XGIMI has released a new flagship lifestyle projector, , the XGIMI Horizon Ultra, offering a high-tech hybrid light engine, Dolby Vision HDR processing, and a suprisingly low ticket price of $1,699.
According to XGIMI executives who introduced it at an event in New York City this week, the Horizon Ultra is the result of more than two years of product development and brings a number of advancements that eclipse the company's former top of the line, the Horizon Pro. Most notably, the projector's "Dual Light" LED + laser light source mixes technologies in a clever architecture designed to deliver high brightness and wide color gamut with accurate colors while avoiding the laser speckle that plagues its RGB triple-laser competitors.
This light engine starts with what looks like a traditional RGBB LED light engine, which uses discrete red, green, and blue LED banks to achieve the primary colors but then utilizes an extra blue "pump" LED to drive additional brightness. To this system, XGIMI has added a red laser to boost the red brightness and saturation. The result is a claimed max of 2,300 ISO lumens of brightness coupled with reproduction of 95.5% of the DCI-P3 color gamut used for HDR content, and color accuracy in its best picture mode stated to be under 1 DeltaE out of the box. DeltaE is a measurement of error from the ideal picture; anything under 2-3 dE is said to be essentially indistiguishable from perfect. XGIMI says most TVs have a dE of approximately 2, but that most projectors exhibit dE around 8 out of the box.
The light engine employs a dynamic mechanical filter that automatically slides into the light path to help achieve wide color gamut when warranted. Along with resolving viewing discomfort from speckle, this engine design is also said to eliminate the color-fringing around the edges of objects that is seen with some triple-laser RGB projectors. The light source longevity is spec'd at 20,000 hours.
The Horizon Ultra taps the popular 0.47-inch 4K DLP chipset, which utilizes four-phase rapid pixel-shifting to deliver all the pixels in a 4K UHD signal to the screen. HDR10 and HLG are supported, but so is Dolby Vision HDR, a format that utilizes dynamic metadata to adjust tone-mapping on the fly with encoded content. It has become a popular format for streamed HDR content from the major web services to improve the HDR viewing experience. Although Dolby Vision processing has appeared in many flat-panel displays, it has only been seen to date in a few UST laser TV projectors and in one other long-throw cube projector, the Hisense C1.
XGIMI, which has been a leader in prior models with the development of auto-setup technology designed to get users up and running quickly, has introduced its third generation of Intelligent Screen Adaptation technology in this unit. It takes advantage of a sophisticated multi-element optical zoom lens with a 1.2:1 to 1.5:1 throw and a rated image size of 40 to 200 inches. Late-generation TOF (time of flight) and optical sensors monitor what's on the screen to provide both easy setup and dynamic image adjustments on the fly that ensure a good viewing experience in different conditions. Among the system's attributes is an integrated dynamic iris that can boost image brightness by up to 50% to account for high ambient light conditions during the day, while in a darker nighttime environment the projector will seek to optimize contrast and wide color gamut.
Furthermore, on the thinking that most users will use the convenience of a bare wall for projection instead of a dedicated screen, XGIMI has built in automated wall color correction to provide accurate color on a variety of tinted surfaces. Although this feature has appeared previously in other projectors, automating the process guarantees the users will benefit from it without having to visit a menu and select their wall color.
Other sophisticated auto set-up features introduced in earlier versions of ISA are also found in ISA 3.0, such as Uninterrupted Auto Focus and Auto Keystone that can square off the image without resorting to a test-pattern target, automatic Screen Alignment to quickly mate the image to a screen's borders, and Obstacle Avoidance to automatically scale down the image size when a hanging picture, plant, vase or wall outlet is encountered in the light path.
XGIMI is citing low latency of 18 ms with 4K/60 Hz signals in the projector's Game mode, making the Horizon Ultra an attractive proposition for all but the most serious hardcore gamers.
Cosmetically, the Horizon Ultra serves up a Spartan but stylish industrial design with a light color scheme dubbed Misty Gold and a mechanical, moving grille on the front that slides down to reveal the lens when the projector is powered up. Dimensions and weight are 8.8 x 10.4 x x 6.7 inches (WHD) and 11.5 pounds, so the projector is easily stored or transported.
Need a Lamp for Your Projector?
Browse ProjectorCentral's hand-picked list of Certified Lamp Sellers to find the right lamp at the best price.Shop Lamps
The cabinet integrates a Harman/Kardon designed sound system with a pair of 12-watt speakers and Dolby Digital+ and DTS-HD soundtrack compatibility. A built-in Android TV 11 operating system and streaming platform is included, though like most Android projector offerings, it lacks a certified Netflix app. For attaching outboard sources, the connection panel includes a pair of HDMI ports (one with eARC), two USB-A inputs, optical digital and 3.5mm analog audio outs, and a LAN port for wired Ethernet if it's needed.
The Horizon Ultra is available as of today at XGIMI's U.S. website, Amazon, Best Buy, B&H, and ProjectorScreen.com, for $1,699.
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our XGIMI Horizon Ultra projector page.