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A portable projector can be a wonderful thing. Just about any light-colored wall can become a big screen for games, movies, presentations and the like.
These projectors come in a variety of shapes and sizes; right now I’m partial to a tiny cube.
For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can get the Tenker S6 Mini Cube DLP Projector for $215.99 when you apply promo code 2NSAFWJE at checkout. Regular price: $270.
It’s kind of ridiculous how small this thing is — literally just a hair over 2 x 2 x 2 inches. Yet it packs in a DLP optical engine, a rechargeable battery, a speaker, a microSD slot, an HDMI input and Wi-Fi.
It’s also kind of ridiculous how well it works. Don’t let the native 854 x 480 resolution scare you; the S6 supports 1080p sources, and when I connected a Roku box and started streaming movies, they looked superb.
Likewise, despite a brightness level of just 100 ANSI lumens, the projector is surprisingly bright. In a dark room, I suspect you’ll have zero complaints. In a dimly lit one, I think you’ll still be pleasantly surprised.
As noted, the projector can play from a memory card or an HDMI source (a mini-to-full-size adapter is included, thankfully), but you can also connect it to your phone or tablet via AirPlay or Miracast. (The usual DRM restrictions apply, though; if you want Netflix and the like, plan on connecting something like a Chromecast or Roku.)
In addition to a remote that’s useful for navigating the S6’s fairly straightforward onscreen menus, Tenker supplies a small tripod that’s very useful for getting the projector angled properly. (Alas, it has no keystone-correction settings, so placement is crucial — and occasionally challenging.)
Tenker also provides a 3-year warranty, which is pretty impressive.
Here’s what I didn’t like about the S6: It has a somewhat noisy fan, which doesn’t help the not-very-loud speaker. If you’re the only viewer, plan on plugging in a pair of headphones. If it’s a shared experience, bring along an external speaker.
What’s more, the battery is good for only about 90 minutes of play time (probably less if you’re using Wi-Fi). But you could plug in any mobile power bank and extend that easily.
Those gripes aside, this is an amazing little box. I used it a lot in the days leading up to Halloween; it worked great with those fun/scary AtmosFX animations.
One final thing: Regarding the 4.7-star Amazon review average, both Fakespot and ReviewMeta indicate a preponderance of fakes. As I’ve said before, that doesn’t necessarily indicate a bad product; even the reviews of the reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt. And if you strip away all the questionable ones, you’re still left with a very high user rating.
But that’s why I wanted to test this for myself, and I hope my hands-on coverage helps paint a clearer picture. There are cheaper projectors, yes, but most of them are larger and less travel-friendly, with fewer features.
Bonus deal: Do you have a Sam’s Club membership? Then get ready for a stupid-good deal on a big TV: the Hisense 55R6D 55-inch Roku 4K for $348 shipped (plus tax). Price elsewhere: $500! (Non-members can get it for an additional $35 — still a pretty solid buy.)
Having recently deployed a smaller Roku-equipped TV in my bedroom, I have newfound appreciation for that baked-in capability. The big draw for me: one less remote to deal with. (Alas, this one doesn’t have the voice-search button, though you can still do that via your phone’s Roku app.)
The handful of reviews on the Sam’s Club site and the hundreds on BestBuy.com peg this as a great TV. Now all you need is a way to watch more 4K content — which brings us to…
Bonus deal No. 2: Yesterday I conducted a quick Twitter poll to gauge interest in 4K Blu-ray players. To my surprise, 25 percent of respondents said they were indeed interested in that product category.
That’s enough for bonus-deal coverage, at least, so here you go: For a limited time, and while supplies last, BuyDig has the LG UP870 4K Blu-ray player for $79.95 shipped — at least $20 less than you’ll find it elsewhere.
The player supports not only 4K discs, but also 3D and DVD ones. It offers 4K upscaling and HDR10 compatibility, whatever that is. Take note, however, that it offers no streaming apps (but, let’s face it, you already have a Roku or whatever), and connectivity is available via Ethernet only.
Me, I’m no longer interested in physical media, and to be honest 4K doesn’t really excite me either. Am I missing out?
Bonus deal No. 3: What’s handier than a carabiner clip? A carabiner clip that’s also a mini-USB cable. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Nomad is offering its Carabiner cable-clip for just $5 shipped. That’s after applying promo code MINI at checkout. (Regular price: $14.97 plus shipping.)
Although mini-USB isn’t as widely used these days, this could prove useful if you have, say, a DSLR or GoPro camera.