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AKASO WT50 Review: Cheap and Cheerful Mini Projector

Our verdict of the AKASO WT50 Mini Projector:
If you're looking for an ultra-affordable, ultra-portable pico projector, the AKASO WT50 will get the job done, but don't expect to use it in anything but the darkest surroundings.
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Sure, television screens are getting larger all the time, but if you want a truly large screen without spending tens of thousands of dollars, you need a projector. Of course, a 4K projector capable of display sizes upwards of 100 inches isn’t cheap either. Not everybody needs one of those.

That is why the mini-projector market has sprung up in the last decade or so. They aren’t the most capable, but they’re portable, affordable, and easy to set up and use. Unlike some other manufacturers, AKASO doesn’t lie about what its tiny WT50 Mini Projector is capable of, which is exactly why we think it’s worth a look.

AKASO WT50 Pico Projector AKASO WT50 Pico Projector Buy Now On Amazon $249.99

Specifications

The raw specs of the AKASO WT50 mini projector aren’t going to blow anyone away. Of course, at this price point, it’s a tough call as to who would be expecting incredible hardware specs in the first place. Still, it’s good to know what you’re dealing with.

  • Brightness: 50 ANSI Lumens
  • Resolution: 854×480
  • Dimensions: 5.71×3.15×0.79 inches
  • Weight: 0.64lbs
  • Projection Ratio: 1.19:1
  • Connectivity: Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI, 2x USB, SD Card slot
  • Battery: 3.7V, 5000mAh
  • Android Version: 7.1

As with any piece of technology, there’s a lot more to the performance than numbers on paper and name recognition of the components. First, let’s take a look at the whole package.

What’s in the Box?

AKASO WT50 box contents

Taking the top off the box, the first thing you’ll spy is the projector itself, neatly nestled in form-fitting foam. The bundled accessories are tucked into three separate cardboard boxes underneath, creating a platform for the projector to rest on top of.

In one box you’ll find a tripod with a pivoting head, letting you align the projector at often unnecessarily odd angles, but we’ll get to that later. In the other boxes, you’ll find the AC adapter, HDMI cable for use with external playback devices, remote control (batteries not included), the manual, and a warranty card.

Setting Up the AKASO WT50

Before you can start watching movies or TV shows, the projector requires a bit of setup. Fortunately, this is a relatively simple process and doesn’t take all that long.

AKASO recommends that you fully charge the WT50 before first use. The battery was already mostly charged so this didn’t take long. Still, I plugged in the power adapter before I powered the projector on, just in case. Powering on is a two-step process: First, set the slide switch to “On”, then press the power button right next to it.

AKASO WT50 front

Once the power is on, make sure you’ve got the projector pointed at a suitable surface (a white wall will do) and you can set up the rest. In my case, this meant connecting to Wi-Fi, but you can also set up using a wireless hotspot or no networking at all, assuming you’re plugging in external players.

Before you do that, you’ll need to adjust the focus wheel to get the picture looking sharp and in focus. This is also when you’ll want to try using the included tripod if you need it. The design of the tripod leaves quite a bit to be desired. It’s nice that it’s included, but the pivoting head means it’s far too easy to tilt the projector, making getting a level image from the projector a little tricky.

Connectivity

When it comes to wireless connectivity, the AKASO WT50 has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as mentioned earlier. I was actually surprised that the WT50 supported 802.11ac wireless networks, which isn’t always the case on these lower-cost devices.

The WT50 also has a few ports to make connecting other hardware easier. The full-size HDMI port makes plugging in Blu-ray players, streaming boxes, and game consoles easy. You also get a pair of USB ports, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone / auxiliary audio jack.

AKASO WT50 ports

If you want to play media from your phone, the AKASO WT50 supports a few different methods. You can use Wi-Fi Display (aka. Miracast), AirPlay, or a third-party app solution that requires you to download an app on your phone. Unfortunately in my testing, I was unable to connect to the AirPlay server on the projector despite trying with multiple devices.

Features & Interface

AKASO WT50 interface

You’ve got two different ways to operate the AKASO WT50: the included remote and the touch interface on top of the projector. It’s handy that these are both included, as it means you’re not out of luck if you lose the remote.

The AKASO WT50 is powered by Android 7.1, meaning it’s a lot more capable out of the box than older, not-so-smart projectors. The Google Play Store is included, as well as a utility for sideloading apps in APK form. This means that you can install any streaming app you want and it should have a decent chance of working.

But don’t expect everything to work perfectly, especially with the included remote. Netflix, which is installed on the WT50 out of the box, worked with the remote long enough to sign in. After that, I thought the remote had quit working. Instead, it turned out that Netflix—at least this version—wasn’t working fully with the remote. Using the touch interface on top of the projector, navigating the menus worked fine, but this was less than ideal. Hopefully, a future firmware update may improve remote compatibility.

The location of the remote sensor is also a slight issue. It’s located on the back of the projector, but the remote is of the IR variety, meaning you need line of sight. Even if you’re a little off to the right or left, getting the remote to work can take some aiming.

Finally, the interface can be a little laggy at times. It’s not worse than a Fire TV Stick or similar device, and it’s not a big problem, but you’ll definitely need to be a little patient at times.

Picture: How Many P?

AKASO WT50 in dim light

Mini or pico projectors aren’t often known for their high pixel counts, and this makes sense. It currently isn’t possible to make something that is capable of 4K resolution that is also small and affordable. Considering those last two points, it’s even tough to hit the 1080p mark without trouble. That said, you’ll see some that support 720p, even in this small size, like the Nebra Anybeam.

The WT50 accepts sources up to 1080p, but it’s not actually showing them at this resolution. Instead, the WT50 uses a native resolution of 854×480, while puts it at 480p. This means that as you push the size of the picture higher by moving the projector farther away from your screen, it’s getting blurrier all the time.

If you keep the screen size around 80 inches or less, it’s nowhere near as blurry as you might imagine. You’ll notice it more with text, especially navigating menus, but once you’re caught up in what you’re watching, you probably won’t notice it looking especially low resolution, unless you’ve just watched a 4K movie on a similarly sized screen.

Adjusting WT50 brightness

The bigger problem with the WT50 is one that AKASO doesn’t shy away from: the limited brightness. At a peak brightness of just 50 ANSI lumens, this isn’t a bright projector. If you’re watching in a very dark room, the brightness isn’t a problem.

If you’ve got anything above minimal ambient light, the projector will struggle. Try watching something with sunlight streaming in the windows and you might as well just turn it off.

Sound Advice

AKASO WT50 touch screen

It’s a very good thing that the AKASO WT50 offers both Bluetooth connectivity and a built-in 3.5mm audio jack. Why? Because the built-in sound, while functional, isn’t something you’ll ever really want to use if you have a choice.

This can’t really be helped, in AKASO’s defense. The WT50 is so tiny that there’s no way anyone could fit a speaker capable of creating movie-ready or even TV-ready sound inside. If you’re using this to quietly project a movie on to a close wall in the middle of the night—something I can’t imagine is all that common—the sound will be adequate, but only barely.

