Black Friday deals at Dangbei
From November 13th to 27th you can save up to 25% on all Dangbei projectors. Here is an overview of the discounts:
- Dangbei Neo for 499 euros instead of 599 euros (RRP) (Link)
- Dangbei Mars for 849 euros instead of 1099 euros (RRP) (Link)
- Dangbei Mars Pro for 1299 euros instead of 1699 euros (RRP) (Link)
- Emotn N1 for 299 euros instead of 399 euros (RRP) (Link)
Dangbei Neo: design, workmanship and scope of delivery
With dimensions of 20 x 15,7 x 10 cm, the Dangbei Neo falls into the mini projector segment. Although it is not one of the flattest models with a height of 10 cm, it remains easy to transport and flexible. The projector can be easily stored in a backpack and set up for various occasions as long as a power source is available. This mini projector does not have an integrated battery.
The remote control has shortcuts for Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube.
The housing is made of plastic and the color of the projector is available in white or blue, although in reality the blue looks more like anthracite. The lens is at the front, next to it is the ToF sensor for auto-focus and auto-keystone. There is no manual focus wheel or anything like that. The control buttons are also essentially limited to a single power button, while operation is carried out entirely via the included Bluetooth remote control.
The two 6 watt speakers are hidden behind decorative grilles on the sides. Dangbei has housed all connection options in the back: an HDMI 2.0 input, two USB 2.0 inputs, a LAN input for a wired network connection, an S/PDIF output and the DC power input. An additional HDMI input would certainly have been useful, but other manufacturers in the mini class also use it sparingly.
The connections are located above the fan output.
On the bottom of the Dangbei Neo there are four small feet at each corner that can be unscrewed for ceiling mounting or fine adjustment on uneven surfaces. There is also a 1/4" tripod thread in the center, which allows it to be attached to a tripod or other device.
The workmanship is solid and the scope of delivery includes everything you need: the projector itself, a remote control and the power supply.
The power supply and power cable have a total length of 3 m.
Dangbei Neo: Hardware
The Dangbei Neo uses an LED light source combined with a 0,33-inch DMD chip, which offers a native resolution of 1368×768 pixels. By using XPR, a pixel shift technology from Texas Instruments, the mini projector is able to project images in full HD quality. Content in high-resolution 4K HDR10 or HLG can be displayed through downsampling.
The light intensity of the projector is specified as 540 ISO lumens and the lifespan of the light source is specified as more than 30.000 hours. A projection ratio of 1.2:1, combined with a fully motorized optical block, ensures automatic focusing. The technical equipment is complemented by intelligent functions such as the camera-supported keystone, obstacle detection and automatic image format recognition.
Dangbei does not provide any information about the hardware responsible for the Smart TV.
Dangbei Neo: Alignment and software
Commissioning the Dangbei Neo is extremely user-friendly, as the projector carries out most of the alignment steps independently thanks to its intelligent features. The automatic focus sets the sharpness precisely and the automatic keystone only requires manual correction in rare cases, which is possible using four corner points in the range of +- 30°. Unfortunately, there is no more precise eight-point correction.
The Dangbei Neo can be ideally aligned on a tripod.
The automatic obstacle detection is cumbersome. The projector does not recognize a white light switch on a white wall. However, objects with a high contrast to the background, such as houseplants protruding into it, do. The projection ratio of 1.2:1 results in the following image sizes according to distance:
| distance (meters)
|| Projection size (inches)
The feet on the bottom can be unscrewed.
The software setup process is well explained and can be completed in just a few minutes. First, the Bluetooth remote control is paired, then the language and region are set and, if necessary, the connection to the WLAN is established - and the device is ready for use.
You then land on the home screen, which clearly displays the 11 installed apps in the form of tiles. The apps include Netflix, YouTube and Prime Video. There is also an app store (Netrange), although the range of apps is significantly reduced compared to Android TV. Simply installing Disney Plus, Spotify or other streaming providers doesn't work, for example, which gives Android TV a clear advantage when it comes to apps.
The simple and therefore clearly designed home screen.
The Dangbei Neo handles playing content on Netflix or Prime Video without any problems. It is also exciting that the account sharing block does not apply to Netflix because the Dangbei Neo is not identified by Netflix as a TV, but as a PC, and PCs have so far been spared from the block. As an alternative to streaming providers, content can also be streamed via MirrorCast, HomeShare or the network. The device also recognizes classic USB data carriers with media content.
The Dangbei Neo streams Netflix and Prime Video without any problems.
If you go into the settings, the operating system reveals itself as "Tionndadh OTA", which suggests that it may be a variant of Ubuntu Touch. When it comes to image options, the Dangbei Neo takes a simple approach. Users can choose between five preset picture modes: Standard, Cinema, Sport, Vivid and an individually configurable user mode. Dangbei has omitted a game mode, which usually reduces the input lag in games.
For the most part, the software can be operated smoothly.
In user mode, the basic parameters such as contrast, brightness (software side), color temperature and saturation can be adjusted. The setting options for grayscale or color management in the RGB area are completely missing, which would have been of particular interest to demanding users. The video processing is also rather rudimentary and does not reach the level of a home cinema projector. Things like dynamic contrast or MEMC, a technology that makes low frame rates play more smoothly, are missing.
Dangbei Neo: suitable for home cinema
When it comes to image quality, the Dangbei Neo cuts a good figure. The brightness is enough to project a 90" large, attractive image onto the screen even in dim light. However, the specified brightness of 540 ANSI lumens is not sufficient for use in daylight, unless you are willing to settle for a significantly reduced level Image size satisfied.
Projection in dim light
In a darkened room, the Dangbei Neo shows what he's made of. The projected image impresses with its sharp image and even illumination right into the corners.
Projection with ceiling lighting switched on.
The colors lack a bit of warmth, which is why the display slips into a bluish tone. Although you can help with the color temperature setting and the gamma, the lack of color settings also changes the color accuracy. However, this is criticism at a high level, because you should not forget that this is a portable mini projector and not a stationary home cinema projector. For the target group and the intended applications, the Dangbei Neo does its job very well.
The Dangbei Neo reveals a weakness in the contrast ratio, which is not unusual in this device segment. The black level lacks depth and instead tends to fade into a dark gray. This is particularly noticeable in dark film scenes or at the edges of the image, especially when the image is indented through object avoidance or keystone correction.
Audio and operating volume
The two 6W speakers deliver a pleasant sound that is, in a positive sense, far removed from what we know from business projectors, for example. They are quite suitable for a spontaneous movie night or a gaming session, so external speakers are not absolutely necessary.
The sound tuning tends towards a neutral reproduction with a slight presence in the midrange, which improves the intelligibility of dialogue. However, deep bass is not to be expected. The small speakers simply lack the volume for this.
Dolby Audio is also supported.
The active fan can be clearly heard during operation. The Dangbei Neo is not one of the loudest projectors, but it is also far from being classified as quiet. At a distance of half a meter, the operating noise is around 37 dB, which is roughly the same as a laptop with a fan running at full speed. The background noise can be annoying in the long run, but on the other hand you quickly get used to it.
There is only a power button at the top.
Mini projectors are often not the first choice for gamers due to their higher input lag, the time delay between the input signal and the image output. Dangbei specifies the Neo with a low latency of 30 ms - a value that seems acceptable in principle for gaming. However, reality shows, with a measured latency of 85 ms, that the value is significantly higher.
For games that require quick reactions, the Neo is definitely not the best option. However, for less demanding games, such as a round of Mario Party with friends, the higher latency is less significant.