Laser projectors are starting to take over as companies continue to shift in this direction for the benefits that come with them. These benefits include the ability to produce darker blacks, finer detail, bright colors, and long lamp life (in this case, 25,000 hours). Therefore it is no surprise that we are seeing companies from all around the globe come forth with new and exciting models. The one we are going to focus on today is the WEMAX Nova Ultra Short Throw 4K Laser Projector.
This is a model targeting home theater enthusiasts. It comes with a number of modern features you’d typically find in such projectors, including 4K, HDR10, Laser, and Android TV. Then you have the ease of UST (Ultra Short Throw), which allows the user to install the projector by sitting it right below and in front of the screen instead of clear across the room on a shelf or hanging from the ceiling.
Like most UST projectors, it features a similar design, with squared edges, front-facing speakers, and a top-firing lens that shoots up and back toward the screen. It has a two-tone color scheme using grays and features adjustable feet on the bottom to control tilt (allowing you to make sure it is leveled on its surface).
It’s a heavy projector with a lot going on inside. There is only one physical button (top-front-right) for powering it on and off. Everything else is controlled via the remote outside of two dials on each side for the feet (as previously mentioned).
Depending on the distance below the screen and away from it (literally inches), you can obtain anywhere from 80 to 150 inches in screen size (generally, somewhere around 5 to 20 inches from the wall/screen). This is based on the projector’s ability to properly focus within this given range.
This allows the projector to obtain a target size that fits the needs of any home user since going above 150-inches is difficult unless you have a high ceiling or are shooting against the tall side/wall of a vaulted ceiling room configuration. Even then, anything beyond 150-inches makes speaker placement a little difficult along the front.
All connectivity is found on the back, outside of a single USB 2.0 port that is located on the front-right side, next to the adjustment wheel for the foot on that side. As for everything on the back, you do get a second USB 2.0 port. These ports can be used for storage drives or accessories (ie, a USB adapter for a wireless keyboard, which we always recommend for any style of a smart projector or TV).
There are three HDMI 2.0 ports, including one with ARC support for returning audio back to a connected source (receiver, soundbar, etc). They are each capable of up to 4K@60Hz. There is a 3.5mm analog output for sending audio to an analog stereo solution or a pair of headphones. There is an AV input for analog RCA or component devices (an adapter for 3.5mm to the desired connection is required as it doesn’t come with one). Then you have an optical input and a gigabit Ethernet connection.
In addition to the Ethernet port, the projector does support Wi-Fi (both 2.4GHz and 5GHz), allowing you to take it completely wireless outside of the plug running to the wall for power. This is thanks to the Android TV 9.0 that it operates with.
With Android TV, you get access to thousands of apps, including some of your favorite streaming options for both video and audio content. This is how you can get away with avoiding any other wires, making for a clean setup with a minimal footprint.
It supports most of the major names outside of Netflix (currently). For some reason, Netflix is a problem child you see pop up from time to time with projectors and other devices with Android TV installed. This most likely has to do with licensing more than anything else. This doesn’t mean it won’t come in the future as you never know what future firmware updates will bring with them. For now, though, you can make use of Netflix by either making use of an HDMI stick solution like Amazon’s Fire TV Stick or using casting it from your phone or other devices, like laptops that support it.
It can stream up to 4K@60Hz as well, which means you’ll want to make sure the apps you subscribe to support 4K so that you get the most out of your projector.
Also with Android TV, you get the use of Google Assistant to help control various features using your voice. The remote control has a built-in microphone that allows you to interact with Google Assistant and do various things like control the content that is being streamed (ie, play/pause), as well as open and search through various apps (ie, “Hey Google, search for the latest Elden Ring trailer on YouTube”).
In addition to this, Android TV allows you to cast content from other Android devices or anything else that supports Chromecast devices. This means you can mirror your screen or cast Netflix and other sources from your phone to the projector wirelessly.
As mentioned before, laser projectors have a lot to offer. Especially, when they are so close to the screen. And nothing gets closer to the screen than UST models. So you get vibrant colors, a bright image, and decent blacks.
I say decent for the blacks since there are models out there with much higher contrast ratios than this one (WEMAX Nova’s is just 3000:1). That being said, it is still quite noticeable, as you can see in the above photo that was taken using a Samsung S21+ smartphone in the room as the image was being projected to around 100-inches.
Brightness is at 2100 ANSI lumens (the source/lamp being 5,000). We have seen brighter, but it does achieve enough brightness to conquer the image on the wall within this price range. In some of the models we have come across (when it comes to brightness), it comes closest to Samsung’s The Premiere LSP7T than anything else (and is cheaper than Samsung’s). Most of the models out there within this price range fall within the 2000-2800 lumens, with some of the more expensive options hitting higher numbers.
You get the option of either 4-corner or 8-point keystone adjustment, which helps to dial the image onto the screen. A lot of the entry and mid-level models only give you 4-corner, so having 8-points or more is always a must-have when you are spending this kind of money.
Although, we would have liked to have seen more points of adjustment. Specifically, because we couldn’t quite get rid of some slight warp at the top that was bubbling outward slightly near the top-right of the image (between the center and the corner). This was odd to see and although you can make it disappear within the black border of a projection screen, not all screen setups offer the border to accomplish this with. So more points of adjustment would likely allow you to dial it in and get rid of that if this is present in all models and not just the unit we have been using. Thankfully, again, most users should be able to get away with this if they have enough border around the screen to hide that within.
