The caravanning lifestyle is a mix of travelling, exploring and relaxing. But when it comes to watching a movie or important sports events, most of us are short-changed in our viewing options. Unless we have enough battery and inverter power to run a big 240v TV, we are generally stuck with a 60cm (24in) version that would be relegated to a small study if we were home. And even if we had the ability to run a decent size screen, there are problems with storing it somewhere safe.
The compact unit is only 11cmx15cmx17cm and weighs 1.6kg, so it’s easy to store and adds little to your payload. The projector displays in HD onto your choice of screen and has automatic keystone correction up to 40 degrees from dead centre. So, along with auto focus, you get an undistorted image even without critical placement of the projector in front of the screen. It will even compensate for small obstructions in the light path. The 900NSI lumen light source is said to last for 25,000 hours before it needs replacement- that’s around 10 years of average use.
An internal battery will give up to two hours run time but, in our tests, we found it also ran with no problem from a 300w inverter from the van battery and at only 90w it consumed very little power.
Inputs include HDMI, Bluetooth 5.0, USB and wi-fi and there’s a headphone jack if you want to keep the noise down. For more rowdy crowds the unit has built in harman/kardon speakers.
We used the XGIMI regularly over the past month and I have been very impressed with the results. On the initial run it took a while to connect the projector to my phone’s wi-fi and download some of the television streams. However, the unit comes installed with a lot of the more common apps and we were soon exploring YouTube and Netflix. The picture quality was amazing on a big white sheet taped to the side of the van. On our first test, we were camped in an out of the way place, so I had no fears about turning the volume up to the music videos and the sound quality was impressive.
We also set it up in a Sunshine Coast caravan park to watch the State of Origin and the streaming image from 9 Sport was again impressive. We kept the sound low so as not to annoy our neighbours and even at low volume, the voice quality was very clear.
Throw rate is 1.2:1 which means you can get big screen viewing in a short space. In TV size talk, at 1.5m (5ft) distance between projector and screen the image size is 1.5m (60in) and at 3m (10ft) it blows out to 3m (120in) still with a clear image. For the footy we had around a 2m (80in) screen and it was hard to believe the impressive picture quality.
The Halo+ costs $1399 from xgimi.com.au and there are stores in Sydney holding stock and demonstrator units. Compared to a big screen TV the cost is reasonable and the Halo wins hands down with its lightweight portability and easy storage.