Anker Nebula Mars II Pro review: Petite portable projector performs proficiently

The Nebula Mars II Pro by Anker is a lovable, very small transportable projector. Geoffrey Morrison/CNET Anker’s Nebula Mars II Pro is a stunning tiny projector. And I do indicate tiny. It is really tiny ample to conceal completely less than a 6-pack of Coke. With crafted-in streaming and a […]

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The Nebula Mars II Pro by Anker is a lovable, very small transportable projector.


Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Anker’s Nebula Mars II Pro is a stunning tiny projector. And I do indicate tiny. It is really tiny ample to conceal completely less than a 6-pack of Coke. With crafted-in streaming and a battery superior for around three and a fifty percent several hours of projection, the Mars II Pro is a fantastic companion for a movie night time in the backyard or somewhere farther afield. And in addition to staying a projector, it truly is also a big Bluetooth speaker.

Like

  • Compact dimension
  • Constructed-in battery lasts up to three.5 several hours
  • Incredibly loud speakers

Never Like

  • Very poor brightness and contrast
  • Inaccurate coloration
  • Limited app keep
  • Requires charging brick

Movie good quality will be superior ample for several viewers, but in contrast with a equally priced dwelling projector it truly is considerably dimmer, with worse contrast ratio and coloration accuracy. As opposed with other very small, battery-run projectors nonetheless, the impression is really watchable and speakers sound surprisingly highly effective. 

The primary cause to get the Mars II Pro is if you want extremely-transportable video clip, especially outdoors. It is really uncomplicated to put in the vicinity of a wall or display and stream some Netflix in just minutes, anywhere. If you system to use it consistently in the identical room inside of, nonetheless, you happen to be possibly greater off with a far more conventional projector.

Simple specs

  • Indigenous resolution: 1,280×720 pixels
  • HDR-suitable: No
  • 4K-suitable: No
  • 3D-suitable: No
  • Lumens spec: five hundred
  • Zoom: None
  • Lens change: None
  • Lamp lifetime (Regular manner): thirty,000 several hours

The Mars II Pro is scaled-down than you might imagine. It would in good shape easily inside of any backpack with a great deal of room to spare for a water bottle, hoodie or digicam. Anker could have designed the carrying strap out of cheap-feeling plastic, but has a fake-leather-based leading and is gentle underneath. It is really wonderful to touch.

There are buttons on the leading for all the simple functions, but no controls for zoom or concentration. This is rational due to the fact you will find no zoom and concentration is automated. An integrated slide-open up lens cap also turns the projector on and off.

To get a 100-inch impression, the Mars II Pro demands to be about 9 toes from the display. Resolution is 720p, which is quite minimal for a projector these days and decrease than the competing ViewSonic M2, which is 1080p. The LED lamp is rated at thirty,000 several hours. 

Max brightness is a claimed five hundred lumens. I calculated about 37 nits, which calculates out to about 337 lumens. For comparison, the ViewSonic M2 creates 349 lumens by my measurements, even though the a little bit far more pricey, but considerably a lot less transportable, Optoma HD146X puts out around 1,146. 

Anker statements the inside twelve,five hundred-mAh battery is superior for about three and a fifty percent several hours viewing time, and about that extensive to charge back up once more. If you continue to keep it in the high brightness manner, that drops to a person and a fifty percent several hours. If you happen to be just working with the Mars II as a Bluetooth speaker, Anker statements about thirty several hours for audio-only playback.

Nevertheless not particularly pointed out as a function by Anker, some applications take care of the Mars II Pro as a mobile unit, so you can in fact download exhibits to its 8GB inside storage. 

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Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Connectivity and convenience

  • HDMI inputs: 1
  • USB port: 1 
  • Audio input and output: three.5mm output
  • Electronic audio output: None
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Distant: Not backlit

There is a person HDMI input, which is a great deal on a projector like this. The USB port allows you stream articles from a USB memory adhere, or you can charge a unit (like your cellular phone), working with the Mars II Pro’s beefy battery. 

Which is it for actual physical connections, other than the electricity port, which involves a individual electricity brick. Which is a bummer: I am a hardliner “every thing transportable must charge by way of USB.” If you want to charge the projector away from dwelling, you are going to have to pack the brick way too.

The Mars II Pro’s operates Android seven.1, which puts all the streaming capacity inside of the PJ. So all you will need is to tether the projector to your cellular phone or connect to some readily available Wi-Fi. 

You do not get the full Google Play Retail outlet, nonetheless, or even Android Television set. In its place, it truly is Aptoide, a sort of culled or curated variation of the Play Retail outlet. It is really a little bit of a liability with the ViewSonic M2, and it truly is no greater below. You can find Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Key Movie, Hulu, Disney Plus and other folks you could or could not recognize. You can find HBO Nordic and HBO Go, but no US HBO or HBO Max. Chromecast is not supported. All round it truly is not poor, but you might not be in a position to find every company you happen to be utilized to.

The remote is wafer slender, but not backlit. Which is good simply because you happen to be possibly not going to use it. In its place, you will find the Anker Hook up app (Android and iOS), which connects easily and does all the identical matters. In actuality, some of the applications in fact require the app. Control in the projector’s menus works good, but it truly is a little bit clunky in the Netflix app for instance. Not a big difficulty, but it could be smoother.

