I provide honest ratings and reviews on tech, toys, and consumer home goods that I've purchased and used. Reviews are based on hands-on testing and personal observations. All opinions and comments are my own.

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Friday, June 14, 2019

VIVIBRIGHT F40 Projector - Finally, a budget 1080p FULL HD Projector! - Review

VIVIBRIGHT F40 Projector - Finally, a budget 1080p FULL HD Projector! - Review

Buy it at Amazon: VIVIBRIGHT F40 Projector - Finally, a budget 1080p FULL HD Projector! - [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Bright, clear, detailed video with good saturation/contrast, loud/clean audio, but some design drawbacks.

***UPDATE*** Android version available!
Model# F30UP - Buy online, affiliate links below
Buy at Amazon: https://geni.us/Il42iLP (AUN brand)
Buy at Banggood: https://www.banggood.com/custlink/D33DOmnqNM (Vivibright brand)
Buy at Gearbest: http://bit.ly/30EzMao (Vivibright brand)
As far as I can tell the only difference between F30 and F40 is that the F30 doesn't have the giant status LED on the top. All other specs are the same. Model numbers with UP at the end have Android OS included.

You'll receive the projector, remote control, 5 ft power cable, microfiber cleaning cloth, and instruction manual. The projector measures 11.5" W x 9.5" L x 4" H and weighs about 6.25 pounds. On the front of the projector is the 3" lens which has a hard plastic lens protector cover. To its right, is an IR receiver for the remote control.

On the left hand side just behind the lens are the focus wheel and keystone for adjusting for pitch. On the top of the unit is a large LED status light embedded in this tri-point star. On the back are all the controls and inputs. On the right-hand side are the menu and control buttons: Enter, source, power, left and right, up and down, menu, and back button. On the left-hand side you have the inputs: 2 USB ports, 1 HDMI, a SPDIF audio out, Aux out or headphone port, IR receiver for the remote, power port, and main power switch. On the bottom are four rubber feet. Four threaded mounting holes for use with a ceiling projector mount, and a 1-1/4" flip out front stand. On the remote control, you've got the power button, Android key, which is not used, because the OS is not Android, source, back, menu, directional navigation, enter, play/pause, mute, screen rotation button, and volume control. The remote requires 2 AAA batteries which are not included.

I set the projector about 4.5' high and 13' from my 120" projection screen. This is about a foot higher than other projectors I've used and without the tilt foot engaged, since the projector tends to cast the image lower than most mini projectors. The projector has a stated brightness of 4200 lumens. It's actually quite visible, even during the day, as long as the curtains are drawn and the lights in the room are off. Usually projectors in this price range look a bit faded during the day, but not so with the F40. The native output resolution is full HD, that is 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Of course the image is much better at night and the colors pop a little bit more. So finally, there is a budget level projector with a small foot print that can handle 1080p in and 1080p out. This makes the pixels, even at large scale off over 100" diagonal nearly imperceptible when watching from 8-10 feet away, providing a smooth and clean looking image. The colors are nicely saturated and natural-looking with deep blacks and decent contrast. The other thing that really impressed me with this projector is how nice the sound quality is from the built-in speakers. The audio is crystal clear and can be turned up quite loud, to the point where we don't actually need to use an external speaker in a small room, though if you have a sound system you like, the external audio hookups work just fine.

Now the fan is louder than my other projector, which only outputs 720p resolution but is near whisper quite in comparisson. So it's a good thing the volume on the F40 can be turned up because you'll need to, to drown out the fan noise. A few features prevent this from being my favorite projector though, despite the superior sound and image quality. The first is the fixed height tilt foot. You can either engage it, or not, but there is no in-between height adjustment so it baffles me how it would ever be useful. If the image is too low, then magically this foot is supposed to make it the right height when engaged? That's hardly ever the case, as we've found, and we're constantly looking for other things to stack under the projector to get the right height.

The other thing that we had a hard time with is the lack of inputs. One HDMI port is simply not enough when you have multiple devices vying for larger screen real estate. Whether it's the TV feed from the cable box, a gaming console, movie streaming stick, or whatever, having to constantly pull a wire out and plug the next device in is more than just annoying, it's exasperating. You could always add an HDMI switch, but that's still an extra step when you want to change devices. At least they included USB ports which can be used to power your TV sticks like Fire TV and Chromecast. You could even charge your phone off one if you wanted to.

As I mentioned earlier, the OS is not Android and is fairly basic. You'll be able to read some video file types off a USB thumb drive, though there's no SDcard input slot if that's your preferred media. I did find, however, that the decoder didn't always recognize all video file types, even if they were MP4s which likely has to do with 4K resolution sizes. If I downscale converted the video files I was able to play them back on the projector. The last sticking point, which is a minior one is that the LED status light on top is huge and always on when the main power switch is on. the light is red when in stand-by and green when in use. There's no setting in the menu to turn off the status light so the only way to turn it off is to power down the machine. Which means it'll always be on when you're using it and if you shut it down completely, you won't be able to power it on with a remote (only works in stand-by mode).

Overall, this projector does a really amazing job projecting clear, 1080p full HD images at large scale. The audio is clear and crisp, but competes a bit with the internal fan. The colors are vibrant and bright with good contrast from light to dark. You'll still want to use it in as dark a setting as possible to get the best performance, but in a room with some ambient light, it's quite watchable. If using the projector outdoors, you can probably get away without using an external speaker if you turn the volume all the way up, if you're sitting near the projector. But if you're doing rear projection, where the projector is 15 or more feet away from you, use an external speaker with a long cable. If you don't have a need for more than 1 HDMI input or don't mind using a switch, this projector is pretty awesome for movies, TV, gaming, or could even work in an office setting, as text and words displayed are easy to read.

Buy it at Amazon: VIVIBRIGHT F40 Projector - Finally, a budget 1080p FULL HD Projector! - [Affiliate Link]
Buy at Amazon: https://geni.us/Il42iLP (AUN F30UP, Android)
Buy at Banggood: https://www.banggood.com/custlink/D33DOmnqNM (Vivibright F30UP, Android)
Buy at Gearbest: http://bit.ly/30EzMao (Vivibright F30UP, Android)
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