In my testing, I happened to have a Bluetooth-equipped soundbar nearby. Connecting the WT50 to this made a world of difference in making the movie feel more cinematic. Of course, if you’re using the WT50 for an outdoor movie night with the kids, you probably won’t be able to lug along a soundbar, but even a standard portable Bluetooth speaker will be a worthwhile upgrade.

Should You Buy the AKASO WT50?

As we mentioned at the very top of this article, AKASO doesn’t over-promise when it comes to the capabilities of the WT50. Fortunately, it doesn’t under-deliver either. This means that you’re getting exactly what you expect, which is strangely refreshing in this day and age.

That said, the WT50 isn’t for everybody. If you need higher resolutions or a projector you can use in anything resembling daylight, take a look at our favorite projectors for your home theater. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a portable projector to use outside for occasional outdoor movie nights and you don’t live in a brightly lit neighborhood, the WT50 may be just enough for what you need.

AKASO WT50 Mini Projector, 1080P HD Video DLP Portable Projector with Android 7.1, WIFi, Wireless and Wired Screen Sharing, Trackpad Design, Pocket Sized Home Theater Pico Projector for iPhone Android AKASO WT50 Mini Projector, 1080P HD Video DLP Portable Projector with Android 7.1, WIFi, Wireless and Wired Screen Sharing, Trackpad Design, Pocket Sized Home Theater Pico Projector for iPhone Android Buy Now On Amazon $249.99

Read the full article: AKASO WT50 Review: Cheap and Cheerful Mini Projector

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Don’t Buy a Pico Projector Until You’ve Seen The Nebra AnyBeam

Our verdict of the Nebra AnyBeam:
Laser technology makes this the best Pico projector you'll find. With no built-in features, it does one job and does it well. But consider if you really need a pico projector, or just want a budget home projector, as you're paying for the portability and convenience.
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Normally, I wouldn’t touch Pico projectors with a tiny 6-inch barge pole, which is about the size of image they can comfortably project. But the Nebra AnyBeam has impressed me. Tiny, fanless, noiseless, and low-powered, the Nebra Anybeam eschews traditional DLP technology in favor of a laser and MEMS scanner. Does this make it the only Pico projector worth buying? We think so. Read on to find out why.

At the end of this review, we’ve got a Nebra AnyBeam to give away to one lucky reader. Be sure to watch the review video for some bonus entries in the competition.

Nebra Anybeam Specifications

  • Brightness: 30 ANSI lumens (~150 lumens equivalent DLP)
  • Contrast: 80,000:1
  • Resolution: 720P@60Hz
  • Dimensions: 4 x 2.3 x 0.8 inches (10.5 x 6 x 2 cm)
  • Weight: 4.7oz (132g)
  • Throw Ratio: 0.76:1
  • Power Consumption: ~3W, from micro-USB port
  • Connectivity: HDMI in (v1.4), 3.5mm Audio out
  • Other features: 1W speaker. 1/4-20 UNC tripod mounting point.

After a successful Kickstarter last year, the Nebra Anybeam is now available exclusively from Pi-Supply.com for £229 (~$300), shipping internationally from the UK.

In the box, you’ll find the Nebra AnyBeam, and …. nothing else. There’s no power adapter, no micro-USB cable, no HDMI cable, no stand. Since you’re probably a bit of a geek anyway if you’re buying this, I think it’s a wholly ethical decision to not include yet more cabling and e-waste.

pocket sized nebra anybeam laser projector

There’s no internal battery on the Nebra AnyBeam either, so it must be powered from the micro-USB port. Connect a phone charger, or use a battery, with at least 1.5A output capability. Again, this is a good thing. Batteries are often the first thing to fail on these types of devices. With such low power consumption, you’ll have no problem running this all day from a small battery pack.

The Nebra AnyBeam uses a laser and MEMS scanner to create the image. This results in a pin-sharp image, with lower power consumption, and consequently less heat generated.

nebra anybeam projecting

On the underside is a tripod mounting point, though no suitable mount is included in the package. I tested using a GorillaPod flexible mini-tripod, but anything compatible with 1/4-20 UNC is fine. The flexibility of mounting options makes this great for all purposes, particularly digital signage where large projectors on the ceiling might be unsightly.

Using the Nebra AnyBeam

I love how simple the Nebra AnyBeam is. There’s no complex menu systems to navigate, there’s no built-in Wi-Fi to connect to, there are no Miracast features to be frustrated with. There’s no micro-SD card slot for local playback, which is good since any device with that feature rarely understand modern codecs. It’s simply an output device, which is exactly what a projector should be.

Plug in a full-size HDMI cable (v1.4 compatible); then power the Nebra Anybeam on by plugging in a micro-USB cable. There is no power switch. If a compatible HDMI signal is found, the Nebra Anybeam will start projecting. That’s it.

nebra anybeam power and hdmi input
Plug in micro-USB power, and full-size HDMI 1.4 cable. That’s it.

A single combined push switch and toggle on the side of the device controls the volume and menu operation. Hold it down for three seconds to access the settings menu. Realistically you’ll only need to do this to adjust the keystone if you’re projecting from an angle. There is a sharpness adjustment, but this is more to fine-tune the factory settings. In everyday use, the laser projection stays sharp at all reasonable distances and doesn’t need to refocus. This also means it can project onto curved surfaces without sacrificing focus (though your image will be warped).

nebra anybeam keystone adjustment

Otherwise, the toggle switch controls the volume. Even on full, the volume is muffled, quiet, and intolerable for more than five minutes. It’ll do in a pinch, but you really should connect an external portable speaker for best results.

I tested using a Nintendo Switch and Amazon Fire TV stick, both of which were fine. I did have some issues with my Macbook Pro, though this was more likely due to the cheap HDMI adapter I was using.

nebra anybeam nintendo switch
Note, your Switch will need to be docked to enabled HDMI output

How Good is The Projection?

One thing I really appreciate from projector manufacturers is honesty about the brightness. In this case, Nebra is upfront about the fact that it’s 30 ANSI lumens. ANSI is a standardized way of measuring brightness, compared to flux or just “lumens”, which sellers can simply make up their own testing regimes for.

30 ANSI lumens really isn’t a lot, but it’s average for pico projectors. Nebra claims this is equivalent to about 150 lumens in a typical DLP projector, and that seems fair. My mid-range home cinema projector is around 3000 ANSI lumens, so it’s obviously a fraction of the brightness you’d get from a full-size projector. Still, for the size and power requirements, it’s impressive.

daytime nebra anytime
This would obviously have been improved on a white wall, but this is about the size possible during the day.

In the real world, this equates to night-time use if you want large screen sizes. During the day, you can comfortably project up to about 20 inches before you lose visibility. At night, I was able to push it to about 80 inches before I felt the definition and brightness were too poor. The projection screen I normally use is 110 inches maximum, but at that point, 720p resolution is just too blurry, even for a laser projector.

nebra anybeam massive projection test
110 inches felt too big, losing a lot of clarity.

