Although small text and detailed scenes like night skies may come off a little blurry, the Anker Nebula Capsule II packs a big punch for its small size compared to the projector competition. The average image quality is not bad for such a small device, and its various ease of use features like auto-focus and auto-keystoning make using it a breeze. This portable projector offers connectivity to your laptop, phone, or tablet via various ports, and you can even use streaming services such as Netflix right off the device when connected to WiFi. While brightness may not be its strong suit, this puppy will happily light up a campsite with your favorite movie for a full 3.5 hours. Overall, the Nebula is a great option for those needing something highly portable for the office or fun.Editor's Note: The Anker projector review was updated on February 25, 2022, to better help you in your buying decision.
Anker Nebula Capsule II Review
Pros: Portable, easy to use, WiFi connectivity, 3.5-hour-long battery life, streaming capabilities
Cons: Subpar brightness, lacking in image quality, no backlit buttons on remote, pricey
Compare to Similar Products
Anker Nebula Capsule II
$529.99 at Amazon
|$1,000 List||$850 List||$899 List|
$899.00 at Amazon
|Pros||Portable, easy to use, WiFi connectivity, 3.5-hour-long battery life, streaming capabilities||Crisp image quality, accurate color depiction, intuitive interface, WiFi connectivity, streaming services on device||Great image quality, perfect for a business setting, carry bag, impressive brightness, assortment of input types||Great image quality, vibrant colors, full HD||Bright image, relatively cheap, WXGA resolution|
|Cons||Subpar brightness, lacking in image quality, no backlit buttons on remote, pricey||No remote button backlight, not very portable, loud fan||Confusing interface, no Bluetooth audio capabilities, small buttons, buttons are not backlit||Dim lamp, not ideal for well lit rooms||Poor adjustability, unimpressive colors|
|Bottom Line||With a small footprint and an easy to use interface, this projector is a great option for those who are always on-the-go||A projector fit for most scenarios, with amazingly crisp image quality, stellar color accuracy, an intuitive interface and streaming service capability via WiFi||A projector built for the office with amazing image quality, brightness, and a plethora of input options||Offering excellent image quality and a whisper-quiet fan, this is a fantastic home theater option||A bright projector at a decent price that is great for presentations but not movies|
|Rating Categories||Anker Nebula Capsul...||Epson Home Cinema 2250||Epson Pro EX9240||BenQ HT2150ST||ViewSonic PA503W|
|Image Quality (45%)|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Fan Noise (15%)|
|Specs||Anker Nebula Capsul...||Epson Home Cinema 2250||Epson Pro EX9240||BenQ HT2150ST||ViewSonic PA503W|
|Specification Brightness||200 lumens||2700 lumens||4000 lumens||2200 lumens||3600 lumens|
|Measured Brightness||168 lumens||3166 lumens||7400 lumens||1548 lumens||2588 lumens|
|Maximum Resolution||1280 x 720||1080p||1080p||1080p||1280 x 800|
|Apect Ratio||Native 16:9||Native 16:9||Native 16:9||Native 16:9||Native 16:10|
|Zoom Ratio||n/a||1.0 - 1.6||1.0 - 1.6||1 - 1.2||1.0- 1.1|
|Throw Ratio (Wide to Zoom)||1.3||1.33 to 2.17||1.32 to 2.14||0.69 to 0.83||1.55 to 1.70|
|Vertical Keystoning Correction?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Horizontal Keystoning Correction?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Dimensions||3.15" x 3.15" x 5.9"||12.2" x 12.4" x 4.8"||12.2" x 11.2" x 4.1"||15" x 4.8" x 11"||11.6" x 4.3" x 8.6"|
|Weight||1.5 lbs||8.4 lbs||6.8 lbs||7.3 lbs||4.9 lbs|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Capsule II is a compact device that works well under the right conditions. In a dark room, its brightness is plentiful, but its performance suffers in the presence of ambient light. Those things aside, this device is easy and intuitive for most and holds a charge of roughly 3.5 hours, making it a great option for those who are always on the go. If you're looking for something powerful and portable, then you've come to the right place.
While the Capsule II did not blow us away when compared to some of the larger projectors, it holds its own with an average score in image quality.
