LG Electronics USA has unveiled the LG CineBeam PU700R, a not-quite cylindrical lifestyle projector that appears to take at least partial aim at Samung's Freestyle, the headline-grabbing portable launched in early 2022 that helped redefine what could be done with a projector and the scope of audience they could be targeted at.
Like the Freestyle, LG's new entry offers a canister-like form factor on a swivel base that encourages ceiling projection and a variety of display options. But it steps up from Samsung's projector in several key respects, starting with 3840x2160 4K UHD resolution vs. the Freestyle's 1920x1080 full HD.
Also notable is LG's claimed 1,000 ANSI-lumen brightness from the PU700R's 30,000-hour, RGB LED light source. That's a significant boost in firepower compared with the Freestyle's rated 550 "LED lumens," which measured just 234 ANSI lumens for our review. These specs move the LG out of the realm of a toy and into the range where it can fairly claim the ability to project a decent-sized 100-inch or even larger image, at least in a lights-dimmed environment. The projector is spec'd for 60 to 120 inches diagonal from its medium range 1.2:1 throw ratio lens, which projects a 100-inch image from 8.9 feet distance.
Of course, the specs are also reflected in the pricing difference between the two projectors, with the CineBeam PU700R going for a whopping $1,699 list vs. the Freestyle's original list price of $899 and current discounted street price of $598.
Other features of the PU700R include support for HDR dynamic tone-mapping, a common feature in LG's 4K-compliant projectors, and Auto Screen Adjustment (ASA), an intelligent technology that automatically optimizes the projection geometry for quick setups. Additionally, the projector offers a selection of integrated images and seven Mood Lighting options for providing ambiance in whatever environment it finds itself.
Not surprisingly, the PU700R offers LG's Smart webOS streaming with access to content from most major services including Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Disney+ and YouTube—though no mention is made of authorized Netflix support, a feature offered at least initially in the Freestyle and which is missing from the majority of portable projectors with Android-based platforms.
Wireless connectivity is further supported with AirPlay 2 and screen mirroring from mobile devices/laptops. Up to two Bluetooth speakers or headphones can also be connected. Wired connections include an HDMI 2.1 port with 24 Gbps bandwidth and support for ARC and ALLM, and USB type C and A ports.
To encourage early adopters, LG is offering a special promotion through June 11 in which purchasers of a CineBeam PU700R will receive a complimentary LG XBOOM 360 Bluetooth speaker XO3QBE, which is valued at $299.99.
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The problem I have is the marketing of 30,000 hours for the projector. It is simply hype. The DMD technology is the limit and there are no provisions to replace the modules at a reasonable cost and most likely the DMD imagers are NOT replaceable after a couple years.
Days after the one year warranty expired, my original PF1500 developed one dot that exploded within months into a border and later a field of stars. The second projector (PF1500w) started at 10,000 hours and at 12,000 has an ever increasing amount of dead pixels. It is following the same pattern as the original projector. So while this product sounds exciting I would strongly recommend against it or any projector based on DMD technology unless the manufacturer truly believes in the product and offers no less that a five year or 10K hour warranty based on the price. After all, the manufacturer IS selling longevity.