To get a 78-inch screen required placing the Nebra AnyBeam 102 inches away, from which we can calculate a throw ratio of 0.76. This is a little disappointing and means that those with very small spaces will be unable to achieve the largest projection sizes.

78 inches was much more watchable.

Should You Buy The Nebra AnyBeam?

No doubt, the Nebra Anybeam is the best pico projector yet. The lack of built-in bells and whistles is a good thing, as there’s less software to be frustrated with and fewer hardware components that can break. You needn’t worry about a small internal battery expiring, because it doesn’t have one. Bring your own battery. It’s just an output device–and a good one at that.

But before you purchase the Nebra Anybeam, do consider if you really need an ultra-portable projector. Don’t buy it just because it seems like a cheap projector. At £229/$300, you could buy a budget home projector that would be brighter, capable of projecting a bigger screen, and may have a better built-in speaker. It certainly wouldn’t fit in your pocket though.

Enter the Competition!

Nebra AnyBeam Projector Giveaway

Read the full article: Don’t Buy a Pico Projector Until You’ve Seen The Nebra AnyBeam

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The 7 Best Projectors for Home Theaters

A home theater projector can open up a world of new entertainment possibilities. Rather than facing the constraints of a fixed size TV, many projectors display a crystal-clear image on a screen of up to 120 inches in 4K resolution.

Other projectors can help bring video from the small screen of a laptop or phone and supersize it to be enjoyed by a whole group. If you’ve been considering a projector for your home theater, we can help.

What to Look for in a Home Theater Projector

When looking for a home theater projector, there are two major features to look out for. The first is resolution. If you’re after a high-quality theater experience, take a look at a 4K projector or Full HD model. While you’ll spend more, it’s well worth it for the best available picture quality.

Secondly, also take note of any projector’s lumen output. Lumens are a measure of how much light is emitted from the projector. If you’re planning on using the projector in a completely dark room for a true home theater experience, a projector with a lower lumen output will definitely fit the bill.

But for other situations like a portable projector or a model to use in bright conditions, try to find the highest lumen output possible. Usually, the maximum projector output available is around 4,000 lumens.

With that in mind, here are some of the best projectors on the market.

1. BenQ HT3550

BenQ HT3550 BenQ HT3550 Buy Now On Amazon $1,315.13

For a true cinema-like experience, consider at the BenQ HT3550. The 4K projector is ready to go out of the box with color accuracy, so you won’t need to worry about that task before viewing content. The 2,000-lumen project also features a number of different modes preset for the best experience, including a mode for the best color accuracy in 4K and watching videos in a room with some ambient light.

You can take advantage of two HDMI inputs, a USB-A and mini-USB plug, along with an S/PDIF digital audio output. Thanks to a vertical lens shift of 5 percent and a 3x zoom lens, you can set up a screen as large as 100 inches from just 8.2 feet, making it a great option for smaller spaces.

2. Anker Nebula Apollo

Anker Nebula Apollo Anker Nebula Apollo Buy Now On Amazon $341.99

You probably know the Anker as a manufacturer of some great mobile phone accessories. But the company has more up its sleeve with the Anker Nebula Apollo.
Rather than a static device intended for home theaters, the unit is a portable projector that can take your content almost anywhere. The projector displays content at 854×480 resolution at 200 lumens. You can use a screen up to 100 inches.

While you can connect USB and HDMI devices to the projector, the Nebula Apollo’s best feature is that it runs Android 7.1. So with a companion smartphone app, you can download and stream from services like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu. Weighing just 1.7 pounds, the projector’s built-in battery can play video for up to four hours before needing to be recharged.

3. Epson Home Cinema 4010

Epson Home Cinema 4010 Epson Home Cinema 4010 Buy Now On Amazon $1,999.49

Another option for the crown jewel of a media room is the Epson Home Cinema 4010. The 4K projector provides 2,600 lumens and a dynamic contrast ratio of 1 million:1 for vivid color. The projector’s three-chip design allows 100 percent of the RGB color signal to be displayed for each frame.

You can use a screen of up to 120 inches if the projector is placed at least 12 feet away. A real-time HDR curve adjustment allows for 16 steps of control to fine-tune the HDR performance no matter what you’re watching. The projector sports two HDMI inputs, an optical HDMI input, a LAN jack, an RS-232 input, and a 15-pin PC input.

4. ViewSonic PX700HD

ViewSonic PX700HD ViewSonic PX700HD Buy Now On Amazon $499.99

The ViewSonic PX700HD can display 1080p content on up to 300-inch screen. And with 3,500 lumens, it’s also a great choice for rooms with more light. Gamers will definitely love the low 16ms input latency to keep up with all of the action. There is also a sports mode that provides enhanced colors.

Made for wireless streaming dongles like the Amazon Fire TV Stick, you can use one of the projector’s two HDMI ports while taking power from the USB-A port. The dual HDMI inputs also allow you to view 3D content from compatible Blu-Ray players. And there’s no need to worry about purchasing sound equipment as the projector also has a built-in speaker.

5. Optoma HD28HDR

Optoma HD28HDR Optoma HD28HDR Buy Now On Amazon $649.00

Another great budget-friendly choice is the Optoma HD28HDR. The projector provides 3,600 lumens of brightness and a 1080p picture. You can use a 120-inch screen when the projector is 12 feet away. The projector is compatible with 4K devices, so you can watch HDR10 compatible content.

There are four different picture modes when viewing HDR movies or TV shows. This unit is perfect for gamers as well—there are two different modes to select from, including a low-input lag of 8.4ms with a 120HZ refresh rate. It’s also made to display any 3D content. Along with two HDMI inputs, there is one 3.5mm audio out and a USB-A port.

6. LG HU80KA

LG HU80KA LG HU80KA Buy Now On Amazon $2,500.00

The LG HU80KA combines portability and a high-quality home theater picture in a great package. The laser projector provides 2,500 lumens, and you can show a 4K image on a screen of up to 150 inches from 12 feet away. With the built-in carrying handle and cord reel, you can easily transport it to different rooms or even take it on the go.

Using the projector’s Wi-Fi connection, you can easily watch streaming services like Netflix and YouTube with LG’s Smart TV streaming platform without any additional equipment. You can also wirelessly screen share videos from a smartphone or tablet.

There are two HDMI ports, a 3.5mm and S/PDIF audio out, a LAN plug, and two USB-A ports. If the 7W built-in speakers aren’t enough, the projector also sports Bluetooth connections to soundbars, portable speakers, or a personal headset.

7. YABER Y30

YABER Y30 YABER Y30 Buy Now On Amazon

If you want to see if a home theater projector is right for you, take a look at the YABER Y30. The projector can show 1080p content at 6,800 lumens. That should allow you to enjoy content in a bright room or even outdoors. The projector can work with up to a 200-inch screen when 15 feet away.

The projector sports two HDMI plugs, two USB-A ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a VGA input. You can also take advantage of built-in 3W dual stereo speakers for audio.

The Best Projector for Your Needs

While TVs are a staple of many homes, a projector enables a more cinematic experience. There are many projectors on the market at a range of prices, so you should find some that suits your requirements and budget.

