The dog days of summer are upon us and outdoor living is in full swing. For some of us this means taking our TV and movie experience to the patio or driveway for projecting media.
The original Nebula Capsule has been a great device for family viewing on my patio over the last few years. I was pumped to be able to give the new Capsule II a shot from the Anker sub-brand over the last few weeks.
How does the latest edition match up against the solid performer of the Capsule I? Overall, you’d be hard to say it hasn’t improved in almost every metric.
Let’s start with the industrial engineering behind the Nebula Capsule II. The overall size is larger than the previous generation. The original model was literally the size of a soda can. The Capsule II is more the size of a pint glass.
This is not a knock on the Capsule II though. It’s still incredibly portable and can be used with any 1/4-inch tripod mount. As long as you have that, you can pretty much set up anywhere with the Capsule II.
Specification wise, you will only get 720P HD resolution at 200 Lumens that can be canvased to a max screen of 100 inches. All this is presented under the wrapper of Android TV as the Capsule II operating system.
Internally, you need a good engine if you take the Nebula Capsule II on the road. It has a combination of 2GB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory, and a 9,700mAh battery. In addition, you have an 8-watt speaker to power the audio.
Expandability is also an option with several inputs in the back of the Capsule II. You can use auxiliary audio via 3.5mm jack, full HDMI, USB 2.0, or USB-C to add additional inputs to your projection experience.
Speaking of experience, the addition of Android TV has made a world of difference between the first two generations of the Capsule II. The full Google Play Store and Chromecast make this a much more polished option for the end-user.
The remote contributes to this as well. Having a full D-pad style remote with Google Assistant just makes finding content easier. The remote has a good weight and hand-feel. The buttons offer good feedback on button presses that are better than the first generation as well.
All of your favorite apps are available that you’d normally see on Android TV with one glaring absence of Netflix. There are multiple rumors of the why including that Netflix has units produced minimum that the Nebula Capsule II hasn’t reached in volume, but it’s disheartening to not see it on the homepage.
Thankfully, there are several options to get the Netflix app installed, but we recommend the official avenue of Nebula Manager offered directly from Anker. This allows you to install the app and walk you through adding it to your home screen.
While many will fault the Capsule II for only having 720P resolution, I’ve had zero issues. The screen size is easily adjustable with a crisp output. The projector also has an auto-focus feature that will make getting the setup just right a hassle-free adventure.
The big selling point of the Nebula Capsule II is portability and you can’t have that without endurance. I’m happy to report that I’m consistently getting three hours of playback of the video. I will deduct a point or two that this is down a full hour from the smaller generation one unit. You’d think with a larger footprint, this could have at least stayed flat at four hours.
Regardless, three hours gives you some great time to take in content with the family. It may be a little short for longer movies, but you have to go to bed sometime, right?
I’ve loved my time with the Anker Nebula Capsule II. This projector should be on anyone’s shortlist for outdoor entertainment that can be easily set up and moved when done. Add the mass improvement of Android TV over the blown-up phone interface of the original, you have a new king of small projectors.
The one drawback might be the price of $580. However, the quality of this projector combined with its portable design makes it uniquely valuable. You can purchase the Nebula II via Anker’s site directly or head to Amazon if you prefer.