- Can project files off of SD card or flash drive
- Optional connection cables for phones and tablets
- No Wi-Fi
The surprisingly bright and easy to use AAXA P6X pico-projector proves that good things really can come in small packages. Its color balance and video quality will never match that of full-size projectors, but the P6X is more than good enough for most viewers and can be battery-powered for a backyard movie night or repurposing any space into a meeting venue.
Just as good for watching movies, online videos or TV around the house as for setting up a small group meeting at work or school, the new AAXA P6X is like a small Swiss Army knife with lots of useful blades. Rated to deliver up to 1,100 LED lumens of light (and measured at 698 ANSI lumens), the P6X has all the basics, such as keystone correction, the ability to directly play movies and music from an SD card or flash drive, and a powerful remote control. It, like some other LED-powered mighty mites, comes up short by lacking a zoom lens (not usually found on pico projectors) and Wi-Fi (which is found increasingly on more and more). But, at $360, the P6X's price tag is its most attractive feature, allowing just about anyone to turn any room into a small theater or meeting space.
With an LED light source, DLP imaging array and a variety of inputs, the AAXA P6X pico-projector is like a conventional projector that's been miniaturized so much that it can go places and do things its bigger brothers can't. This ranges from binging a bunch of Resident Alien episodes or watching TikTok videos projected on a wall at home to lighting up a small classroom or an impromptu small group meeting at work. With its battery pack, it can even be used outdoors for a few hours of family movie night or a high-tech glamping trip.
Inside, the P6X has Osram LEDs for red, blue and green light that are rated to last 30,000 hours of use. They are shock resistant, mercury-free and fire up immediately. The projector will never need a lamp change and has the potential to outlast just about any other electronic or computing device at work or home. The light is bounced off the projector's 0.45-inch Digital Light Processing (DLP) imaging chip. It delivers 1280x800 WXGA resolution at an aspect ratio of 16:9 and can work with 1920x1080 input video streams.
The P6X's 698 measured ANSI lumens may not be able to compete with conventional projectors on brightness, but should be more than enough for small group meetings, yoga sessions projected on a garage wall and even watching home movies. It offers more brightness than some other popular picos that cost about as much or more, such as LG's CineBeam PH550 (which ProjectorCentral measured at 228 ANSI lumens) or the Viewsonic's M1 (measured at 140 ANSI lumens).
Size matters when it comes to pico-projectors but the P6X's extra brightness and long-life battery does come at a slight cost: its 6.2 x 6.3 x 1.9-inch dimensions are about one-third larger than, for example, the CineBeam PH550. Still, it weighs just 1.8 pounds and easily fits in the palm of a hand. It's easy to carry around, put in a backpack for travel and quickly set up. However, unlike some other minis, it lacks any sort of included case or pouch.
On its side, the projector has a reasonable assortment of connection possibilities with an HDMI input, AV jack for composite video and stereo sound as well as an audio-out jack for driving external speakers or plugging in headphones. It has a 4-watt speaker but does without Bluetooth wireless audio abilities, another useful feature that's also appearing more frequently in pocket projectors.
There's both a micro SD card slot and a USB 2.0 port for directly projecting files that range from text and images to audio and video. It can't, however, work with cards or drives that hold more than 64GB and lacks the 12GB of on-board storage capacity that the Viewsonic M1 has. It also can't directly display the Office documents and PDF Acrobat files that the Optoma ML750, for example, can work with.
A big bonus is the P6X's on-screen multimedia menu that lets you Play, Stop and Pause the action. It's easily adjusted with the projector's control panel or remote control at the touch of a button. The projector's software can turn a group of images into a slide show with your choice of timing.
The P6X comes ready for a variety of uses with a composite video AV cable, a tiny remote control, an AC power adapter and a small tripod. AAXA sells add-on cables for iPhones and iPad as well as USB-C phones and tablets for $27.99 each, but they require using the projector's HDMI (for video) and USB (for power) ports at the same time.
While the P6X is small and light, its threaded attachment point underneath is not meant for upside down ceiling mounting, according to AAXA. It does work well with a tripod or Joby GorillaPod for use on a desk or shelf. That said, it does without an adjustable front foot or anything like the ingenious combo handle stand on Viewsonic's M1. In other words, have a stack of business cards and maybe a thin paperback book handy to prop up the projector should you need it.