We performed various tests to measure image quality, the first of which was simply viewing a highly detailed space video. Unfortunately, the 1280 x 720 resolution rendered a somewhat hazy scene, and it only got worse when we zoomed in. The contrast ratio of 600:1 also plays a role here, as the difference between the blackest black and the whitest white is rather small, making things like stars on a night sky blend together.
The Capsule II does alright with medium to large text, but smaller text, like six-point, appears very fuzzy, rendering it very difficult to read. If you are on the hunt for a projector for the office or prefer to watch movies with subtitles, you will want to be able to read the text without hassle, so consider that before committing to this little guy.
For this metric, we also took into account color accuracy. With the Capsule II, we found that reds look slightly magenta, and most skin tones are somewhat washed out. Generally speaking, it did okay in the color accuracy portion of our image quality testing. Still, the hazy space scene, fuzzy letters, and pink reds kept us from awarding a higher score.
Ease of Use
If there is one thing that the Capsule II does right, it's making things easy. This highly portable device is 3.15 x 3.15 x 5.9 inches and weighs a slim 1.5 pounds. For reference, that is only slightly larger than a soda can. Its general compactness renders it the perfect option for those who travel often. It claims a 2.5-hour battery life but, in our experience, lasted closer to 3.5 hours. This means you can watch most movies without it being plugged into a power source, making it a viable option for outdoor movie nights, where power sources may be more scarce. Heck, you could even take this little device camping.
While general compactness makes taking the Capsule II anywhere easy and its long battery life renders it useful when there are no power sources present, we do have a tiny bone to pick with the remote because the buttons are not backlit. This can be extremely frustrating when you're trying to navigate your movie night in the pitch black of night.
Other than the lack of backlit buttons, both the device and remote are pretty easy to navigate. The Capsule II is WiFi-enabled, so if you have access to the internet, you can connect and easily use streaming services like Netflix without connecting it to a computer, phone, or tablet. The menu options are projected, just like on an Android TV, and you can navigate them with or without the remote if you'd prefer to use the device itself. On the flip side, if you'd like to connect the Capsule to a device like your computer, you can easily do so via the USB, HDMI, or USB-C ports.
After looking at portability and remote controls, we took a moment to check out automatic features like focus and keystoning. The auto-focus works okaybut leaves the image slightly fuzzy. This is most noticeable in HD, still images, and smaller text. The auto-keystoning, however, works great and keeps distortion to a minimum.
It can take a lot of power to create light, and these small devices simply don't measure up to their bulkier, albeit less portable, counterparts. When stacked against some of the larger models, the Capsule II scored well below average. That being said, when compared to its compact competition, its performance is a little more impressive.
The Capsule II claims to provide a brightness equivalent to 200 lumens. Unfortunately, in our experience, the measured brightness came up short at just 168 lumens. This renders the device best used in complete darkness, as any ambient light will wash out the image.
The Capsule II may not provide much in the way of brightness, but it surely shines in this metric.
We were pleasantly surprised when we noticed this small device's low, quiet hum. From our experience, compact projectors often let out a louder, high-pitched whine when the fans are working to keep them cool, and we'd be lying if we said we weren't expecting the worst. Happily, the Capsule II was among the quietest of all our tested models.
Should You Buy the Nebula Capsule II?
The Nebula Capsule II is a decent performing device in an impossibly small package. While its brightness and image quality don't measure up to the larger models in our test suite, it performs admirably compared to other compact models. The Capsule II is a great option if you are looking for a small, portable projector to use in places with little to no ambient light. Compared to some of the other compact devices in our test suite, the Capsule falls on the more expensive side of things. That being said, it does perform better than its portable competition across the board. So while it's not a drop in the bucket, this model is definitely worth it if you're looking for something portable and compact and can afford the sticker price.
What Other Projectors Should You Consider?
If you don't need a portable option, it might be wise to look elsewhere. FOr the money, the ViewSonic PA503W offers slightly better image quality and significantly better brightness. It is also somewhat cheaper. If you have somewhat more to spend, the BenQ HT2150ST is our top pick for image quality giving you great at-home movie visuals if you can control the ambient lighting around you. If you simply want the best of the test group, the Epson Home Cinema 2250, is a great choice, with an impressive performance in most metrics. While it sports the highest price in the group, we think it is worth the price for what you get.
— Hayley Thomas
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