It is absolutely important that you use a perfectly flat projection screen with a UST projector. You can use a normal screen or an ALR (ambient light rejecting) screen. The latter of which will result in the best possible image with the lights on or off. A normal projection screen will appear a little more washed out with the lights on since it won’t be rejecting light from above.
DO NOT use drop-down screens or any other screen solution that isn’t perfectly flat. You can see why in the below video where we demonstrate the projector paired with one of our motorized drop-down screens. We choose that screen since it is the biggest screen space to shoot something against (150-inches) on-site. However, since it was a drop-down, the screen had some wave to it here and there and this caused the image to warp all over. This forced us to come back and redial it in after the video was shot, but we couldn’t get much improvement. Shooting it against a flat screen or wall/surface, however, resulted in a near-perfect image (outside of the before-mentioned slight bubble/warp at the top).
The speakers running along the front perform quite nicely. You have two 10W full-range drivers along with two 5W tweeters. Combined, they provide a soundbar-like experience with basic DTS and Dolby support. The resulting audio is actually pretty good. Obviously, if you are looking for a true theater sound experience that matches the image on the screen, you will want to make use of a receiver (AVR) with proper speakers all around you.
However, they do provide a decent amount of punch for the space they are tucked into. It’s fine for setups where loud theatrical sound isn’t required. Where a normal soundbar (without sub) is all you require. This is quite common with most projectors and many times you don’t even get this level of sound (the same goes for speakers in nearly all TV models).
The image is great coming from this projector. Wonderful colors and just the right brightness to matter. A tad more brightness would be nice since it is trying to compete with some pretty big names price-wise. So the company should consider some better features to balance the fact that many won’t be familiar with the name. This also applies to the contrast ratio, as it is a bit lower than we’d like to see. Within this price range, we are used to seeing anywhere between 800,000:1 to over 1,000,000:1 (even 2.5M). So a contrast ratio of just 3000:1 seems a bit odd. You do get decent black levels though thanks to it using laser.
Also, the benefits of laser include (as mentioned) lamp life being 25K hours. This means the rest of the unit will likely break down before the lamp ever burns out. At this time, you’d be long invested in a newer model most likely. So no bulbs that need replacement after 2,000+ hours like you’d get with older projectors.
Having Android TV is always a bonus as you get access to so many more apps than normal proprietary interfaces, like Samsung’s webOS. Android TV gives you access to nearly everything within the Android market. In this case, one exception is Netflix sadly (although that could change in the future).
It does need more points of adjustment. The slight bubble at the top that we experienced may be limited to the device we have or it could affect all of the Nova devices shipped. We can’t say for sure. However, having more points of adjustment (15 or 16, for example) would allow you to better dial in any warp you might experience. Thankfully, we only experienced a slight bit of it when projecting against a proper flat surface, unlike the drop-down screen used in the video below initially.
All-in-all, it is a mighty projector. It just isn’t perfect. As mentioned, the company should focus on fine-tuning some of these items mentioned to help stand out within the crowd. Else they could get overshadowed by some of the more well-known names in the market. Either that or bring the price down to be a bit more competitive.
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| Our Rating|| Average Price*|
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
- Brightness – 2100 ANSI Lumen
- Light Source – 5000 ANSI Lumen
- Display Tech – DLP
- DMD – 0.47″
- Contrast – 3000:1
- Color Coverage – 100% Rec. 709
- Resolution – 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD)
- Light Engine – ALPD Laser
- Throw Ratio – 0.233:1
- Display Size – 80 – 150″
- Focus – Manual Focus
- Keystone Correction – 4 and 8 Point Keystone Correction
- HDR – HDR10
- CPU – T962X-H
- RAM – 2GB
- Storage – 32GB
- Bluetooth – 4.1/BLE
- WiFi – 2.4/5GHz
- OS – Android TV 9.0
- Voice Assistant- Google Assistant
- App Store – Google Play Store
- Including YouTube, YouTube, Disney+, Hulu, Vudu, HBOMax, Peacock, Showtime, ESPN, Crunchyroll, Nick, Cartoon Network, YouTube Kids, PBS Kids, and thousands mode.
- Casting – Chromecast
- Eco Mode – Yes
- Menu Language – Multi-Language Support
- HDMI 2.0 – 3
- Composite Video – 1 (3.5mm)
- USB 2.0 – 2 (1 x Side, 1 x Rear)
- Ethernet (LAN) – 1 (RJ-45)
- Headphone – 1 (3.5mm)
- S/PDIF – 1
- Speaker Output – 30W (10W x 2 Full Range, 5W x 2 Tweeter)
- Audio Processor – Dolby Audio
- Audio Decoder – DTS-HD
- Noise Level – 32dB@25C
- Power Consumption – <300W
- Standby Consumption – <0.5W
- Operation Temperature – 0~40C
- What’s in the Box:
- 1 * WEMAX NOVA Laser Projector
- 1 * Remote Control
- 1 * Power Cord
- 1 * User Manual
- 1 * Cleaning Cloth
Co-Authors: Ryan S.
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