While conventional projectors can take an hour to position, set up and optimize, there're so few adjustments on the P6X that it can be projecting reasonable images in a couple minutes. As is the case with others in its class, it does without a zoom lens, lacks any image shifting and its keystone correction is only for tilting the projector vertically. It can compensate for an angle of up to 40-degrees, but as usual invoking keystone correction will cost some brightness. At 15-degrees, the light level dropped by 15 percent.
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The P6X can create images from 16-inches to 13.3-feet (measured diagonally), although they get washed out quickly above 6-feet. It actually produced a surprisingly bright and vivid 60-inch image from 61-inches away that was able to stand up to moderate sunlight.
It has controls for brightness, contrast, sharpness, color, and tint, and there's a provision for saving your own mix of settings. It also has three color temperature choices, but as was the case with Viewsonic's M1 Mini, focusing the projector can be a chore. That's because rather than a traditional lens ring, the P6X has a thumbwheel for focusing. Its action is not as precise as it could be and every time you touch it, you risk moving the projector slightly.
While some pico-projectors force you to make adjustments only through the remote control, the P6X has a full on-board control panel with buttons for selecting the input, starting the menu screen and making selections. The on-screen menu is not as complicated as with more traditional devices, but the P6X has choices for Inputs, Brightness, Settings as well as adjustments for playing Photos, Videos and Music. It takes a little digging but you get the choice of Bright, Standard and Eco lighting modes.
Its remote control is small and powered by a watch battery. In addition to turning the projector on and off by cycling between its sleep mode and wake-up states, and selecting the source, you can open and use the menu as well as adjust the volume and keystone correction. The projector, however, lacks a front IR receiver, which means that the remote only works from the back.
A big bonus is that the P6X has a huge 15 amp hour (15,000 mAh) lithium ion battery pack inside, allowing the projector to be used without an AC outlet in sight. It's just as good for a group of teenagers going through online dating sites as for setting up a quickie training session in a hallway at work. The projector only works in the Standard and ECO lighting modes—not the Bright setting—when in battery mode. The projector's output dimmed by 14 percent and it was able to run for 1 hour 35 minutes of playing YouTube videos in Standard mode. That might not be enough for the typical movie but plenty for two episodes of "Escape to the Chateau" during a blackout. If you can manage with the dim Eco setting, it can run for about three-times that length.
Because the battery has such a large capacity, it can be used as a power bank to charge a phone or tablet. There's a five-LED battery gauge on the back of the projector where four show the power level from 0 to 100 percent; the fifth, red one shows it's charging or is using its power to charge an external device, like a phone or tablet. The projector used 20 watts and took about four hours to fully charge and has a selector switch for turning the projector on or off or charging its battery pack. It worked like a charm charging up my Samsung Galaxy Note 20 phone.
Getting started with the P6X was a piece of cake. It's small, light and worked well on a tripod mount or on a shelf. It took 11.3-seconds to start up and less than 1 second to shut down its cooling fans after turning it off. On the other hand, there's no way to adjust its color balance to compensate for a colored wall or blackboard as found in some portables.
Its Vivid, Standard and Soft picture modes are augmented with Bright, Standard or Eco lighting levels for nine different presentation modes. The projector's brightness rating of 1,100 LED lumens is meant to be an indication of the perceived brightness of an 1,100 ANSI lumen lamp projector, based on the science that says saturated LED colors are seen by the eye as being brighter than they measure with traditional methods. As mentioned, using its top output settings (Bright lighting and Vivid picture mode), the P6X yielded 698 ANSI lumens of light, where the image's brightness was measured with a luminance meter in nine places and averaged.
The P6X had an excellent brightness uniformity of nearly 92 percent. Its output should be plenty for classroom work on a 60-inch screen or watching the latest episode of Bridgerton on a basement wall. On the downside, the Vivid picture and Bright lighting settings required for its peak output shifts the color balance into the greens. If you back off and use the Standard picture mode and continue to use the peak Bright lighting settings, the output looks better and warmer but the output drops to 381 ANSI Lumens. Using the Soft picture setting along with the Bright lighting mode lowered it further and backed off the Sharpness level by about a quarter; it delivered 346 ANSI Lumens.
