Yaber Pico T1 3 1 WVGA DLP Projector
  • Performance
  • 3
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value
Pros
  • Extremely compact and slim, truly fits in a pocket
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Comes with battery bank, cables, magnetic tripod, and carrying case
Cons
  • Low brightness
  • No built-in battery
  • Issues with the audio at loud volume
  • Inability to mount to a standard tripod limits placement flexibility
Our Take

The Yaber Pico T1 is a slim and sleek pico that is as small as a smartphone and comes well-equipped with helpful accessories. With just enough brightness for nighttime viewing or in a fully darkened room in the day, this little projector is a fun choice for entertainment where compact size is the top-tier concern.

Yaber PicoT1 side angle

The Yaber Pico T1 is a $289, ultra slim pico projector that claims 110 rated ANSI lumens and 540p (960x540) resolution. It is aimed at the home, and as a portable solution that can be taken anywhere for entertainment, but could easily be used for work presentations and road warriors. There is a smart OS version that is available only on the Yaber website ($549), whereas the app-less model in this review is sold currently on Amazon and the Yaber website.

Though it does not have a built-in battery, the projector doesn't have to be tethered to a wall. Yaber supplies a battery bank, giving the Pico T1 portability. The Pico T1 has both wired and wireless projection, with Mini-HDMI and USB Type-C inputs and screen mirroring for smartphones, tablets, and computers. With its Bluetooth capabilities, you can have more robust sound using an external Bluetooth speaker.

The Pico T1 probably competes most directly against the Anker Nebula Capsule projector, which features a sleek design that's the size and shape of a soda can. Also a DLP projector, the Capsule costs $299 and also has a 110 ANSI lumen rating, with a built-in battery. This WVGA (854x480) resolution pico, like the T1, has Auto Keystone Correction and accepts 1080p content. It also has an Android operating system, Wi-Fi, streaming apps, MiraCast, and a 5-watt 360-degree speaker. I actually own one of these, and I like it. I use it for artwork to project a sketch onto a larger paper or canvas. It has excellent placement flexibility, as it can mount on a standard tripod without an adapter—something the Yaber doesn't have going for it. However, the small size and slim design of the T1 really can't be beat, and the Pico T1 has a higher native resolution.

The Yaber Pico T1 is a compact, portable little projector that would be suitable for casual entertainment or on-the-go and travel amusement in darkened rooms, outdoor movie nights with the family and friends, and work presentations.

Features

The Yaber Pico T1 is a truly tiny pico projector that really can fit in a pocket. At the size of some of the larger phones on the market, it was made to be "the slimmest" portable projector, and in this regard, it hits its mark. At just 5.9 x 2.95 x 0.52 inches (WHD) and 0.33 lbs., it can fit into pockets, purses, laptop bags, backpacks, and luggage—even carry-on. Its native resolution is 540p (960x540), and it can support signals up to 1080p. The T1 is a single-chip DLP projector with an RGB LED light source, with a lifetime of up to 30,000 hours.

The projector comes with a small magnetic tripod to position it on a flat surface to project on a wall or portable screen. Most will likely opt for the wall, and with this projector, it's a fine option, but a screen will yield better image quality. It is enjoyable both ways. The Pico T1's magnetic tripod works well enough, but there is no ability to mount on a typical tripod, which was disappointing because it limited the placement flexibility in my room. This can be remedied with the purchase of a magnetic tripod head adapter for a typical tripod, or by purchasing one with a magnetic tripod head and extendable legs. The projector has an Auto Keystone feature (vertical only) to make sure the image is always keeping a rectangular shape no matter what angle you're projecting at.

Yaber PicoT1 lifestyle2

The Pico T1 does not have a built-in battery. This is likely a choice that was made to keep the chassis of the projector as small as possible. It has a wired connection to the wall via a USB Type-C to wall plug adapter, and the battery bank supplied by the manufacturer. That it is supplied rather than "not included with purchase" is a major plus. The battery bank is about as large as the projector itself and connects via a USB Type C cable. It lasts a good while, long enough to watch a single movie or play a game on a charge. You can also charge your phone at the same time via the attached lightning cable for an iOS device or use it to charge an Android device via USB-C if you're not using the battery bank with the projector at that time.

