Going camping and need some entertainment? Or you simply want to watch a movie with the whole family and don’t have a big screen TV?
Then a gadget like the Apeman M4 Mini projector might be exactly what you need. We’ve been testing out this particular device for the last few weeks, and here’s what we think of it.
The Apeman M4 mini projector comes in a stylish little box that includes the device, an HDMI cable, a tiny tripod, and an AC charger with a USB charging cable.
The M4 looks great. It’s quite small and can easily fit in my hand. It has a nice black shiny finish and an overall minimalist design. The unit measures only 3.86 x 3.86 x 0.85-inches and weighs next to nothing. It can be made to fit anywhere including in the pocket of my pants.
Unfortunately, the top surface is quite a magnet for fingertips which it’s particularly great, but not a deal breaker either. You’ll just need to have a wiping cloth with you at all times.
The projector comes with a large vent at the front, and there’s another one located below. Both are used to dissipate heat. Throughout our testing, the M4 remained quite cool in use and we didn’t notice any overheating.
On the back, you’ll find an HDMI, USB and USB-C ports. The latter is used for charging. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you can hook up your favorite headphones.
Functions and use
The M4 is not as feature-rich as some of the other projectors on the market. That’s mostly because it’s a budget affair. However, it does provide more than necessary to get entertainment on the go.
For example, there’s no microSD storage expansion slot. But, the good news is that you can use the USB port to plug in a hard drive. What’s more, the 3,400 mAh rechargeable battery can double as a battery pack to recharge your phone. Which is pretty handy.
The M4 features 50 lumens LED lamp that offers decent quality pictures in a dim or a completely dark room. However, this is definitely not a daylight projector. It has a decent contrast ratio of 1,000:1 but it’s not nearly as powerful as other projectors available on the market today.
The HDMI port on the M4 makes it fully compatible with any standard media device. However, keep in mind that you’ve got absolutely no wireless connectivity on board including Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. So connecting a smartphone to it is not so simple and would require an additional device like a Roku stick.
A thing I found quite unusual about the Apeman is the lack of software interface. When you turn the projector on, using the power button on the side, you won’t see anything other than the Apeman logo greeting you. No additional Settings options or anything like that. Connect the HDMI cable and you’ll immediately start seeing the projected images.
The upside to this is that the mini projector is really easy to use and works straight out of the box. It doesn’t involve a complicated setup or anything like that. It also comes pre-charged, so simply take it out and start using it.
Place the projector at a distance of about two meters for best results. Don’t forget to use the mini tripod that comes in the box; it comes super in handy. Once you’ve found the best distance, all you need to do is manually focus the image and you’re good to go.
In our testing, we discovered that sound quality was pretty impressive for such a tiny device. The M4 features 1-watt stereo speakers which sit on either side of it and can provide loud and clear audio. While the projector’s own speakers can fill up a small room, if you’re looking to use the device in a larger chamber, we recommend you hook up an external speaker (if you have one of those laying around). You can connect them to the Apeman using the 3.5mm audio jack.
As we mentioned above, you’ll need to be in a completely dark room to take advantage of the full quality of the Apeman. The projector has a native resolution of 854 x 480, but it supports 1080p video input. Although it will downscale it. We know the resolution sounds disappointing, but actually, the projections end up looking quite decent on the wall. Colors are ok and the contrast ratio is good enough to watch a movie or look at a family album.
The internal battery can play up to about 80-90 minutes of content before running out of juice. Once the battery is drained it will take about 3.5-4 hours to fully charge it back up.
The M4’s biggest advantage it’s the fact that it’s such a tiny, portable device, which you can take with you literally anywhere. It’s not the most advanced projector we’ve seen, but it does get the job done when you need some quick entertainment to spice up a boring family evening.
The Apeman M4 is available for purchase for $209.99 from Amazon.