There are two aspect-firing 10-watt speakers and a rectangular passive radiator in the entrance. That will not sound like significantly, but it truly is relatively loud and the sound good quality is greater than I expected from these kinds of a tiny unit. This is a person of the few projectors I have in fact turned down to obtain a standard listening level.

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Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Photo good quality comparisons

I in contrast the Mars II Pro to the ViewSonic M2, an additional transportable projector, and the Optoma HD146X, a conventional plug-in PJ. The M2 is really comparable to the Anker, can run off a battery and also operates applications from the Aptoide keep. The Optoma is a really unique projector, and only a immediate competitor in a person sense: price tag. 

I have a feeling the Mars II Pro might appeal to the notice of a person not commonly fascinated in projectors, so the Optoma is below as an instance of what comparable revenue can get you in a non-transportable, typical projector. I connected these by way of a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier and seen all on a 102-inch 1.-get display.

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Top rated perspective with carrying strap


Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

To start with up is brightness. The M2 and Mars II are remarkably comparable. Their mild outputs and contrast ratios are basically equivalent. In both equally circumstances, this amount of money is “good.” Thinking about the dimension and their ability to run off batteries, somewhere around 300 lumens is acceptable. When producing a 100-inch impression that equates to about 37 nits. Which is ample for a watchable, albeit dim, impression. You might be greater off moving the Anker closer, which will create a scaled-down but brighter impression.

The Optoma, on the other hand, is significantly brighter than either a person. On a identical dimension display I calculated above 127 nits, which is above five times brighter than the Mars II. The Optoma is significantly far more watchable at 100 inches. And if you use the Optoma’s most coloration accurate manner, it truly is still 2 times as bright as the other two. 

And we certainly will need to discuss about coloration. The Mars II Pro has some of the minimum accurate hues of any projector I have ever reviewed. Blue is the only coloration out of the three major and three secondary hues that is accurate. Inexperienced is oversaturated. Yellow is just not but is quite greenish-yellow. Magenta is oversaturated and way too blue. The outcome appears to be like like you’ve got acquired the coloration management a few ticks above the place it must be. It is really not weird, per se, and total it still appears to be like greater than the M2, but total it truly is certainly far more Speed Racer than The Grand Budapest Resort. 

Aspect by aspect with the Optoma, it truly is night time and day. Or at minimum Technicolor and Kodachrome. The Optoma is just not tremendous accurate alone, and in fact errs on the aspect of staying undersaturated, but its hues appear considerably far more all-natural than the Anker.

Contrary to the Optoma, the Mars II will not have intensive photo options. It has two. You can change the coloration temperature: Regular, Awesome and Heat, and even the most accurate (Heat) is still way way too great. You can change the lamp options: Common, Battery and Vehicle. Common is its brightest. Battery is dim but gets you that three-additionally hour perspective time. Vehicle switches concerning the two other modes based on irrespective of whether or not the projector is plugged in. Which is it. No brightness, contrast, tint. 1 outcome is that you can’t change contrast to restore clipped information in bright whites.

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Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Distinction ratio, like the brightness, is acceptable provided the group. I calculated an typical of 354:1 throughout all modes. That would seem minimal, and it is, but the bulk of sub-$1,000 projectors are only two or three times that. The high conclusion of that effectiveness range, the BenQ HT2050A is two,094:1. The ViewSonic is basically the identical as the Anker, at 376:1. The Optoma is 568:1. 

The Anker’s impression lacks punch but not as significantly as you might imagine. In actuality, simply because the Anker’s black level is a tiny decrease than the M2 it appears to be like a tiny greater. The M2 is really a little bit brighter, which is just not obvious. That black level is even decrease than the Optoma, but that projector is so significantly brighter this edge is just not related. 

Finally we come to element. Both the M2 and HD146X are 1080p to the Anker’s 720p. On a 100-inch display this is most obvious if you happen to be near ample to detect the particular person pixels, which are relatively massive. If you shrink the impression down to 60-80 inches, it appears to be like specific ample that it will not appear gentle. 

Conclusion

Actually, I was not anticipating significantly from the Mars II Pro. I have been underwhelmed with most battery-run transportable projectors I have reviewed. I have also located that organizations not identified for video clip gear have a tendency to miss some important matters when it comes to projectors. For instance, photo good quality. 

All round I am amazed that Anker acquired a ton suitable with the Mars II Pro. At minimum when graded on the curve of price tag, dimension and battery electricity. As opposed with an typical dwelling projector it comes up quick in every effectiveness metric, so If you happen to be looking for a thing that will by no means stray way too considerably from an outlet, you happen to be greater off with a far more “conventional” projector. But if you want a thing transportable to enjoy films outside, the Mars II Pro has a fantastic style and design, appears superior, is uncomplicated to use and has a far more watchable impression than the ViewSonic M2 — all for a lot less revenue.


As properly as covering Television set and other screen tech, Geoff does picture excursions of great museums and spots around the earth, including nuclear submarineslarge aircraft carriersmedieval castlesplane graveyards and far more. 

You can abide by his exploits on Instagram and YouTube, and on his travel blog site, BaldNomad. He also wrote a bestselling sci-fi novel about town-sized submarines, together with a sequel.

Rosa G. Rose

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