That said, a great picture is only one part of creating your home theater. Take a look at some of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars that can bring 360-degree sound to your content.

Read the full article: The 7 Best Projectors for Home Theaters

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How to Stream Your Computer Audio Output to Sonos Speakers

Sonos speakers are one of the best ways to fill your home with music. They’re entirely wireless and controllable from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Sonos speakers also sync with dozens of music streaming services, including Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Music.

However, there’s one area where Sonos falls short: there’s no way to listen to your computer’s audio output with it.

It might not sound like a big deal, but it is. If you’re an audiophile, you probably use a dedicated music manager like MusicBee or MediaMonkey to keep your tunes organized.

Specialist apps such as these include a vast number of features, tags, metadata fields, and everything else that music fanatics love. In contrast, the Sonos app is bare-bones. You can see the artist, song, album, and artwork—but not much else.

How to Stream Your PC’s Audio Output to Sonos

sonos app add radio

To play computer audio through Sonos, you’ll need to use a third-party app called Stream What You Hear (SWYH). But before we get into the setup instructions, allow us to list a few caveats:

  • You need to perform the entire process on a Windows computer. The SWYH app is not available on macOS or mobile operating systems.
  • The speaker’s audio output will lag behind your computer by a couple of seconds. As such, this method is only suitable for listening to music, not watching videos.
  • The SWYH app has not been updated since 2016. It still works perfectly, but the more time that passes, the more likely it is to break.

That said, let’s look at the process. To use your Sonos as a PC speaker, follow the step-by-step guide below.

  1. Download and install Stream What You Hear.
  2. Launch the app using the Start menu shortcut.
  3. Right-click on the app’s icon in the system tray.
  4. Go to Tools > HTTP Live Streaming.
  5. Copy the on-screen URL.
  6. Open the Sonos app.
  7. Go to Manage > Add Radio Station.
  8. Paste in the URL and give the link a name.
  9. Click OK.

To use your new “radio” station, go to Radio > My Radio Stations. Make sure your computer is playing audio before launching the station, or it will fail to connect.

Do you use Sonos to stream local audio or do you prefer to use one of the best music streaming services? Remember, there are multiple ways to stream music to your Sonos speaker.

Read the full article: How to Stream Your Computer Audio Output to Sonos Speakers

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13 Fun Ways to Use a Video Projector in Your Home

Projectors provide the ultimate home theater experience, allowing you to enjoy films on a big screen without setting foot outdoors.

Today’s projectors are smaller and more transportable than previous generations. And because projectors can connect to any device that can play via a HDMI port, their uses have increased considerably.

Here are some cool things to do with a home projector.

1. Get Into the Spirit

Nothing puts one in a holiday spirit more than seeing a home decked out with outdoor lights and beautiful wreaths. Whether the winter holiday or some other annual celebration, projecting images onto your home can raise the mood. The video above is a great place to start.

Prefer Halloween? Create a bloody scene with your projector that requires no actual cleanup. Or on Independence Day enjoy a spectacular digital firework display in locations that ban real fireworks.

Don’t forget to hook up your sound system to enjoy the bangs!

2. Bring the Ocean Home

Having a pool party is a great way to have your friends and family relax during the summer. But the party doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down. With a projector, you can transform your pool into the ocean! Use it to display images of tropical fish, coral reefs, and perhaps a dolphin or two. Add a relaxing soundtrack from your portable speaker and it’s a great way to end a fantastic day.

You could also mount a projector above a hot tub and provide a similar experience, whether inside or out. Just remember, the fish aren’t real!

3. A Musical Light Show

MusicBeam is open source software that enables you to use your home projector to create a laser show for parties. Because sounds trigger MusicBeam, you’re able to adjust nearly every detail of the performance. Among the free show downloads for MusicBeam are Moonflower, Snowstorm, and more.

MusicBeam is Java-based, meaning that it runs on every major operating system. All you need is a laptop and your projector. The results can be stunning but remember to try it out with plenty of time before your next party!

4. Time for a Story

There are hundreds of storybooks available for desktops, mobiles, and tablets. With a projector, you can take story time with your children to a new level.

For example, you might project the story onto a bedroom wall as you read the action to your kids. Teenagers may want to do the same thing with digital graphic novels. With a digital projector displaying books on Kindle or Comixology, the story can really come to life.

5. Let Zoom Fill the Room

If you’re working from home and using video conferencing software like Zoom, it can be difficult to discern faces. Even with a high-resolution monitor, and fast data connection, things can be unclear.

A solution to this is to blow up the video conference with a large screen. Projecting the conference onto a screen or wall will help you to see who is who.

6. Sleep Better With a Projector

Need help getting to sleep? Mount your projector on the bedroom ceiling and project ocean waves or a beautiful rain scene while lying in bed. Or place it at the side of the bed, pointing up, so it projects onto the ceiling.

Want to cuddle before bed? Project a romantic movie to share with your better half.

7. Gather in the Kitchen

The kitchen is where families gather for food and conversation. It is also a great place to use a projector.

In the morning, mount a projector pointing down at the kitchen bar, perhaps displaying the morning news to accompany breakfast. If you have children, age-appropriate content might be preferable.

Or, point the video projector to your refrigerator door and cook along with some celebrity chefs. It doesn’t end there. Reluctant to head into the kitchen while watching your favorite team? Project the game onto that same refrigerator door.

8. Projector Games for Parties

Like a book club, quiz and trivia clubs offer a chance for friends to gather and have fun. Many of these games are now digital.

However, instead of sitting around a laptop or iPad to play a game, it’s fun to use a projector instead. Better yet, create an outdoor tournament and invite even more people to play. You could even use the projector to play video clips while your teams answer questions.

9. An Art Project

One of the great summer pastimes for children is drawing on sidewalks or pavement with chalk. With a projector, you can take this experience to a new level and even get the adults involved. Project a black and white image on a removable surface such as the side of a garage. Trace over the lines of the picture using the chalk to create an impressive work of art.

Want something more permanent and a project for adults only? Project a mural design on a wall in your home and trace with a pen. Fill in your masterpiece later with paint.

10. Maximise Home Schooling

Whether you home school as part of your family routine or it is enforced, a projector can help. Forget the whiteboard or chalk board—use the projector to display project ideas, videos, and more.

Getting home schooling right is difficult; a flexible approach to communication is key. While one day it might be useful to have your children using Scratch on a PC or tablet, the next a big screen projection of educational programming can help.

So, don’t rely on the projector—just add it to your home school arsenal.

11. Shadow Puppet Show

Not into chalk drawing? Projectors are also an excellent way to experience a shadow puppet show.

Whether using your hands or actual puppets, simply project a white light onto a wall or tabletop. Your puppet show might tell a story, or you might just teach your family how to shape their hands. Perhaps go further and create cardboard cutout silhouettes.

