It’s difficult to find a decent, travel-sized projector that doesn’t compromise on too many features, especially at a relatively budget-friendly price. That being said, the Prima X2 projector is a solid portable bet you’d be satisfied with packing into your bag or using at home. It’s HD resolution is sharper than other alternatives, packaged in neat hardware and a straight-forward interface with sufficient battery life. While software is still a little rough around the edges, the overall experience is responsive and smooth enough to satisfy on the go or at home evening entertainment.
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The Prima projector is packaged with generous accessories to get started with. Together with the Prima X2 pico projector itself, it’s accompanied with an infrared remote control, tabletop tripod, 1m HDMI to HDMI cable, power charger and drawstring pouch. The remote control has all the main controls you’d need, including: directions, home, menu, back, volume controls and power button.
The tabletop tripod is basic and decent enough to get started with, but I quickly outgrew it with something more versatile and robust like my Manfrotto Pixi Evo 2 table tripod and main Manfrotto BeFree Advancedtripod. The HDMI cable is a nice inclusion, as well as the travel pouch with it’s reflective exterior and furry interior lining. It’s actually really nice to stow and carry the Prima X2 inside.
Hardware wise, the Prima X2 projector feels good in the hand, using, glossy, smooth plastic for the top and a matte plastic for the bottom. LED lights illuminate underneath the touch controls on the top, with a complete set of controls to navigate around the Android OS system without the need for the remote control. Some projectors lack any decent navigation control or lack them entirely, having to rely on the finicky remote controls or depend on an external mouse to function properly.
You can definitely get around most of the interface with it. There’s a cover that slides in front of the lens, acting as protection when stowed away inside your bag or during transit. My only gripe is that the lens cover feels pretty flimsy with some play along the slider. A minor point, but noticeable against the rest of the hardware which feels better.
It’s light at 188 grams, which is just a tad lighter than my Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G and measures quite compact too at 14.6cm long, 7.6cm wide and 1.8mm thick. By design, it’s more pocketable (even in your back pockets) or something you can slot inside your jacket. By design it’s also nicer looking than others I’ve come across, slim and small but not too small that it skips out on input ports.
What I like about the Prima X2 are the vast array of inputs you can connect your devices to project. On the right side, you’ll find two USB ports, a DC in for mains power operation, 3.5mm aux headphone jack and a single HDMI input port. The left side has air vents along most of it, with a microsd card slot towards the rear. The back consists mainly of the air vent with an IR sensor to receive remote control commands.
Inputs are generous enough, allowing you to connect a USB drive, USB receive for a mouse or keyboard, wired headphones and any HDMI devices such as a Playstation 4, Xbox One S or Nintendo Switch through the dock. Bare in mind it outputs 720p HD resolution rather than 1080p, but you’d be hard-pressed to find any in such a tiny package, with enough brightness, power and without the price skyrocketing. But you can definitely fit in casual gaming with those devices connected to the Prima X2 if you’re without any TV which is still impressive.
USB ports seem to be version 2.0 but is fast enough for media playback. Playing Full HD movies from a USB stick was perfectly fine, with no stutter, freeze or crash. I do recommend playing media from the local drive or through the browser on the Prima X2 which I’ll touch on later. So for wired connections, you’ve got a great set of ports to connect and view most from most household devices. Perfect to take on your travels inside your backpack when you’re going away.
Starting up from a cold boot, the Prima X2 projector takes about 1 – 2 minutes to load. After sliding the power key on the side forward and holding down the touch power button for 10 seconds, it powers on and eventually takes you to the homescreen you see. I like the interface. It’s minimal, not busy, shows core status of battery life, wireless, bluetooth and connected USB devices, as well as the time and date.
There are 7 preset *tiles* of apps you can go straight from the home-screen: YouTube, Share Screen, Manager, Play Store, More Apps, Settings, HD IN and ‘+’. You can add up to 6 apps just below them for quick access to your preferred apps. The interface runs on Android as a skin, which in my opinion suits the Prima X2 well. It’s easy to navigate with the touch and remote controls, and also big enough to clik on when a mouse is connected.
Setup was straight-forward and not painful which is always a plus. It’s a shame you can’t sort the preset tiles to your liking, but hey, at least it looks good and functions well. Other small projectors don’t even have an interface to look at.
The earlier image is projected to a rather small 20″ or so, whereas the above is a more comfortable 80+ inches. In this situation, no daylight is coming into the room, instead with room lighting from the rest of the hotel room I was staying in. With background lighting and a lamp to the left of me, you can see it holds reasonably bright projection at this size. Colours are quite good while retaining sharpness throughout the interface. It’s perfectly usable to watch movies on or click through the interface when the colours are bright and the scene is white or similar. Again, it’s quite impressive despite the pico projector size.
On standby, the fan noise is quite audible, pushing hot air away from the perimetre vents and manages to stay cool while peaking at lukewarm when playing local media back. The Prima X2 never gets uncomfortably hot, so thermals and air ventilation is well-designed here. You can imagine just showing snaps from today’s travels, a slideshow or video on this size to your family or friends can be a nice use scenario here.
Here’s a look under sunset conditions as it starts to get dark. The 200 ANSI lumens manages to do fairly well in daylight conditions, not necessarily something you’ll find yourself watching during the day as bright light really washes out the image, but much better than pico projector alternatives that are simply just unusable from under-powered brightness power. Here you can see it fares better and is best enjoyed in the dark. At roughly 80 inches or so, image is still fairly bright, with lighter scenes and colours watchable. Image sharpness also holds well, retaining enough detail that it doesn’t look too soft.
