Review: Acer C250i projector – auto keystone correction is extremely clutch
A bit pricey, but there are lots of things to like about this projector.
I’m a big fan of projectors. I didn’t know I was until I reviewed a unit from Vankyo last year, but since then, I’ve found plenty of occasions to use one. That said, it’s mainly just when I feel like multitasking in my living room by playing Animal Crossing on the TV (big F U to Joy-Con drift) and watching Brooklyn 99 on the projector.
Today, we’ll be reviewing another project, the Acer C250i. This puppy will set you back around $500, but packs plenty of features that will (hopefully) justify the price. Let’s talk about some basics before we get into the review.
Acer states the projector displays in full HD (1920×1080) and features a 9,000mAh rechargeable battery and 5-watt speaker. If looks are important to you, then the unit from Acer should receive high marks. Its unique spiral design is not only stylish, but allows you to easily angle it into all sorts of positions. You can also stand it up on its side to hit even more angles.
READ MORE: Review: XGIMI Horizon Pro 4K Projector
It includes wireless capabilities that make beaming stuff to the device easier than having to mess with cables. There’s also a focusing wheel near the lens for fine-tuning your picture. Finally, it includes threaded ports for a tripod if you are trying to do the absolute most with your projector.
So, how does the Acer C250i projector perform?
Everything we talked about above can be found on the Amazon page, now it’s time for the actual review. Overall, I’m impressed with the projector. It’s one of the better-looking ones I’ve seen and fits in perfectly in my living room. It’s small and quieter than other models I’ve used. That said, the fan noise does take a bit getting used to, but if you’re not directly beside the unit, it doesn’t take long to get acclimated to it.
The picture is crisp, I was surprised by the image quality I was getting when streaming content through Netflix and Hulu. The lens seems powerful, and managed a strong picture, even in a room with lights on. From personal experience, a screen size of 65″ is about as high as I would recommend going, anything past that and quality noticeably starts to lower.
That said, the focusing wheel is tough to use and made fine-tuning the image difficult. It also seemed like it would adjust on its own occasionally. Sometimes I would launch up something and the image would be slightly more blurry than it had my previous session.
Even so, the unit has an auto-keystone feature which comes in extremely clutch
This means you don’t have to fiddle with the angle on the lens. Regardless of the wall that it is projecting on, it will adjust so you get the proper alignment. You will still have to do some tweaking, but it’s all pretty straightforward.
The smart orientation feature is nice, as well, allowing you to easily display both horizontal and vertical media on the unit without having to make any adjustments to the actual projector. This is perfect when you want to use the projector to show off pictures or TikTok videos from your smartphone.
Another issue I had pertained to the remote on the unit. It just felt slow and sometimes had difficulty picking up my inputs. It wasn’t a dealbreaker, but in an age of instant gratification, the slight lag that would occasionally occur was definitely annoying. This was honestly the worst part of the unit and it’s a shame because everything else seems really polished.
Acer states a fully-charged battery will last you around five hours, and from my testing, that is pretty accurate. There’s also an Eco mode in the settings that dim the bulb a bit, helping extend the battery’s life. The speakers are nothing to write home about, but get the job done.
The final thing I really want to harp on is the number of ways you can connect to the unit. Acer doesn’t skimp out on this. You can connect wirelessly through the included dongle, you can use USB-C, there’s an HDMI port, EZCast, a place for a jump drive, and finally, a place to insert a microSD card. You really have no shortage of options.
Overall, it’s an impressive unit, if not a bit pricey. Acer has it listed for $500 on its website, with Amazon showing it at $620.
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Just a heads up, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale. It’s one of the ways we keep the lights on here. Click here for more. A sample unit was provided for the purpose of this review.