REVIEW – Time is a funny thing; I have memories of the middle school classroom and staring at whatever the teacher was showing on the overhead projector, which was a monstrous machine in both weight and noise. Cumbersome, they always occupied a cart with wheels created out of the desire to curb workman’s compensation cases, I’m sure, and came with those see-through TANAGRAMS. I digress. That was a long time ago (same galaxy); the future is now. The behemoths of our past are a distant ancestor to the XIDU M1 WiFi projector. Can this cylinder, that’s smaller than a gallon of milk, really bring the entertainment without the fear of a pop quiz?
What is it?
The XIDU M1 WiFi projector is exactly that: a projector. But oh boy, is it a projector. Connect it to your computer, a phone, USB, TF (microSD) card, Bluetooth, HDMI, If you are in the market for a large viewing area for whatever media you have, a projector can be a very cost-effective option compared to larger modern television sets. It boasts a maximum viewing size of 150″, but notes that the optimal viewing size is between 70-100″. Now go look at the prices for a 70″+ inch tv. I’ll wait. Yeah, not great on the wallet. I was also blown away by how crisp the picture can be focused. Adjusting the focus is extremely easy with a large wheel just above the lens
What’s in the box?
1x – Cylindrical carrying case
1x – Projector Instructions
1x – Xidu M1 Projector
1x – Remote
1x – Tripod
1x – Power Cord
1x – HDMI Cord
1x – RCA Connector cord
Design and features
Upon first glance, the XIDU M1 projector came in a very generic box. You knew it was a projector, but really you were in for the mystery. Once out of the box I can say I was actually pleasantly surprised to find all the accessories with the projector itself. Now, this model is made for Android Bluetooth projecting, but it did come with all the cables and connections to link to a computer, tv, even a fire stick.
Most notably it did not come with a screen; objectively cute carrying case, but no screen. Now, in more stringent lock-down times, I happened to have an economical screen to use but this did get me thinking about how well the Xidu could do on multiple surfaces.
So we test.
I waited till dark and decided to try projecting on my garage door. It’s large, it’s white like a screen, and I could theoretically cast an “I’m sorry for doing this on a Tuesday night” message for the neighbors should I wake anyone. The good news is, it worked pretty well. Granted we used a Halo Bolt to run power to the XIDU and had to end the experiment early due to some freezing rain showing up to the party. But it was a clear picture. I was able to connect to my android seamlessly and was even close enough for WIFI. I think the XIDU M1 projector passed this test.
Then I moved on to one of the more lazy ideas- the ceiling. Hear me out: it’s also a large, whitish area, and I can lay flat and scroll on a certain clock app. This, my friends, was an epiphany. Seriously, just plug and play here. No neck cricks, no eye strain, and something I hadn’t noticed outside – the sound is pretty good! I mean, I was actually surprised at the sound was coming out of it. It was clear and loud. Now the base isn’t going to be shaking the roof off and there are not many controls to it, but it was decent. Of course, positioning needed a bit of a hack as the unit is not meant to lay on its back; that’s the speaker area – not the grey fabric band around the front like I originally thought. The metal power button did get uncomfortably hot, which is something I noticed becoming a trend even when the XIDU M1 projector was in a sleep mode.
Finally on to the screen. Mind you I am focused on the projector quality – not my economy screen. The pictures really don’t do the resolution justice. The colors were crisp and there was no lag. I was impressed that a small unit had this level of quality to it.
Speaking of which, the XIDU M1 projector is absolutely meant for some travel entertainment.
What I like
- Very lightweight and easy to bring along anywhere, as long as you have a power source
- Fantastic resolution for a projector and very easy to adjust focus
- The included tripod is very sturdy and easy to adjust
- The remote is very responsive
- Menus are easy to navigate
- Essentially plug and play; with the proliferation of HDMI connectivity, it is extremely easy to connect this to your favorite media device
- Carrying case that encourages to-go entertainment adventures
- Solid build
What I would change
- I would have appreciated some sort of controls on the unit itself in the unfortunate case of losing the remote; please don’t lose the remote
- Bluetooth connectivity can be finicky to make work; an HDMI connection or using a memory card are much easier options
- Add a headphone jack
- The power cord is painfully short; honestly, using some sort of portable power source is your best bet so the user isn’t constrained by the position of a wall plug in order to get the best viewing angle
At this price point, the XIDU M1 projector is a solid player in at-home entertainment. If you have even the faintest inkling at exploring projectors, the XIDU warrants heavy consideration. If you can work around the comically short power cord, then I can’t recommend this gadget enough. My partner has, for all intents and purposes, laid claim to it. He’s got some sort of little game box that he uses the HDMI connector with; it keeps him and his Mario-carting buddies busy for hours! Kidding aside, the XIDU is very easy to use and operate. The remote is delightfully snappy, but essential for use; lose it and all you’re left with is the start of a neat Aperture Science Sentrybot model. Hopefully, later generations will have controls on the unit itself. Perhaps it could remove the microSD slot (labeled as the TF slot) to add some buttons. But that might be personal preference and these aren’t deal-breakers by any means. The compact construction allows for extremely easy transportation and uncomplicates the need to find enough space for the more traditionally sized projectors which I’m sure means it will make appearances at many pool parties/ BBQs this summer. The XIDU M1 projector is a great addition to an entertainment arsenal.