12. Video Games on a Big Screen

A games night is a good choice, but for high octane gaming, why not connect the projector to your console? All it needs is your games console connected to the HDMI port (or VGA if necessary for older consoles). Remember—a projector is basically a display system, so you can plug in any video device to enjoy output on the wall or screen.

Gaming with a projector is perfect for spectator video games and e-sports, although you may prefer it as an immersive single player gaming solution.

Standard projectors are adequate for gaming, but for quality results, try one of our list of the best gaming projectors.

13. And Yes, Movie Night

The best reason to purchase a home projector, of course, is to watch your favorite movies in a big way.

Projectors work great on a blank wall in your living room or home theater room. But if you take it outside, you can use a wall or even string a white sheet on a clothesline. Whatever you choose, a projector can turn any night of the week into something special.

If you’re watching a movie, don’t ruin it with poor sound. Take the time to hook up a soundbar or surround sound for the best experience.

Try These Cool Projector Ideas

We’ve given you 13 things to do with a projector. If you have one lying around gathering dust, it’s time to start using it.

Home projectors are available with different features and at various price points. Each is relatively easy to set up, depending on the location.

As you can see, these devices are suitable for more than movies and PowerPoint. Whatever you decide to do, all you need is your projector, an HDMI-connected device, and a little bit of imagination.

Don’t already own a projector? Try one of these budget projectors suitable for laptops and smartphones.

Read the full article: 13 Fun Ways to Use a Video Projector in Your Home

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Is the Vankyo Performance V630 a Smart Budget LCD Projector for Your Home Theater?

Our verdict of the Vankyo Performance V630 Full HD Projector :
A good entry-level projector, with a decent projection quality and built-in speakers. It's not ideal for gaming, you won't enjoy 4K movies, but for almost everything else the Vankyo V630 is a good value choice.
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Building a home theater and want to switch from a TV to projection? Redesigning your living space and eschewing traditional TV sets in favor of something more inconspicuous? Or just want a big screen for movies, TV, and gaming without the outlay on a 60-inch plasma?

The solution is a projector capable of full HD presentations, movies, and other entertainment. From Vankyo comes the Performance V630 Full HD Projector, a table-top projector capable of displaying a screen size of 46 to 300 inches.

With dozens of alternatives available, why should you choose the V630? It’s an affordable projector—but what more does it have to offer?

VANKYO Performance V630 Native 1080P Full HD Projector, 300" LED Projector w/ ±45° Electronic Keystone Correction, Compatible w/ TV Stick, HDMI, Laptop, Smartphone for Home/Business Use VANKYO Performance V630 Native 1080P Full HD Projector, 300" LED Projector w/ ±45° Electronic Keystone Correction, Compatible w/ TV Stick, HDMI, Laptop, Smartphone for Home/Business Use Buy Now On Amazon $249.99

Why Use an HD Projector?

Having a high definition projector is a massive advantage over a TV. Standard 40-inch LCDs or plasma TVs are large and often difficult to hide, so they end up standing out and dominating a small room.

Vankyo V630 projector lens

While this can be mitigated with strong interior design, an alternative is to simply forget about TVs altogether.

But other factors might impact your use of a projector. Perhaps your home theater space demands it, or you demand better immersion from games without switching to VR. Maybe an affordable HD projector is a smart alternative to a new TV… Or maybe you just really want an HD projector.

What’s in the Box?

In the box you will find the Vankyo Performance V630 bundled alongside a useful carry case and remote control.

All the necessary cables are also included: a mains power lead, HDMI cable, and a small RCA adaptor.

You’ll also find the maintenance kit. This consists of a lens cloth and Q-tips for cleaning the projector and keeping it dust-free. Dust is the enemy of heat, so it is important to keep the projector dust-free to ensure prime performance.

Also bundled is a pack of four quarter-inch screws. These are for attaching the projector to a ceiling mount. Vankyo offers its own ceiling mount and tripod for use with this projector, available separately.

Vankyo Performance V630 Specifications

The Vankyo Performance V630 is not a top-of-the-range projector. Despite this, the specification and feature list are impressive.

Sure, it might be limited to 1080p Full HD—but given that is the quality of the majority of TVs and displays in use in homes around the world, it’s hardly a deal-breaker. Unless you’re looking specifically for a 4K projector—and have already budgeted accordingly—this won’t be a problem.

Unlike many other budget projectors, the projection on the V630 is a native 1080p, and not just “HD-ready”. This deceptive term means they will accept an HD input but actually project closer to DVD resolution.

Adjust the lens on the Vankyo V630 digital projector

The Performance V630 features a 50,000 hour lamp life (though obviously we can’t verify that in a short time of testing), and a 5000:1 contrast ratio. This indicates the luminance ratio of the brightest color to the darkest color that a system can produce. To compare, movie theaters are usually around 500:1.

While there is no physical screen included, the V630 is capable of projecting an image of up to 300 inches (25 feet). This can be as small as 46 inches, and projection distance can be set between 5.15 feet and 30.18 feet. So, it’s suitable for projecting in a room, lecture theater, home cinema, or even on your home’s exterior wall. A small retractable foot gives additional elevation if needed.

With electronic keystone technology, distortion of up to 45 degrees can be adjusted. This means the projector can be directed at angles to the surface and automatically corrected.

The projector also features an innovative cooling system for heat dispersion. Meanwhile, noise reduction technology cuts 80 percent of fan noise. There’s a removable dust filter on the side which you should clean from time to time to maintain good airflow.

Vankyo states a brightness of 6800 lux, but this isn’t a standardized measure so it shouldn’t be used for comparison. The industry-standard ANSI lumens brightness rating is not specified, which makes it difficult to compare the actual image brightness to other models.

Vankyo V630 features a removable filter

With two HDMI ports, AV and VGA connectors, plus audio out, the Performance V630 projector offers wide device compatibility. It also features USB and an SD card reader. In short, you should be able to hook it up to almost any device, from Blu-ray player to PC. Or plug in media directly to enjoy it.

Buying the Vankyo Performance V630 projector also gives you three months of free return for a full refund. Three-year repair cover is provided, as well as customer service and tech support for the product’s lifespan.

Setting Up the Vankyo Performance V630

Before buying the Vankyo Performance V630 it’s a smart idea to ensure you either have a suitable wall or screen.

While projection can be up to 300 inches in size, if the surface isn’t suitable, the picture will suffer. Matt-white untextured walls should be fine.

Vankyo V630 projector menu display

You should also ensure you have suitable elevation for the projector, an accessible power outlet, and optionally some better audio equipment. Our test unit was projected onto a screen at a distance of 7.5 feet, with a standard soundbar connected to the audio jack.

After connecting the HDMI cable from the source device (initially a Windows laptop), the V630 was powered up. The initial results are good and improved considerably as the room was darkened.

Controls on the unit are duplicated on the remote, which takes a pair of AAA batteries. Switching between video sources, adjusting volume, and navigating the settings menus is straightforward, with no fuss. As long as you’re using the remote and have the projector permanently mounted, there’s little need to touch it beyond keeping it clean and dust-free.

What Can You Connect?

The beauty of modern media devices is that you can connect almost any suitable hardware.

