XGIMI is an up-and-coming brand, but has made a name for itself in creating some of the sleekest, quality projectors on the market. Targeting a wide demographic, XGIMI specializes in creating a projector to fit every situation. Their most recent offer, the Elfin Smart LED projector, is designed from the ground up for people on the go. Gone are the bulky, cumbersome projectors of old, and in their place is a sleek, portable, all-in-one solution for those that need to be mobile. Packed to the brim with features and functionality, the Elfin Smart LED projector promises to deliver everything needed for a home theatre experience anywhere you need it. How well does it deliver on that promise? Grab that coffee, kick back and check out our review of the Elfin Smart LED projector from XGIMI.
- Current Price – $649.99 USD (XGIMI, Amazon)
- Display Technique – DLP
- Luminance – 600-800 ANSI lumens
- Standard Resolution – 1920 x 1080 (1080p)
- Lifetime Hours – 30000 Hours
- Compatible Resolution – 2K/4K
- Throw Ratio – 1.2:1
- Auto Focus – Yes
- Keystone correction – Auto Keystone Correction For Both Vertical and Horizontal
- Projection method – Forward/backward/ hang ceiling
- RAM – 2GB
- Storage – 16GB
- Sound – 2 X 3W Harman / Kardon
- System – Android TV 10.0
- Mirroring display – Airplay/ DLNA/ XGIMI Assistant
- Input ports – HDMI 2.0 x 1, USB 2.0 x 1
- Output port – Headphone x 1
- WiFi – Dual-band 2.4/5GHz, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth – Bluetooth 5.0 / BLE
- Power Dissipation – 65W
- Power – AC100-240V, 50/60Hz
- Size – 192.1×194.19×48.31 mm
- Weight – 0.9Kg
Form, Function and Fashion
The Elfin is a slick piece of hardware. Gone is the bulky casing, large projector bulb and even larger footprint. In its place is a sleek, small form factor case with a beautifully designed look and feel. The projector feels solid to carry around and unlike many other projectors I’ve worked with, the Elfin is sturdy.
The LED bulb replaces the more traditional system which not only means much longer life but also means that it isn’t nearly as fragile to use. In fact measuring in at just under 2 inches thick, the Elfin’s footprint is a similar size to the Mac Mini. The Elfin is a clean-looking projector. Its design is really a blend of fashionable minimalism and functional simplicity.
The unit houses the aforementioned LED bulb which is rated at 800 Lumens. In practice, this means you can project a clean FHD (1080p) image on up to a 200-inch screen. XGIMI also equipped the Elfin with two 3Watt built-in Harman Kardon speakers and an Android OS equipped with the Google Playstore. This means all of your favourite streaming services are ready for you to enjoy while navigating with the included remote.
Built-in Chromecast also means you can push content to the Elfin from a laptop or phone. A rear-accessed HDMI port allows the Elfin to accept a console or PC gaming if the need should arise. Finally, for those that prefer to keep all their media local, there is also a USB 2.0 port located just below the HDMI port as well as an internal 16GB storage drive. The projector comes equipped with a bottom tripod socket mount allowing you to attach it to any tripod or other mount that supports a tripod screw.
The team over at XGIMI really has tried to pack a lot of features into one of the smallest and most functional projectors I’ve ever worked with. I appreciate the innovation and creativity that went into making the Elfin such a versatile projector. It looks great, feels great to use and can easily fit into any laptop bag.
In The Real World
We’ve established that the Elfin Smart LED Projector has a lot to offer the consumer. On paper, this seems like the perfect projector, but how does it hold up in the real world? To start, getting the Elfin set up and running is as easy as logging into a Google account on your phone. The built-in Android OS works seamlessly with the Google app (which can also be downloaded on iOS devices as well). In fact when I turned on the Elfin for the first time my phone immediately recognized that it was there and began the process of pairing the two devices.