In Standard lighting mode, the readings for the picture mode set to Vivid, Standard and Soft levels registered as 470-, 330- and 309-ANSI Lumens. When using the projector's Eco power mode, the output dropped to 134-, 117- and 109-ANSI Lumens—or about the level of a flashlight.
As expected, the P6X did well projecting slides from a business presentation that was heavy on graphs and numbers with solid blocks of color and readable text. Later, while watching the opening ape sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey, in Standard picture mode and Bright output and with the Warm color temperature setting on a 60-inch screen, the image in a darkened room looked brighter than the projector's 700-lumen measured peak brightness might initially indicate. Its contrast was more than adequate, even when I raised the blinds on a sunny day. Overall, the stream was smooth with neither jitter nor dropped frames. While the sky tones were rich and well saturated, the shadow details near the cave were clearly visible.
I finished up by watching the Chicago Cubs play the Oakland Athletics over MLB.TV's online feed. Here, the players' faces looked surprisingly natural with accurate flesh tones, although when I switched to the projector's Vivid picture mode and Standard brightness settings, the images accentuated every wrinkle. Overall, the colors lacked the subtlety of more expensive projectors with reds often overpowering other elements. The projector handled the motion of a pop fly well, but the grass was an excessively yellow-leaning shade of green.
As expected, the P6X's power consumption is similarly pico-sized. In its high output Bright mode, it used 46.4-watts and just 2.2 watts at idle. If it's on for 8 hours a day and 200 days out of the year, it would cost just $12 a year to use it. That is, if you pay the national average of 13 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity. At its lowest power setting, the P6X consumed just 14.2 watts, lowering the annual power bill to about $5, but at the cost of having to squint to make out what's on the screen.
Although the P6X kept its cool by never going above 90.5-degrees Fahrenheit, it was surprisingly loud. In its high output mode, the projector's pair of cooling fans put out 45.5dBA of exhaust noise in a casual measurement taken from three feet away from its exhaust vent in a room that had a background noise level of 36.5dBA. By contrast, AAXA rates the P6X to put out 30dB of fan noise, though in a sound-proof room based on a different measurement method.
The AAXA P6X is like a breath of fresh air for projectors. It will never replace a full-size home or office projector but is so small, light and surprisingly bright that it has a place for watching TV or running an impromptu video meeting. It works with HD inputs, can project a variety of files directly off of an SD card or flash drive and with the right optional cable directly connect to a phone or tablet. On the downside, it does without Wi-Fi and can be hard to focus.
All told, the P6X is a mighty mite that can take projectors to places where they've never gone before. At $360, it is a bargain that's just as good for watching TV during a blackout as for repurposing a storage room as a quickie conference room.
Brightness. With a max total output of 698 lumens, the P6X can't compete with traditional projectors on brightness but its size, weight and battery power make it a lot more flexible. Since the projector uses individual banks of red, green, and blue LEDs and has no color wheel, its measured white brightness and color brightness were equal.
Engaging the P6X's Eco mode reduced its output to between 109- and 134 lumens and its power draw by 70% to 14.2 watts. Switching from wall power to the projector's battery power lowered its output from a peak of 698 lumens to 561 lumens, a decline of 14% intended to extend battery life. While on battery power, you cannot engage the projector's Bright mode.
AAXA P6X ANSI Lumens
|Brightness (lumens)||Power (watts)||Brightness (lumens)||Power (watts)||Brightness (lumens)||Power (watts)|
Fan Noise. AAXA rates the P6X for exhaust noise at 30dB in a sound-proof chamber. As usual, our casual measurement, taken at 3 feet from the exhaust vent in a testing space with an ambient noise floor of 36.5 dBA, came in higher due to the difference in methodology, though it is more reflective of a real world environment. With the P6X running at its highest setting, the projector's fan noise was measured at 45.5dBA at 36-inches from its exhaust vent.
- HDMI (with HDCP 1.4)
- Composite video in with stereo audio (3.5mm jack with included cable)
- Audio out (3.5mm stereo jack)
- USB 2.0 Type A
- Micro SD card
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our AAXA P6X projector page.