The projector has a fixed, decently sharp lens with a small focus wheel to its right. The focus wheel is ridged and can be easily moved with a single finger...nail. It's tiny. It does move smoothly, so that's great, but I noticed the lens falls out of focus rather quickly and must be refocused. It's not truly bothersome or super noticeable, especially at this resolution. It's something you notice more when there's text on the screen.

The throw distance of this projector is 0.9 feet to 8.7 feet, and by specification it projects an image from 10 to 100 inches. You can make it smaller than that, and it'll be quite bright, as it was at the 38-inch image size I utilized for some of my testing. But measurements show the T1 doesn't hit its rated brightness, coming in well below at 71 ANSI lumens max. So keep in mind that it's not terribly bright to start with, and as you expand the size, you'll lose even more brightness. You can eyeball your throw distance/screen size or use our Yaber T1 throw distance calculator for your purposes.

Yaber PicoT1 top angle

The Pico T1 has 1.5-watt mono onboard speakers. The sound is tinny, as I expected for something of this size, but it gets the job done—if you don't have the volume up too high. When the volume is above 50 on some content, 30, or even as low as 24 on others, the audio clips, stutters, or drops out at the peaks. That is typically during action scenes, when there are loud sound effects that peak, dialogue happening at the same time, or when music hits at the moment someone is speaking. It was rather irritating until I got the volume Goldilocks right. I was able to enjoy Shadow and Bone at volume 50, whereas Ready Player One needed to be set at 30, and my yoga class streamed from Safari on my iPhone needed to be at 24. So, it is a matter of playing around with the volume to skirt around what is likely an underpowered and ungraceful amplifier or easily overdriven speaker, and get sound that just works. The T1 does have the ability to connect to a Bluetooth speaker, which is a definite plus in this regard. It did exhibit some slight lip sync issues over Bluetooth, though not all the time, and it was at times so slight as to be almost undetectable.

There are two methods of wired connection: Mini-HDMI and USB-C connection. I was able to connect my PlayStation 4 to play Blu-ray disks, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and my Mac Mini. For USB-C, I connected my iPhone and iPad. Super easy, looks great. Connecting the computer via HDMI did cut off some of the screen—just the top and bottom, it seems. When I streamed Netflix, that didn't bother me at all. For a presentation, you'd want to keep your "safe zones" in mind so viewers won't miss any critical content at the edges. I did also notice while gaming that some of my screen was missing in Ghost of Tsushima, which depending on the game you're playing could range from annoying to downright unplayable depending on where health bars and other such screen items are placed.

ScreenCast, the projector's feature for sharing from a mobile device, is clunky. I tried to connect the Wi-Fi and get any of the three wireless ScreenCast options working at all, for way too long. I was just writing my notes about all the ways it didn't work when it finally decided to connect. Lucky for it. Maybe. The four options are Eshare, Android Wireless, AirPlay, and Apple Wired.

The EShare option took entirely too long to work, and when it did, I could not stream Netflix or HBO Max. That's fine, I didn't really expect the permissions to let me. I did get it to stream YouTube from my phone, but had to have the volume turned up on the phone for it to play audio on the projector. So I got sound on both devices, and due to it being a bit delayed on the projector this resulted in a maddening echo. Unusable. If you use this feature, you'll have to tap the phone's audio and turn down the projector's sound. But, there is something cool about EShare: If you select TV Mirror instead of Screen Share within the EShare app, you can control the Yaber with your phone. You have to press on each menu item to highlight it, then again to select, but it works. I like this feature.

The AirPlay wireless option was better, in that the audio went through the projector only, and I didn't hear anything through my phone. Still no Netflix or HBO Max. I tried it on my iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini. I don't own any Android devices so I couldn't test that. Apple Wired worked like a charm, but still, there's no ability to play anything from streaming services. For that, you'll need HDMI.

Yaber PicoT1 remote

The model being reviewed here is not the Smart OS version and has a simpler menu system. The Smart OS provides access to apps, including a Netflix app that may or may not be an adequate solution (some reports suggest it's an awkward implementation). As mentioned, Amazon does not offer the smart OS version, but the Yaber website does. Be aware that if you are buying on Amazon at the time of this writing, you are buying the projector that is being reviewed here, not the Smart OS version.

The remote control is small and simple, with only a few buttons: four buttons, two on top and two on bottom, with the navigational buttons in the center. The top two buttons are Power and Return, which power the projector on and off, and exit the menu respectively. The bottom two buttons are the Volume -/+ buttons. The navigational buttons are the four arrow keys on a ring surrounding the OK button. It is not backlit, which is to be expected.

