This Low Tech Grandma is still on the projector hunt. This time I’ve decided to try a mini projector. I never realized how many projectors I had to go through until I found the right one. Fingers crossed, but I believe the right one for me is the Vamvo mini projector (Amazon affiliate link). It has the features I’ve been looking for such as the ability to connect HDMI, USB, and SD card (the SD card slot is a must-have). I also wanted something that displays sharp and vibrant pictures.
Honestly, what attracted me to this projector is not only the size but the fact that it has a display size up to 130”. And, once charged, it can run for approximately 2 hours while disconnected from a power source. I also liked the look of this projector. That fact that it could fit in my purse is a plus. It’s smaller than my iPhone 6S Plus.
Vamvo Package – What you get
When the package arrived it came with the following:
- Mini Projector
- Remote (no batteries)
- Power cord
- Instruction manual
It would be nice if it had a travel case, but I guess I’ll order that separately (Amazon affiliate link). It’s inexpensive enough.
At first glance, the projector is cool. It’s sleek. It’s a little less than a half-pound in weight (0.6 lbs) It’s 5.7” long, 3.2” wide and 0.9 inches tall. It’s really small. There are three things I wish the Vamvo had, which are: 1)Bluetooth 2) wireless, and 3) keystone correction. However, not having those items is not a deal-breaker. I’ve tested projectors with wifi and Bluetooth and they seem to be a bit glitchy. The fact that the Vamvo doesn’t offer wifi is probably why it works so well (just my opinion).
I work around the Bluetooth issue by using an Amazon Fire TV stick. I pair my speakers to the Fire Stick and I’m able to enjoy a robust sound. Having said that, however, the speaker on this little device is impressive. It may not have the depth of sound that my Bose speaker has, but it is loud enough and clear enough for movie enjoyment.
Without the keystone option, I have to properly align the camera to avoid the trapezoid effect.
What the Vamvo Mini Projector Can Do
- It projects clear pictures from as close as 3” away from the screen to as far as several feet. The Focus wheel on the side of the device makes all pictures crystal clear. In addition to the clear picture, the colors and brightness are spot on.
- The Vamvo connects to any device via, micro SD, USB, or HDMI such as a computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, gaming consoles, and more.
- It can connect wired speakers or headphones.
- Vamvo holds about 2 hours of battery life for plug free viewing.
Let me repeat something that might have gotten lost on the list. The image is clear, I mean crystal clear. The colors are vibrant. I’ve done side-by-side comparisons with other devices and the Vamvo won every time.
The camera lens is protected by an attached shutter. Opening the shutter turns the device on. Closing it turns it off. Did I mention the picture is very clear?
The above picture was projected on my wall without a screen.
Settings and Menu Options:
For those of you who like to fiddle around with devices, there is a host of options as outlined below:
What I like about the menu options is they’re accessible from any screen. I’ve tested projectors where I had to exit the movie, go back to the Settings screen to adjust the color. The problem with that is you don’t know if you’ve done a proper adjustment until you go back to the movie (most times the adjustment was not adequate).
In general, I don’t play around with the Menu options. On occasion, I’ve had to increase or decrease the brightness or set the timer, and of course, set the clock. I find that the picture is so vibrant, that I don’t have to fiddle around with the settings.
Honestly, there isn’t much more to say about this device except it’s handy and has a sharp, clear, and vibrant picture. The way the camera is made, if you stand it on its backside it’s flat and can display images on the ceiling.
Negatives about the Vamvo Camera
I call them negatives, but they’re not truly negatives. They are things I didn’t like or wish it either did or didn’t have. Here’s what it’s missing or could use modification:
- Lack of wifi and Bluetooth connectivity (nice to have but not absolutely necessary)
- The controls on the device are sensitive. This isn’t necessarily a negative. It’s just one has to be careful when handling the camera while it’s on. It’s easy to inadvertently FF, Rewind, or even select another media source.
- The slots for the media input sources aren’t linear. There are two rows. The micro SD card slot is located right below the HDMI slot. As such, if the HDMI slot is in use, you cannot access the SD card slot unless you remove the HDMI cable.
Bluetooth and wifi are important to me, but a clear picture trumps both Bluetooth and wifi. I’ve shopped around and tested four projectors. Two had Bluetooth and wifi and two did not. I’ve found the devices that did not have Bluetooth and wifi offered the clearest picture. Because of its portability, I chose to keep the Vamvo and return the others.
Even though I kept this projector, there’s one more mini projector review coming. After all, I’ve tested four of them. Might as well complete what I started.
Update 9/5/20: I wanted to protect my Vamvo projector so I purchased a travel case made by Adada. It’s well made and inexpensive. It’s the perfect fit for my Vamvo mini projector.
What I especially like about it is the velcro strip that holds the camera, tripod, and power cord in place. The mesh pocket on the other side of the case is perfect for the remote, and other necessities. In my case, the necessities include the Amazon Fire TV stick with cable and the Fire Stick remote.
The beauty of the mesh pocket is it has velcro along the underside of the top. That velcro sticks to the lining material of the case and prevents the contents from slipping out and moving around. My Fire Stick is secure in the pocket.
Although the case is hard, the exterior is covered with a cloth-type material that “softens” the look. It can withstand some of the knocks and bumps that cases undergo. The rubber handle is strong and securely affixed to the case. Another plus is it has two zippers on a well-made, sturdy zipper track.
This case does a great job of protecting the Vamvo.