Review: Nebula Capsule II – Much more than ‘just’ a projector
My TV is in the bin.
I must admit that I have been on the lookout for a projector for quite some time. Not least because a 52″ TV in a small living room doesn’t look particularly nice, but also because I wanted a device that allows me to watch my favorite movies and play my favorite games without taking up prime real estate in my downstairs space.
In steps the Nebula Capsule II mini projector. This can-sized portable currently retails at the $579 (£499) mark. While this might seem a high price for a portable projector, the Nebula Capsule II outstrips its competition by miles. I was recently impressed by the Nebula Soundbar, so I was eager to see what Anker had come up with this time. Having tested the projector for a week, let’s see what the verdict was.
Forget the big screen
I’m lucky enough to have a nice, newly plastered and painted chimney breast directly opposite the sofa. Not only that, but it is white, so makes a perfect surface upon which to project the image. The upshot of this is that I don’t require a projector screen, which immediately gives me the advantage of using the Nebula Capsule II straight out of the box.
The image quality, it has to be said, is superb. The projector uses DLP (Digital Light Projection) to render a nice crisp 720p image with an ANSI lumen value of 200, so it is pretty bright, too – particularly for a small portable projector. The projected image can reach 100″ without even breaking a pixel, so if you fancy a bit of a cinema night with friends, make sure you’re packing one of these.
While it may not have been quite bright enough to deal with the sun’s rays beaming in through the windows, on the rare occasion the UK weather allows it, anything brighter than cloudy was easily eliminated by a swift toggle of the curtains into ‘closed’ mode. Not difficult, really; this is only the same problem experienced when the sun shines on a TV screen, so it didn’t feel like enough of an issue to bother me.
Please, sir, I want some more…
You can have it. The Nebula is a 360° speaker, too – something which Anker seem to being doing so right at the moment. It packs 8w speakers into its tiny frame, so the sound is more than loud enough to prevent you straining to hear whatever media you’re streaming through it.
The Nebula Capsule II also benefits from true Android TV support, and comes loaded with version 9.0. The advantage here is that you, therefore, have access to 3,600 apps for video and music, from players like VLC, through to streaming services such as Spotify and Google Movies. Just connect it to your WiFi, sign in to your Google account, and off you go!
It is worth noting that, due to certain restrictions, Netflix must be side-loaded onto the device. You can access it via the Nebula Manager app, which is easily downloaded from the Play store and operated via your Android phone. If this is the kind of occurrence you treat as a major inconvenience then either get some perspective or get a different projector. Again, this didn’t bother me enough to put me off the Nebula Capsule II.
The Nebula Capsule II combines a great picture and plenty of extras
There are plenty of little extras built into the device or accessed via its home screen. The top of the unit features a control panel so you can navigate around the screen without the supplied remote control. Flip it over and you’ll find the locator so you can mount the Nebula Capsule II on a tripod, which I did and it meant I could place the projector behind my sofa – even less space-consuming!
One nice feature was the autofocus. A long-press of the HDMI/ATV button and the process is launched, taking a mere second to complete, and delivering a nice sharp image. The color-quality is also excellent, with tones appearing vibrant and none of them looking in any way washed out or drab.
While the battery life is a not-huge 2.5 hours in continuous-play terms, you can charge the Nebula Capsule II while it is in use, meaning you can sit all day and fill your eyes with hot, steaming images, if you are intending to binge-watch a series or two.
The bottom line
If you are looking for a high-quality portable projector, then I would certainly recommend spending a little extra coin and getting something that will deliver a great picture and good sound. The Nebula Capsule II would definitely be my choice and I’m convinced that it is good enough, in my living space at least, to replace my cumbersome TV.
With plenty of additional inputs (USB, HDMI), you have countless options available in terms of how you deliver media to the Capsule II, and it supports plenty of formats including mkv, mp4, and ISO. In all, this is a brilliant little portable projector that is ideal as a home projector in smaller spaces like mine.
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