The UO Smart Beam Laser Projector, definitely has an interesting look to it. It’s shaped like a cube with 2.2 inch dimension on each side and weighs only 12.8 ounces. If you have ever played around with something called the Rubik’s Cube it’s almost the exact same size.
We do like the exterior shell of this mini projector, but the real question we want to answer in this review is how well does it actually function and whether or not we think its worth the money.
Of course, Image Quality is important
On the company’s website the image quality produced by this model is promoted as being high resolution or HD. We can only assume by HD this means high-definition…
Now, there’s no clear cut definition on, “what qualifies as HD image quality”, however, when we see the words “High resolution” or the acronym, “HD” we tend to think 1080p or 4k resolution. This is not to say the UO website is lying in their description, they do make it clear the resolution level of this model is 720p, which is lower than both 1080p and 4K resolution.
Does this mean 720p resolution is a bad thing? No, in fact the majority of mini projectors available today (2016) have this exact same level of resolution.
Brightness is always a question
One of the first questions asked about any projector is whether or not it is bright enough for this or that. However, mini projector are especially notoriously for lacking in the area of brightness.
The UO Smart Beam Laser Projector runs on LCOS technology, using laser diodes as its light source to project images. The model has a 60 lumen rating. You might think, WOW! Only 60 lumens!!!
Just keep in mind the perceived brightness of laser diodes is much greater than both a LED or traditional lamp. The video below provides a good example on what you can expect.
We hope some time in the future there will be an adequate way of translating the lumens output levels by diode laser projectors to make it easier for customers to compare to the lumen output of LED and traditional lamp light sources.
What about Connectivity
What can you expect in this area? This model does provide the ability to connect to external devices through a cable (HDMI) and also provides wireless connection via Miracast or DLNA support.
Using the HDMI port with Mobile High Definition Link (MHL), connect to desktops and mobile devices: (laptops, tablets, Android, smartphone. Of course, connecting to Apple smartphones or any other Apple device requires use of the Thunder Bolt adapter. As far as we know this is standard, in order to connect to Apple external devices all projectors will require the adapter.
On the back of the projector gives you the option to turn on the wireless connection and works through Miracast or DLNA.
A micro-USB input does exist, however, this is solely for power.
Anything else worth mentioning
Additional features worth mentioning. Take it on the go, use it anywhere, there’s a built-in rechargeable lithium battery with a charge lasting up to 2 hours.
Always stays in focus, the laser light source provides auto-focus. You can literally pick this model up and move the image across the wall and it stays perfectly focused. Provides quick and easy set-up.
Lifetime – The laser diodes have a lifetime of 10,000 hours which is far superior to traditional lamp light sources.
The Bottom Line
Overall, UO Smart Beam Laser Projector provides some good functionality. Whether or not this is the right choice for you comes down to what you are looking for. If you are looking for a super-bright model with the highest resolution then you need to move on. If you are looking for a small light weight model that you can carry in your hand then this model is worth considering.
The video review at towards the top of the page provides a good example of the image quality and the brightness output. Take notice of the room environment used when making the video. The lights are off or at least dimmed to a low level. We are stressing here, this isn’t the brightest projector but with that said, overall as a class, mini projectors are generally not known for their brightness.
But we also should make something else clear, the lumens rating is 60. This will seem very low to most people. So low, some people would think it must be a joke, this must be some kind of toy… Just be aware that the light source used in this model is a “laser” and the perceived brightness is much different compared to a traditional bulb as a light source.