Yaber supplies the projector, an attractive carrying case, battery bank, remote control, HDMI to Mini HDMI cable, USB Type C to USB Type A cable, a double ended USB Type C cable, a Type C charger, the magnetic tripod kickstand, and a Quick Start guide. Everything fits in the carry case. The Pico T1 has a 1-year warranty.

Performance

Color Modes. There is a single color mode for the Yaber Pico T1, and it doesn't have a name. Judging by the color, it looks about as good as any standard that I've seen on a pico or pocket projector—better, in some cases. While not true to color, it doesn't sport any ghastly green or ridiculously red hues. It is, however, heavy on the magenta. This might go unnoticed on video or gaming content, even photos if you're sharing those, but gets obvious when you're used to seeing the apps on your phone in a certain color and tone. The Hopper app (an app for travel deals), usually a coral color, was vividly pink, almost fuchsia.

Leaning toward this side of the spectrum lends itself well to producing pleasant skin tones. Whether that was in the real-world people in Ready Player One or their CGI avatars within The Oasis, characters in Shadow and Bone on Netflix, the characters in gameplay and cut-scenes within Ghost of Tsushima on PlayStation, or in YouTube videos where there's a variety of color correction in animated video and talking-head videos, skin tones looked natural. I was impressed with the Pico T1's performance in terms of color when it comes to video. Photos ranged from beautiful to strangely vibrant—there was one photo in my camera reel that was of a vegetarian dish where the leafy greens were lime green and the radishes were bright magenta. I would not eat that dish if it looked like that in real life. Still, one photo faux pas among hundreds isn't bad.

Presentation Viewing. Text is nicely sharp on the T1, though there are some caveats here. It seems the sweet spot for this projector's image is 60-inches diagonal and below. With the resolution being 540p (960x540), you really start to see those square pixels the larger the screen size gets. If using this for presentation viewing, it's not so bad with text, just a bit fuzzy, and smaller, thin, stylized text can be quite difficult to impossible to read unless you know what the words say. That's when the image size is around 80 to 100 inches.

Alright, so, what about at a smaller screen size? Definitely more readable, even those stylized fonts. For sure, it was most readable around the size of the 40-inch TV I have, and below. Not particularly useful for a room full of people you're giving a presentation to, but if you're showing off the family vacation photos or videos from your phone or computer, it'll do just fine, and you needn't worry about screen size except when it comes to your lighting conditions. If you're showing indoors during the day, you'll want a dark room—shades drawn, lights off.

Video Viewing. I enjoyed watching movies, TV shows, and even playing games to some degree (more on that later) on the Pico T1. I watched Blu-ray discs, movies and TV shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime TV, and HBO, viewed YouTube content and even took one of my online yoga classes by projecting the teacher on my wall. I truly did appreciate using it for the purpose of my yoga class. I found that watching the kriyas at the enlarged size made me feel immersed in the experience even more so than usual, and I was able to follow along in total flow.

As implied above, given the Pico T1's low brightness it's important to have realistic expectations for image size. At a 38-inch image size, in a fully darkened room or during the day with the shades drawn and lights off, it was bright enough. At night, it's plenty bright, as you don't really need much in a fully darkened room. YouTube videos and brighter colored TV shows (rather than cinematic) were fine, even when projected at a larger size where you experience even less brightness. I set up the little guy on my desk and projected an image smaller than my 24-inch monitor, and that was bright enough to watch TV with the shades open and my desk light on. Again, make sure to keep screen size and brightness in mind for daytime viewing vs. nighttime.

An example might be watching something like YouTube during the day, which was just fine when projecting at a smaller size, even with the shades open. Content with bright colors and no dark scenes—or next to none—is generally fine for the day (think something like The Good Place on Netflix). I would save my cinematic TV shows and films, and gaming, for night. The black level performance is okay, which I expected. Not bad, but not great either. The dark shadow detail isn't great. Details get lost in the shadows that I can easily see on my screen or with other projectors. But it's fine, about as good as I would expect of a pico. I was plenty immersed when watching Ready Player One at 90 inches—so much so that at one point I even forgot I was reviewing and was simply enjoying the film.