While there is no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth option with this budget projector, plenty of wired alternatives are supported.

Connect AV cables, USB, HDMI, and SD cards

With dual HDMI ports, you might connect a games console and TV box, or perhaps a media device like the Amazon Fire TV Stick. A 5V USB port is included to ensure power to your media box. There’s also a VGA option for older TV decoders, PCs, and game consoles. An AV input for RCA connections (perhaps video camera) is also provided.

Two more options for playing media are included. A single USB 2.0 data port for hard disk drives and USB sticks, and an SD card reader. Finally, there is a single audio out port, so you don’t have to rely on the internal speakers.

Play Movies, Games, and Watch TV

In practice, displaying media is a little trickier than you might like. While HDMI devices connect with little difficulty, static media is a different story.

A drive connected to the USB port can be accessed using the channel select button. This initiates a rather clunky file browser that wouldn’t look out of place on a 1990s karaoke machine. It’s functional, but unattractive.

Two HDMI ports on the Vankyo V630

Media files can be browsed and opened, with the projector capable of displaying images, music, video, and text documents.

Meanwhile, the SD card reader is an enigma. Foremost, the card must be inserted upside down. More importantly, however, it seems limited to smaller SD cards. While not a massive problem, this naturally restricts how much you can store on the card for playback through the projector.

We tested movies, video clips, Britbox streaming, YouTube, and video games through the Vankyo V630. Admittedly there was a small latency issue with the FPS game we tried, but overall the results were satisfactory.

Picture Quality Good, But Not Perfect

It’s always difficult judging the image quality of a projector. There is so much to consider, from finding the optimum viewing angle to ensuring the display surface is conducive to projection.

We tried the Vankyo V630 with a budget display that can be quickly and easily mounted and removed as needed. This, in turn, was mounted on a white PVC wall (with reflective flecks). This resulted in a small amount of image separation when viewed at an angle, but overall the result was satisfactory. It certainly didn’t detract from a family viewing of The Rise of Skywalker on Disney+.

Positioning was tricky due to the size of the test area and suitable wall space. However, the Vankyo V630 has a surprisingly good selection of keystone correction tools. It does, however, underline the importance of finding a permanent home for the projector, either mounted on a ceiling or placed on a movable stand.

You Will Need External Audio

As satisfying as the picture quality is from the Vankyo V630, you will prefer an external sound system to the built-in audio.

While acceptable, the limited tones and range of the speakers are suitable only for a few purposes. Kids TV, perhaps, or watching some sporting events; playing media in presentations. For most standard viewing activities, whether watching a popular drama boxset, the latest Marvel movie, or gaming, a soundbar or surround system will be preferable.

Vankyo V630 projector controls

In terms of comparison, the projector’s audio is probably on par with the output from a TV. Avoid turning it up too loud, as on some surfaces this can cause some visible vibration in the projection.

Don’t worry too much about overcoming the audio from the projector’s fan. It features enhanced cooling technology and noise reduction, so you’ll barely notice it through the audio of whatever game or movie you’re enjoying.

Affordable HD Digital Projector to Consider

The choice for digital projectors is massive. From high-end 4K Ultra High Definition projectors edging towards $2000 to pocket-sized devices you can connect to a phone, there is a product for every budget.

VANKYO Performance V630 Native 1080P Full HD Projector, 300" LED Projector w/ ±45° Electronic Keystone Correction, Compatible w/ TV Stick, HDMI, Laptop, Smartphone for Home/Business Use VANKYO Performance V630 Native 1080P Full HD Projector, 300" LED Projector w/ ±45° Electronic Keystone Correction, Compatible w/ TV Stick, HDMI, Laptop, Smartphone for Home/Business Use Buy Now On Amazon $249.99

So, is the Vankyo V630 suitable for your budget?  Undoubtedly. It’s priced so low that anyone in the market for an entry-level projector would be foolish to overlook it. The picture quality is good enough, it’s lightweight, not too noisy, and features two HDMI ports—more than most TVs in the same price range.

Spare $300 to spend on an LCD projector? Put the Vankyo V630 at the top of your list.

Enter the Competition!

Vankyo V630 Budget Projector Giveaway

Read the full article: Is the Vankyo Performance V630 a Smart Budget LCD Projector for Your Home Theater?

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The Best Projector Screens for Your Home Theater

If you have a home theater system with a projector, then it is wise to invest in a good-quality screen. Given that projector screens can come in all manner of shapes, sizes, and materials, there’s a lot to consider when deciding on the best projector screen for you.

We’ve rounded up five of the best, each with different benefits. That way, you can decide on the ideal projector screen for your home theater system. Here’s what we found.

Best 4K HD Projector Screen:
Silver Ticket Projector Screen

Silver Ticket Projector Screen Silver Ticket Projector Screen Buy Now On Amazon $239.98

Many projectors now come with 4K support, so it makes sense to buy a screen to match. In this respect, the Silver Ticket Projector Screen is an excellent choice. You can customize the screen with a selection of projection materials. These vary in color, mainly, although you can alter the material, too.

For example, placing your projector screen over wall speakers will require a woven acoustic material. This won’t absorb any of the sounds, so the audio will still be clear. Black velvet surrounds the screen and is incorporated into the frame. This is great as it will absorb any light overthrow from the projector itself.

This is a 120-inch true widescreen projector screen, with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Be sure that your projector can throw out a 16:9 image before you take the plunge. It is also worth noting that you are required to build this screen yourself, although users have confirmed it is a reasonably straightforward process.

Best Manual Pull-Down Projector Screen:
Elite Screens Manual B

Elite Screens Manual B Elite Screens Manual B Buy Now On Amazon $69.00

Elite Screens are among the most well-known projector screen manufacturers. For that reason, the Elite Screens Manual B projector screen is an excellent option. The low price-point and high-quality build help, too. You can select from a range of screen materials, and when you have finished watching, you can store this one away easily until next time.

The unit boasts a 100-inch screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio, making it ideal for tight spaces. The real clincher is its storable construction, though. That makes it an unobtrusive screen as a simple pull on the lanyard at the bottom will retract the screen back into its housing. There’s no assembly needed either, as the screen comes already wound into its housing.

The only thing you’ll need to do is measure up the brackets and fit the unit onto the wall. The screen itself is compatible with 4K, 8K, and Active 3D images. You also have a 180-degree viewing angle, so nobody misses out, wherever they are in the room.

Best Motorized Projector Screen:
Elite Screens Spectrum

Elite Screens Spectrum Elite Screens Spectrum Buy Now On Amazon $199.00

If manual screens aren’t your style, then you should consider a motorized option. With this in mind, the Elite Screens Spectrum could be the right choice for you. The Spectrum is a 100-inch screen, so it is great for smaller or mid-size rooms.

The Spectrum comes pre-fabricated, so no construction is required past mounting the screen to the wall. There are several screen materials to choose from, each with different properties. All of them are active 3D, 4K and 8K Ultra HD, and HDR ready.

