I’ll admit sometimes I get products that I already think won’t be very impressive before receiving them, sometimes I simply don’t review these products and honestly, I thought that the Vivitek Qumi Q3 Plus portable projector was going to be one of those uninspiring products, however, I can now say that I was quite wrong.
In fact, after setting up the projector I quickly came under the impression that I really shouldn’t judge a projector by its cover.
If you view content with your friends or family away from home or in an odd spot then you probably use something like a tablet or smartphone to watch your favourite TV or film in a gathering.
Now that’s rather boring and probably quite annoying since a tablet or smartphone isn’t really going to share among many people and that’s where the Qumi Q3 Plus comes into play.
It is a HD portable projector that can be taken pretty much anywhere with you and used to project an HD-quality image (720p) onto a surface that’s sized up to 100-inches and all in a compact size that measures just 176 x 103 x 28 mm and weighs just under 0.5Kilos, which really isn’t that much more than a smartphone.
It also looks pretty good thanks to its sleek and quite modern design, although it is extremely plasticky, you definitely won’t feel strange or embarrassed to carry around, in fact, as soon as you turn it on you might find yourself feeling pretty cool. The top of the device comes with a red, black, white or gold finish and the rest of it is a white plastic finish, there are two cooling grilles on either side of the projector.
You will find the main feature of the projector on the front, which is the LED lens that is rated at 500 ANSI Lumens, is protected by a sliding cover, and is capable of throwing out a pretty bright image despite its compact size and small price tag. On the back, you will find the ports that you can use with the projector, which includes HDMI, a 3.5mm mini jack port for Composite Video and audio out, an Audio-Out port, two USB-A ports, and a microSD card slot. It also features a rechargeable battery inside that allows it to be used on the go and there are also a set of 2 Watt speakers, which are okay but honestly a bit tinny and they probably aren’t worth using over a pair of headphones or a separate speaker.
Finally, there’s also a small kickstand on the bottom that will allow you to tilt the projector slightly upwards, this works okay, however, it doesn’t have much adjustment on it. It does come with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, which leads us on to its next feature.
One of the most interesting things about the Qumi Q3 Plus is that it comes with the Android operating system pre-installed, meaning that you don’t really need to use any of those ports around the back of the projector in order to watch content.
Because it has Android pre-installed, there’s no need to bring a laptop with you, simply turn on the projector and then you are pretty much good to go. With Android, you can use any of the pre-installed apps to view photos, videos, play music, access documents, and do so much more with access to the Google Play Store.
And in the real-world, this works pretty great, however, it’s not going to work as great as a dedicated and larger device so you might prefer to use one of the ports with something like a laptop for a better experience. That said, the app menus and settings do flick through without lag.
In use, the Q3 Plus works pretty great, it has a native resolution of 1,280 x 720 that results in some decent image quality, while it may not be 1080p, it is definitely pretty great at showing content like videos and photos and it is also customisable with various picture mode options that include Movie, Bright, Presentation, and even a custom mode that you can use to change each individual setting.
The LED light is also pretty light and makes watching content easily watchable even in a lit room, although it will work better in the dark. Sadly, because it is a projector, you will have to replace it after a certain amount of time, which has been reported to be after 30,000 hours.
I watched a lot of content with the projector during the course of the review and I never really noticed the picture as being blurry, and the colours are always pretty vibrant with a good representation of what those colours are supposed to be.
This is all controlled very a simple yet effective remote control.
There aren’t many buttons on this remote control, however, it certainly gets the job done with directional buttons, an on/off button, a source button, volume control, focus control, a button to bring up the menu, a select button, and finally a back button.
Sadly, the remote does feel a little flimsy to hold and is definitely made out of plastic. My review unit also had a problem with the battery compartment in the back, which I had to hold in order to get the remote to do anything.
I don’t know if this was a problem with just my unit or if it was widespread across the brand, however, it’s something that you might want to note.
Despite that, the Q3 Plus is a fantastic little projector, it does exactly what you want it to and it does so with a sleek and compact design that allows you to watch movies on the big screen without having to grab a big screen.
And at £464, it’s not overly expensive and so it’s definitely worth checking out if this is something that can answer a particular use case for you. Check it out and pick it up from Amazon if you are interested.
Disclosure: Vivitek sent us a sample of the Q3 Plus for the purpose of this review.