Even as a child I was a fan of drive-in movie theatres, the big screen, and the projected movie more importantly. So when I grew up and it was time to buy a television, I asked around and received plenty of “get the biggest you can possibly get”. I eventually settled with a 65-inchbecause it seemed practical for my living room space. Then came time to attempt to mount it.
After asking friends about mounting, one friend said to me “why didn’t you just get yourself a projector? Your wall is already the perfect color for it”. But after researching.. they were WAY out of my price range to even attempt to try. And then there was Vivitek.
I recently had the opportunity to review the Vivitek Qumi Q5 Projector. and honestly I couldn’t have been more happy with the product. Upon first opening the FedEx packaging I was amazed by the box. Coming in an assortment of colors, the $500 projector color I received was in red which to me was just fine, as I’m learning to embrace more colors than standard black. It’s way smaller than I thought it would be, to the point I could fit it in my back pocket and take it to a friend’s house if I wanted to. This was ideal for me.
It’s curved and super glossy finish is a bit of a fingerprint magnet, but my hands were already glued to it so who cares? The minimalist projector is a beauty in the hand, and in the pocket. Weighing about 1.1 lbs (490 grams), and it’s about 6.3 inches wide x 4.02 inches deep x 1.27 inches tall, this thing is tiny but packs a lovely punch. Included in the mix is a soft case which I never used, an HDMI cable, an MHL cable so you can connect it to your smartphone, a VGA cable, a standard AC power cable (which was pretty short but we’ll get into that a bit later), and a tiny remote. Notice the fact I said tiny. When they designed this they certainly made it for those forever on the go. This coupled with my Google Chromecast was honestly great to carry over to a friend’s house.
I actually first plugged up the Qumi in my guest bedroom because that was one of the few walls in my two bedroom that made more sense. That and there was a nice white wall that my girlfriend had not hung up some art or portraits on. The room itself isn’t the biggest, but luckily the Qumi being as compact as it is, it was the perfect room size for the screen just on turning on. After plugging up the AC adapter to the device I was ready to go. The Qumi however was not. I missed a few steps from the instruction manual and forgot to switch inputs so pretty much I received just the Qumi menu for a bit. I toyed around with that a bit just getting to know the features.
The guest bedroom had an outlet that was empty so plugging in the adapter was okay, although the length of the cable was a bit short. If you’re looking to have the projector stretch more than about 6 feet, for example, it will not happen. So if you do not have an extension cord of some sort and planned on screening a show or movie outdoors, you must have some sort of extension as the AC adapter will not go but 6 feet from the outlet.
Another downside is the fact the Qumi does not have an actual stand. Which I’m sure is a bit of a money grab for third-party accessories like an adjustable stand or tripod, but I’m pretty frugal so what I did was wedged the Qumi between two or three empty DVD cases laying around my house (Kiss The Girls, Taken 2, and Madden 2011 in case you were wondering). While this cheap way of going about it may I preferred this because with the accompanying remote I would rarely have to touch the Qumi itself, and it’s a bit more friendly on my wallet. If you’re someone who might take this to work to show off a presentation, I would suggest maybe finding some type of tripod or stand for it. And Vivitek, if you’re reading this.. maybe in the next version, please make extended legs for it, maybe?
The next thing I enjoyed is the ability to plug my phone up to the Qumi and stream straight from it. Now although I do not keep a lot of videos on my phone (guilty of buying the 64gb phone versus the 128gb) but I do keep a host of music. The Qumi handled my videos good, to an extent. For example, playing a YouTube clip naturally had buffering hiccups which is not Qumi’s fault as it rendered them accordingly and the audio playback lagged only in the spots where it attempted to load. Where the Qumi really shined though is for the videos you had stored ON your device, music included. When you’re not streaming your music or videos everything flowed seamlessly (obviously). Now the Qumi also requires you purchase an accessory to allow Wi-Fi which again is a way to purchase extra items, so if you’re looking to stream directly from the Vivitek without it, it’s not possible. But if your smartphone pretty much does mp3, MPEG-4, or any of the major types of videos you can think of.
I’ve heard reports saying that the Vivitek does not support “.Avi” videos, but when using the VLC Player on my iPhone, as well as my iPad it played just fine. Now this could just be the particular app that it was played in helping the cause as well. Speaking of things that did not support, when using the touch screen-like interface of the Qumi it’s very responsive, albeit too responsive. I consistently would press the wrong button when on using the on-device function buttons. Even though on the red model I received the Blue-LED buttons were so sensitive I found myself frustrated when I would press the buttons I did not want. My hands are of normal size, so I would have to assume the spacing of the buttons were a bit awry.
I did not have an opportunity to plug in my MacBook or my PlayStation which I was not too thrilled about but I do know that is possible. I could’ve honestly save myself over $800 in getting a TV and just got myself the Qumi, and I’m honestly contemplating getting one just for my spare guest room aka.. the new dungeon. The girlfriend might personally hate it, but I’ve already been plotting it.
Overall if you have been looking for a startup projector for your home to stream from your phone, or potentially set up your HDMI, this is a GREAT device. Also, if you want to be the compact for that business conference and want to bring your own personal projector for fear that the place you’re going might have you suffering through the traditional PowerPoint presentation setup, where someone has to click the next slide for you, minus the lack of being adjustable, this is a hands down great start for you. If you’re looking forward to buying a Projector, I would recommend this for anyone like myself who doesn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a projector that may or may not be the best of its kind. I mean with 1280×800 Native resolution who can go wrong? Did I mention it’s 3-D ready too? Imagine watching Avatar on this baby!
If you’re interested, Amazon has the Qumi Q5 on sale for $582, as well as Best Buy for the lowest price of $545.99. If you’d like to purchase it from Vivitek’s site however, you can purchase it in Red, Yellow, Blue, Black or White for $599.00 today.
Source: Manufacturer Supplied Review Sample
What I like: The compact size is great. It’s nice to be able to throw it in a bag and go instead of having an extended process of wrapping cords and having its own “bag of tools” to take with it. The red was a nice finish as well:
What Needs Improvement: Hopefully in the next model they add extended legs. I know for its compact size it would be a bit much asking for them to come on the advice, but having to purchase a stand for a projector isn’t worth the premium.