With the exception of the woven acoustic screen, each option is a front projection screen with a black backing. This means your image won’t be dulled by any light coming in through the back of the screen.

Best Outdoor Projector Screen:
JWSIT Projector Screen

JWSIT Projector Screen JWSIT Projector Screen Buy Now On Amazon $185.99

If you want to enjoy your movies outdoors, then you’ll need a dedicated outdoor projector screen. The JWSIT Projector Screen comes with a stand, so you can use it both indoors and outdoors and quickly put it away when you’re finished.

The JWSIT model is 4K and 8K compatible, too. The 120-inch screen is ideal for BBQs and even for camping, so long as you have a portable projector. The screen has three layers for improved image quality and light absorbance.

The rear layer is black, preventing light from coming through to the front and disrupting your viewing. The middle is polyester to prevent creasing, while the front layer is PVC for a smooth face.

Best Budget Projector Screen:
Vankyo Projector Screen

Vankyo Projector Screen Vankyo Projector Screen Buy Now On Amazon

Vankyo manufactures affordable projectors, so it would make sense that they would put this experience to good use and offer screens to match. The Vankyo Projector Screen is an excellent purchase as the 100-inch screen is suitable for both indoor or outdoor use.

That said, you might need to use some elasticated rope with hooks in an outdoor setting, or a frame. The screen is manufactured from polyester, so it is crease-resistant. It does require some construction, but at such a low price, you can’t really complain about that.

This screen is good for anything up to and including 4K images, so you can watch the latest movies or play the latest games without loss of definition. As a result, the Vankyo unit is of the best affordable projector screens available today.

The Best Projector Screen for You

There really are a lot of options available for you where projector screens are concerned. Keep in mind that you will need the correct screen to do your home theater setup justice. Importantly, be selective with the material, constructed size, and the screen’s aspect ratio.

Once you’ve chosen your favored screen, it’s time to get watching. However, if you want a more mobile setup, consider investing in one of the best portable projectors.

Read the full article: The Best Projector Screens for Your Home Theater

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The 10 Best Wireless All-in-One Keyboards for Mac and PC

All-in-one keyboards integrate a wireless keyboard with a touchpad, combining two devices into one. They’re the ideal solution for anyone with a living room media center or someone who wants to lean back and use their computer from a distance.

There aren’t too many of these wireless all-in-one keyboards, though, and it’s not always clear which one would suit your needs. So, let’s take a look at the best all-in-one keyboards available today.

1. Microsoft All-In-One Media Keyboard

Microsoft All-In-One Media Keyboard Microsoft All-In-One Media Keyboard Buy Now On Amazon $31.13

The Microsoft All-In-One Media Keyboard is a well-spaced keyboard with a large touchpad where the number pad is usually found. The touchpad supports multi-touch gestures for Windows 10, so you’ll be able to swipe and scroll with ease.

There are two customizable media keys above the touchpad and volume keys on the far left of the keyboard. You’ll need two AAA batteries to power it, which should last up to a month. Connect the USB receiver to your computer, and you’re ready to start using it up to a range of 10 meters.

2. Logitech K600 TV

Logitech K600 TV Logitech K600 TV Buy Now On Amazon $59.99

The Logitech K600 TV is designed for use with smart TVs. You’ll find the familiar, rounded chicklet keys from the current range of Logitech keyboards on the K600 TV. On the left are four buttons for quick access to the home screen, app switcher, search, and the back button.

On the right of the keyboard, there’s a circular touchpad, and above it, a d-pad for navigation. You can easily switch between up to three devices either via Bluetooth or the included USB receiver. The K600 TV is one of the few wireless keyboards with 15 meters range, as the standard is around 10 meters.

3. Huafeliz Mini Wireless Keyboard

Huafeliz Mini Wireless Keyboard Huafeliz Mini Wireless Keyboard Buy Now On Amazon $19.69

The Huafeliz Mini Wireless Keyboard is the perfect option if you need a device to manage your smart TV, streaming box, smartphone, tablet, and laptop. This small unit doesn’t look like a typical keyboard. Instead, the design more closely resembles a remote control. The glossy front of the device combines remote control and media functions via the central set of buttons.

Tap the Air Mouse button, and the controller will enable the six-axis motion sensor, allowing you to control the mouse cursor by moving the keyboard through the air. On the rear of the controller is a compact keyboard, laid out horizontally in QWERTY format. There’s no Bluetooth connection here, though, but you can connect wirelessly to your gadgets using the USB receiver.

4. Logitech K830

Logitech K830 Logitech K830 Buy Now On Amazon $71.78

The Logitech K830 is one of the best wireless all-in-one keyboards on the market right now. One of its most notable features is the backlight. A light sensor on the keyboard automatically adjusts the backlight based on the lighting conditions around you.

The backlight does require power, so the K830 comes equipped with a lithium-ion battery which can be charged via a micro-USB cable. A simple switch lets you flip the keyboard on and off as needed. Connection is a breeze using either the Logitech receiver or Bluetooth.

5. WisFox Wireless Touchpad Keyboard

WisFox Wireless Touchpad Keyboard WisFox Wireless Touchpad Keyboard Buy Now On Amazon $34.99

The WisFox Wireless Touchpad Keyboard is an affordable all-in-one keyboard. The 89-key device has 12 media shortcuts and five dedicated media controls for easy use. As is often the case, the touchpad replaces the number pad at the right of the keyboard.

The company has emphasized the portability and lifespan of its keyboard. It is powered by two AAA batteries but is also supported by two power-saving modes. After 20 seconds of inactivity, it’ll enter a shallow sleep, advancing to deep sleep after 15 minutes. The keyboard has a range of 10 meters from the USB receiver.

6. Fintie Ultrathin Bluetooth Keyboard

Fintie Ultrathin Bluetooth Keyboard Fintie Ultrathin Bluetooth Keyboard Buy Now On Amazon $30.99

Some habits are hard to break. If you’re used a laptop layout, with the touchpad beneath the keyboard, then it’s worth checking out the Fintie Ultrathin Bluetooth Keyboard. Unlike the other options on this list, the primary keyboard sits towards the top while the touchpad sits between the device’s handrest areas.

The unit is just 4mm thick, making it ideal for carrying around while out and about. That’s especially the case when coupled with the keyboard’s Bluetooth connection, allowing you to connect to most computers, tablets, and smartphones.

The Fintie Ultrathin Bluetooth Keyboard uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and includes an auto-sleep feature to keep your keyboard powered for longer.

7. AmazonBasics Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad

AmazonBasics Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad AmazonBasics Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad Buy Now On Amazon $23.99

If you’re after a more affordable option, then you’ll want to consider the AmazonBasics Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad. The retailer’s Basics line has gained a reputation for quality at budget prices, and you’ll find the same experience here, too. The keyboard is marketed with Smart TVs in mind, but you could use it for any purpose.

There’s a full QWERTY keyboard, volume keys, and function keys that double as media controls. As you might expect at this price point, there’s no Bluetooth connectivity. So, you’ll need to use the USB receiver to connect to your device instead.

