N.B. Yes – I know we’re in 2014 now – but I never finished off my Top Ten of Awesome in 2013 – I just ran out of time! So – let’s get this finished up!
Product – ELMO BOXi T-350
Price – £464
Right – let’s get this sucker out of the box – when I filmed this the packaging was missing the remote, and quick start guide, it was delivered by the PR company a few days after!
The first thing you notice about the ELMO BOXi T-350 is the size of it – it’s flipping WICKLE! It weighs a tiny 500g and measures 132mmx143mmx43mm, encased in a a shiny piano black cased is a LED lamp that whacks out 300 lumens. Certainly not the brightest projector you’ll find, but it’s perfectly adequate. It’s lifespan is around 20,000 hours, which is pretty good. Despite its tiny appearance, it’s not got a battery on board, it’s powered by a PSU that’s very similar to a bog standard laptop one.
The idea of the ELMO BOXi T-350 is it’s designed for home and office use – the ‘short throw’ nature of it means it can produce a 68-inch picture from around 1.2m away from the screen. Pull it further back and it’ll produce a 100″ picture. Impressive for a tiny little thing! It’s certainly something you could put in a laptop bag to show Powerpoint Presentations on the go, the lamp has just enough welly behind it to handle Powerpoint in a fairly well lit room and still be clear. If you’re watching TV / Film or Video Games, you need it darker to appreciate the finer detail. The maximum resolution of the unit is 1280 x 800 (WXGA), so obviously not Full HD, but it’s pretty decent considering the size of the unit and the cost of it. It was perfectly happy downscaling the 1080p output from by BluRay player.
Connection wise, your options are fairly limited – it just has an HDMI port, which is fine for most modern consoles,graphics cards and laptops, but more legacy stuff is out. It’s got a stereo jack that outputs the audio, so you can send it through an audio system, speaker or headphones. The ELMO BOXi T-350 has an inbuilt speaker, but like most projector speakers it’s a bit of a weakling and is probably only adequate for short term use, you wouldn’t enjoy film and TV through it! I did set up the ELMO BOXi T-350 on the output of my Onkyo Amp, but had to fiddle the audio delay settings on the Amp to make the sound in sync, as it was out of bonk.
The included remote control is perfectly good for the job – I’m not a massive fan of these tiny credit card sized remotes that you get with ‘small’ equipment – it’s got all the controls you could want, and does the job!
The menus on the device are quite basic, but fairly self explanatory, the image can be rotated and mirrored, and you can adjust the vertical keystone, contrast and brightness. There are picture settings that include Normal, User, Movie, Photo, Game, Graphs and Max – but they didn’t really make much difference to me. Tweaking the ‘User’ mode gives you the ability to tweak the colour temperature, gamma settings and ‘colour gamut’ to get the picture looking how you like. You can adjust the focus of the image with the dial near the lens.
The only downside in my mind of the ELMO BOXi T-350 is the fan – it’s obviously there to keep the LED cool, but it is a bit noisy, especially if you’re using the in-built speaker. I’m sure if you’re watching a noisy Hollywood Blockbuster it probably isn’t an issue, but if you’re using this in a bedroom with headphones, it might annoy anyone else in the room.
For a relatively low cost you get a tiny, lightweight projector with enough welly in the LED bulb to satisfy most home and office users! I must admit to being gutted to send this fab bit of kit back, it really is awesome! 🙂