After a couple of quick clicks, I was greeted by Elfin’s Android interface. It looks and functions very similarly to most smart TV OSs with the added bonus of having full access to the google play store. This means all of your favourite stream apps from Disney+ to Amazon are easily downloadable. As for streaming everything worked much in the same way as a Smart TV for the most part.
There was, however, one weird caveat to this: Netflix. If you go through the standard install and log in for Netflix you’ll get so far as to try to play a video at which point you’ll get an error message informing you that your account isn’t supported on this device.
Interestingly, XGIMI’s FAQ offers three “workarounds” for getting Netflix to work. Unfortunately, the best workaround requires you to install a third-party app (which must be downloaded via an APK on a PC) that loads an instance of Netflix in it. During my testing, I wasn’t able to get it up and running via this method. Instead, I ended up running it via a TV stick (in my case Roku). Even Chromecasting from my phone produced the same error. It’s a frustrating thing considering that Netflix is such a widely used app.
Despite that setback the rest of the Android experience was great. With support for Bluetooth, I was actually able to connect my PS4 controller and play some games that I had downloaded from the Play Store. It’s a fun little extra that makes using the Elfin that much more enjoyable.
The 800 Lumen LED bulb is an impressive feature that the Elfin Smart Projector offers. Unlike traditional bulbs, the LED doesn’t produce nearly the heat, offers a sharper, crisper image, and ends up lasting much longer. It also takes up a lot less room meaning the projector as a whole can be much smaller.
I found the projector performed quite well even in well-lit rooms assuming there wasn’t direct light shining on the same space I was projecting to. In fact, I tested the projector outside just as the sun was beginning to set and found that it was quite easy to see as long as I picked a shaded spot to project. Nighttime or darkroom use was superb with the image being clean, bright, and crisp to watch. I also found that it performed well with both a projector screen as well as by simply projecting it on the wall. The brightness of the projector made up for the wall color it was being shone on.
The Elfin also comes equipped with an AI-driven autofocus and keystone correction. I was quite impressed at how quickly both of these features acknowledged any changes and made the needed corrections. In fact, I never actually had to do any manual corrections to focus or keystone during my tests. It should be noted that manual adjustments can be made but honestly, I never felt the need.
The two 3-watt built-in Harman Kardon speakers do offer clear sound quality for those that don’t or can’t connect an external speaker system. The speakers themselves, while offering a clear soundscape, do not offer a very loud one. It’s functional for sure and in my testing worked fine for my family huddled close to the projector. In fact, I did appreciate how clear the dialogue was as well as how well balanced the overall audio experience was.
However, if you were putting on a show for a larger group of people the speakers wouldn’t have the gusto to produce the required decibels needed for that large of a group. At three watts per speaker, this is totally understandable but a bit disappointing for more than small-scale watching. The Harman Kardon speakers in the Elfin also suffer from some fairly weak low-end sound. This translates into a bit of an underwhelming audio experience. They lack that low-end punch that is needed to accent a good action scene or dramatic moment.
With all this being said, the Elfin does offer a great solution if you need a bigger sound. The aforementioned Bluetooth quickly and easily connects to any Bluetooth speaker. In my tests, there was no noticeable audio lag while using my Bose Revolve. In fact, it worked exceptionally well and now pairs automatically any time they are in proximity and turned on. Finally, the Elfin offers an audio out jack allowing you to connect a more traditional sound system to your projector.
The Elfin LED Smart Projector from XGIMI is a sleek portable piece of tech that provides everything you need for a home theatre experience anywhere you might want to go. Packed with great features this projector really does allow you to set up shop wherever works best for you. Weird issues with Netflix and a lackluster speaker system hold it back from being the perfect projector. However, despite these drawbacks, the Elfin is still one of the most affordable and functional projectors I’ve ever used. The Elfin has a lot to offer both gamers and movie enthusiasts alike. Priced at an MSRP of $649.99 USD, the Elfin LED Smart Projector is worth consideration.The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.