8. Rii i8+

Rii i8+ Rii i8+ Buy Now On Amazon $25.99

If you’re looking for a mini keyboard the size of a gamepad, check out the Rii i8+. It comes with a 92-key QWERTY keyboard, a d-pad, and a small touchpad at the top. The touchpad controls are one click for a left button press, two clicks for right, and two fingers for scrolling.

The i8+ is available in half a dozen different colors to suit your preferences. It comes with a rechargeable internal battery and enters a power-saving mode after three minutes of inactivity. It has a range of 10 meters and supports connections via USB or Bluetooth.

9. iClever BoostType BK08

iClever BoostType BK08 iClever BoostType BK08 Buy Now On Amazon $46.99

If you’re looking for a space-saving, compact all-in-one keyboard, then look no further than the iClever BoostType BK08. The keyboard can connect to up to three devices at once, making it perfect for on-the-go productivity. iClever has designed this keyboard with portability in mind.

When folded closed it is roughly the same size as an iPhone 7 Plus and weighs about the same too. When unfolded, the small Bluetooth device is compatible with most operating systems. Its long battery life is also a plus, offering 60 hours of use on just a two-hour charge.

10. Rii K18

Rii K18 Rii K18 Buy Now On Amazon $28.49

The Rii K18 is a full-sized light-weight keyboard with a large touchpad on the right-hand side. It is equipped with an LED backlight that can switch between red, green, and blue.

The keyboard comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and it connects to your device via a USB dongle. This is a good option if you’re looking for a full-size keyboard with a large touchpad that is light enough to use on the couch.

The Best All-in-One-Keyboard for You

There are many different all-in-one keyboard options out there, combining a wireless keyboard with a touchpad. Which you choose will depend on your preferences and requirements. Some of these keyboards are suited to particular applications, like the Logitech K600 TV, which is optimized for use with smart TVs.

You may find yourself using a keyboard heavily throughout the day, so you’ll want to make sure the experience is as comfortable as possible. If this is a concern for you, then you’ll want to check out these ergonomic keyboards to improve computer comfort.

Read the full article: The 10 Best Wireless All-in-One Keyboards for Mac and PC

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The Sonos Arc Soundbar Brings Theater-Quality Audio to Your Home

For years, people have set up their homes to replicate the theater experience. That’s often been through immersive televisions, curved screens, smart lighting, or high-quality soundbars.

Sonos, the famed audio manufacturer, has announced its latest smart soundbar, the Sonos Arc, that promises to bring cinema-quality audio to your home. Here’s everything you need to know about the Sonos Arc.

What Is the Sonos Arc?

The Sonos Arc is the latest product in the company’s smart home audio lineup. Like many soundbars on the market, the Arc is an unassuming long, thin speaker designed to fit comfortably underneath your TV. However, Sonos’ devices come equipped with the company’s technology, and that’s their key difference to other equipment.

All Sonos devices connect to your Wi-Fi network and can then interact with each other. This means you could own one of their speakers, place it in your bedroom, and synchronize playback with your other Sonos products by putting them into a Group. This interaction isn’t done on the device, though. Your primary contact with the speaker is through the Sonos controller app, which is available for mobile and desktop.

The app allows you to change audio sources, install firmware updates, schedule alarms, and change the EQ of each speaker individually. If you already own a Sonos product, you’ll be familiar with the controller. However, with the launch of the Arc, the company is also debuting a new Sonos app, which will allow you to customize the experience further.

Sonos Arc Features

Sonos Arc soundbar with Sonos Sub

One of the most notable features of the Arc is the inclusion of Dolby Atmos technology. This surround sound experience is found in many theaters around the world and has been making appearances in home cinema setups since 2017. However, this marks the first time Dobly Atmos can be found in any Sonos product.

The improved audio quality is further bolstered by the new Sonos app, which makes it possible to tweak settings like Speech Enhancement to emphasize voices, and Night Sound to reduce the volume of loud sound effects. Using Sonos’ TruePlay tuning, the Arc creates an acoustic profile of your room and automatically changes settings for the most immersive experience.

The Arc soundbar is undoubtedly aimed at home theater experiences. However, you can continue to use the speaker even once the TV is shut off. Using the Sonos app, you can listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, and radio using the services integrated with Sonos’ platform. This includes popular apps like Spotify, YouTube Music, Tidal, Pocket Casts, and Audible.

Sonos’ most recent speakers also include support for voice assistants, and the same is true of the Arc. You can interact with Google Assistant and Alexa, and control the soundbar with the Sonos app, your TV remote, and Apple AirPlay 2.

Where Can You Buy the Sonos Arc?

The Sonos Arc will be available from June 10th, 2020, with an expected retail price of $799. You can pre-order the Sonos Arc from the Sonos website, too.

The company also announced the upgraded Sonos Sub, allowing you to add extra bass to your Sonos setup. The Sub, along with a new edition of the Sonos Five speaker, can also be pre-ordered through the Sonos website.

While there’s a lot to like about the Arc, it isn’t the only soundbar available to you. If you’re interested in upgrading your home audio setup, consider one of the best soundbars for audiophiles on a budget.

Read the full article: The Sonos Arc Soundbar Brings Theater-Quality Audio to Your Home

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You Can Now Rent Movies Still Playing in Theaters

In an extraordinary move, Universal Pictures is offering movies to rent online at the same time that they’re playing in theaters. This is in response to the coronavirus crisis, which is forcing people to stay at home rather than venture out to movie theaters.

How COVID-19 Is Changing Everything

COVID-19, which is caused by coronavirus, is now a pandemic. Which means it’s prevalent in almost every part of the world. Governments and civilians are reacting differently to the crisis, but almost everyone is being urged to stay at home whenever possible.

This is impacting the way people work, but also how they choose to spend their downtime. Vacations are being cancelled, pubs and restaurants are being closed, and movie theaters are shutting their doors. Which has led Universal Pictures to do the unthinkable.

Universal Pictures Rents Movies Early

As announced in this Comcast press release, Universal Pictures is offering its movies out to rent from home on the same day as their theatrical releases. Starting with DreamWorks’ Trolls World Tour, which you can rent on April 10, 2020, when it’s released in theaters.

Even before that, you’re going to be able to rent The Hunt, The Invisible Man, and Emma through a number of video-on-demand services from as early as March 20, 2020. This despite the fact that all three films are still showing in movie theaters.

All of the films mentioned above (and possibly others) will be available to rent for 48 hours and cost $19.99 (or its equivalent outside of the US). Which is a lot of money for a mere rental, but a lot cheaper than taking your family to the theater.

Reasons Not to Abandon Movie Theaters

Theaters have traditionally been afforded at least a 90-day window before movies are released for home viewing. And there’s usually a gap of 4-5 months between a theatrical release and a home release. However, COVID-19 has changed everything.

The question is whether Universal Pictures will carry this on after the coronavirus crisis has ended. After all, streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have already started to break the wall between theatrical and home releases.

To balance the scales, here are some reasons not to abandon movie theaters.

Read the full article: You Can Now Rent Movies Still Playing in Theaters