I’ve got the Prima X2 projector mounted on my Manfrotto tripod with a quick-release plate attached to the 1/4″ thread on the bottom. The thread is shallower than usual so I had to use a spacer or something to fill the gap, otherwise, it’ll move around. You can watch it plugged to the power charger or powered from the internal battery, rated for up to 3 hours of use. My usage was not far off as I get through 2 episodes of Dexter which are over an hour each, save a bit of time before I get the low battery notification. That’s above the average 2 hours pico projectors offer which is decent.
Now, I want to touch on sound quality for a moment. With any kind of pico projector, because they are very small and quite inexpensive in the realm of projectors, onboard speakers don’t get much love and it’s no different here. To get the best experience, you no doubt want to pair Bluetooth speakers or headphones to it as the speakers simply aren’t good at all. The sound coming from the 1W speaker is very tinny, lacking any depth or mids, and isn’t something I’d use. You’ll get an infinitely better experience paired with a dedicated Bluetooth speaker for immersion and soundstage.
File Manager and Settings
Pre-installed apps help you get the most out of the Prima X2 projector such as the file manager, HDMI app, share screen (wireless mirroring), YouTube, Netflix and a few others. The file browser is actually really good, an organised and concise way of exploring all your media content on either your USB drive, the 5GB internal memory or microsd card slot. MX Player is built in which is a great video app (I installed MX Player Pro which I already had from the play store) and even has office software if you’re opening documents. I didn’t try that out, but the overall setup here is very nice. You can also install .apk files outside of the app store too which I would highly suggest since the Play Store isn’t well supported and preset apps can be middling at times. Find out how to load .apk files onto these and you’ll get much more use out of it.
If you’ve ever played around with an Android device, some of the interface will look kind of familiar. The settings icon on the main homescreen is a hamburger style menu where you can connect to your home WiFi, pair and connect bluetooth devices, adjust brightness mode (Boost, Normal and Eco mode), automatic or manual keystone and browse software details.
It’s running Android Nougat 7.1.2 which is still capable inside the Prima X2, but is three generations behind the latest Android 10 version which you can expect to find in only the most expensive kind of projectors. It has the ability to be updated, but no software update has come since which is not unexpected but still disappointing there’s no love for software update it needs. Out of the box, the overall experience is good, thanks to the 8GB RAM and Texas Instruments DLP engine. Apps open quite quickly once the system is warmed up, with general navigation, toggle selection and actions also responsive. If you start to queue too many actions at one time, it can take a some seconds to catch up, but overall as someone who uses powerful smartphones and laptops, the Prima X2 was reasonable for the price and experience. It also helps that the interface isn’t busy or trying to do too many things – minimal, function and easy to use.
Wireless Streaming and Connectivity
When I’m not watching movies, YouTube videos or episodes, the image still holds up nicely. Text is legible, readable, and sharp once the focus is dialed in, even when it’s blown up to 120 inches. Corners and sides can be a little soft, but it’s sharper than a VGA 480p projector you’ll find in pico projectors. You can project content in many ways, including the in-built apps (or limited selection from the app store), local media or wireless. There’s an app to mirror for Android and iOS devices available from the homescreen, however it didn’t work good for me.
It would wireless connect and then drop out after less than a minute. Buggy and hopefully something they can fix, but I found it too slow and unreliable compared to my preferred local media. I didn’t get to test the HDMI signal to my Nintendo Switch or Games console, however found scaling to be an issue specifically to text. Connected to my Surface Book, text was illegible regardless, while media play back fared much better. Again, it looks to be an optimisation issue I hope they can fix through software, but it doesn’t look to have a noticeable impact on media, just text.
I did install Google Chrome and found streaming through the browser a much better experience, streaming without any audio lag to my Bluetooth speaker. Those are the best ways I’d use the Prima X2 projector so mirroring isn’t so much an issue for me, but something they can improve on. You can just download any app of choosing if you’re tech savvy.
Who is the Prima X2 Projector for?
At $399, if portability is important to you then the Prima X2 pico projector is pretty good value. It delivers better image quality and an overall experience relatively justified for its price. It’s built with appeal and quality plastic that keeps it light, with a host of modern-day inputs to connect to. Being travel-sized and pocket friendly makes this a great companion to entertain, casually game, or share with friends when you’re on the move or at home. It misses out on USB-C which I’d like to see in the next model, so you can use any cable with a power-bank or benefit from faster charging.
Bearing in mind, many pico projectors have clunky, archaic operating systems that can be sluggish and tedious to navigate around, so the Prima X2 feels like several steps in the right direction. It’s minimal, easy to use and responsive. The software needs fine-tuning to package better optimised apps and responsive automatic keystone detection which is hit and miss. Wireless and Bluetooth are consistent, while HD image quality and brightness are great for this size and price.
The Prima X2 projector is at its best under night conditions, delivering brighter image, detail and colours comfortably up to 120″ in size. It’s not the cheapest, smallest, best image quality or experience, but it does a good job of all of them. So, who is this for? Anyone looking for a quality pocket projector that’s very good all-round and at an affordable price. It’s also great if you’re travelling to places without a TV but still want to enjoy a big picture. You’ll definitely want to add a Bluetooth speaker to your setup as these aren’t great (which isn’t surprising), but once you do, that HD picture is going to create a solid cinema style experience.
Prima X2 Projector
Solidly built travel-sized projector with HD resolution, 3 hour battery life and an easy to use interface. It's light with a flat, compact design to bring entertainment anywhere with you. A little pricey, but justified over the competition and relative experience.