color mode.

Final Take

Setting up and using the Vivitek Qumi was a little tricky, but not difficult. The input connections are clearly labeled and spaced out and the remote control is easy to use. However, the Vivitek Qumi does not offer a physical zoom control or optical lens shift, so it takes more up and down and back and forth projector positioning to get the best projector to screen placement. Also, you will probably have to get longer cables, as the ones provided are really too short, but they do easily pack up.

Once set up, the image quality is actually pretty good, considering the actual lumens output and limiting your screen size to between 60 and 80-inches.

If you are shopping for home theater projector for your main viewing space or dedicated room, the Qumi would not be your best choice. However, as a projector for a small apartment space, second room, office, dorm, or business travel, the Qumi Q2 definitely has a lot to offer. If you familiarize yourself with both the capabilities (Lampless LED light source, 720p display resolution, USB, microSD inputs, potential 3D use) and limitations (300 lumens output, no zoom control, no lens shift) of the Vivitek Qumi Q2 before going in, it is a good value. Although not in the same league as its big brother DLP and LCD home theater projectors, the Qumi has definitely raised the performance bar for Pico-based projectors.

For a closer look at the features, connections, and performance of Vivitek Qumi, check out my Vivitek Qumi Photos and Video Performance Test Results.