Yaber PicoT1 lifestyle3

As mentioned, the color is tinged toward magenta, which looks great on the majority of skin tones. There was one case in a YouTube video where the woman had a pinker tone to her skin, and the color correction was leaning toward magenta, and it was a pink party. There's nothing to be done about that, as there are no color correction tools in the menu, just the ability to make the projector less bright. However, one case of real excess in days and days of video viewing is pretty good in my book. Overall, at night, the picture is nice and bright, with decent color, and it's an enjoyable experience. I also did not see any rainbow artifacts during my audition.

The Pico T1 is not promoted as a gaming projector, and I quickly found out why when I measured its input lag. With a 1080p signal at 60 fps in the projector's one mode, it came in at a very slow 103.7 ms. This was most disappointing. I hadn't expected a low input lag reading, but I was surprised it was so high. Most casual gamers would look for something around 50 ms at the most, with 30 ms being more satisfactory and 16 ms the best of the best. With the resolution being less than HD, I wouldn't expect it to attract any serious gamers in any event (truly, there are so many projectors that are better suited to the task), but I did expect something around 60ms, 70ms at the most.

Due to the high lag reading, gaming was something I ran early in my tests, for curiosity and to report on it for the review, of course. Ghost of Tsushima played well enough, with no real detectable lag, except I'm pretty sure I wasn't playing at my best when it came to swordplay (which I rock at). A quick test switching to my TV confirmed this. However, I do feel that after some time, I would get used to it and adapt my eye-hand coordination.

For casual gamers playing the solo experience in a story-driven game, puzzle games on the Nintendo Switch, or family type games on that console, it's likely fine. Under no circumstances will you want to play a competitive online game. You will lose, to everyone—and it's not a matter of your skill. For gaming, keep in mind that you will be doing so in the dark, so if that's a bummer for you or the kiddos, best look for a brighter projector and perhaps one with a faster input lag while you're at it.

Yaber PicoT1 lifestyle1

Conclusion

The Yaber Pico T1 is designed to be an ultra-compact, extremely portable projector that can be taken anywhere and projected anywhere. It achieves this aim. With its slim, smartphone size and included battery bank, along with the supplied magnetic tripod, cables and carrying case, the Pico T1 makes for the perfect projector traveling companion, impromptu movie night, or backyard buddy. Its color and video performed about as well as any projector in its class, and movies, TV shows, and games were quite enjoyable.

Its biggest caveat is probably its lack of brightness—there's no doubt you can find brighter portables at the T1's $289 price, though maybe not with its slim form factor. Also, the ScreenCast feature is clunky and the audio clips at mid-to-high volume, but again, you're not likely to find another projector with these capabilities that's quite this small.

In the end, despite its issues, I found the T1 fun and unique, its slim size and portability making it one I would look twice at for my own arsenal of home entertainment pico projectors.

Measurements

Brightness. The Yaber Pico T1 has only one color mode to work with, and the brightness is determined by working with the settings inside the menu to dim or maximize it. The projector starts off at 100%. At its brightest setting our sample output 70 lumens on battery power fed by the supplied battery bank—40 lumens less than what Yaber claims or about 63% of its spec. Though many projectors measure below claim, and I don't particularly expect pico or pocket projectors to hit or exceed their mark, this is unusually low. Using AC power didn't fare better, giving just 71 lumens. Fortunately, the projector visually appears brighter than the number would suggest.

Yaber Pico T1 ANSI Lumens

Mode (100% Brightness) Lumens
Battery Bank Power 70
AC Power 71

Brightness Uniformity. The brightness uniformity of the Yaber Pico T1 measured 89%, which is in alignment with Yaber's claim of >85%. That's good. When viewing video content via HDMI, gaming, and screen mirroring content from my phone and computer, I didn't visually detect any dimming or hot spots in the image.

Fan Noise. There is no rated fan noise for the Yaber Pico T1, but our casual single-point measurement was 33.5 dbA, standing approximately three feet back in a quiet room. There is only one power/brightness mode to measure in, no Eco mode, which would typically make the projector's audible noise quieter. However, 33.5 dBA is nicely quiet.

Input Lag. Input lag with a 1080p/60 fps signal in the projector's one picture mode measured 103.7 ms. This is very slow response, well below even the 50 ms or so minimum that casual gamers look for. Although it may work for less demanding games that don't require quick response, anyone serious about gaming should look elsewhere.

Connections

Yaber PicoT1 connections
  • Mini-HDMI
  • USB Type-C: Power
  • USB Type-C: Source

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Yaber Pico T1 projector page.

 

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