The Dangbei Neo is a remarkable DLP projector that comes with official licenses for popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, YouTube, and Prime Video. It offers a 1080P resolution, ensuring sharp and vibrant visuals that bring your favorite movies, TV shows, and videos to life. The Neo features a familiar yet refined design, with a compact and square shape that seamlessly fits into any entertainment display cabinet or shelf. Weighing only 1.42kg, it is compact and lightweight, making it incredibly easy to handle and transport from one room to another.
The sleek exterior of the Neo is enhanced by long metal speaker grilles that adorn the front and sides, adding a touch of sophistication to its overall aesthetic. The projector’s rear is equipped with a generously sized outtake vent, ensuring efficient heat dissipation for prolonged usage. Additionally, the back panel houses all the essential ports, including DC power, S-PDIF, LAN, HDMI with support for ARC (Audio Return Channel), and two USB 2.0 connections.
While the Neo is highly portable and offers flexibility in terms of placement, it is important to note that it requires access to a power outlet to function as it does not have a built-in battery. This is a trade-off as adding a battery would increase the weight, size, and expense of the projector. However, this reliance on a power source may limit its potential for truly portable usage, which could be a drawback for users seeking untethered convenience.
To ensure stability, the Neo is equipped with four rubber feet that keep it steady on a table or shelf. Additionally, a tripod-compatible hole on the base provides additional setup options. The top of the projector features a large physical button as the only control, meaning that the Neo cannot be used without the remote control. This is an important consideration as losing the remote control would render the projector unusable.
In terms of power, performance, and features, the Neo excels. The heat vent at the back effectively dissipates warm air, keeping the internals cool. The projector runs quietly and never becomes uncomfortable, even when sitting close to the unit. With a brightness of 540 ANSI lumens, the Neo is suitable for moderately lit rooms but may not be bright enough for daytime viewing unless the lighting can be controlled with blackout blinds. Dangbei claims that the projector is capable of projecting up to a 120-inch screen, and during testing with a 100-inch projector screen, the results were impressive. It is worth noting that the smaller the screen, the better the clarity, contrast, and vibrancy of colors.
One of the standout features of the Neo is its impressive LED lifespan of 30,000 hours. This means that users can indulge in countless hours of entertainment without worrying about replacing the lamp. Additionally, the Neo is equipped with a ToF sensor that enables automatic focus, keystone correction, and display resizing to fit the screen. These user-friendly features are particularly useful for those who frequently change their setup. However, for a more permanent setup, manual controls are recommended as they provide full control over all aspects of the image.
In terms of sound quality, the Neo features two 6W Dolby Digital speakers built-in. These speakers can reach a reasonably loud volume, and the sound quality is good, although not exceptional. While many users will be satisfied with the sound from the Neo, there are alternative options available. During testing, the HDMI port was connected directly to a soundbar supporting HDMI ARC, which worked well but required a long HDMI cable that may not be suitable for all setups. Alternatively, the Neo also supports Bluetooth 5.0, allowing for a wireless connection to a soundbar. Another option is to use the P/PDIF optical port, which requires a long cable to run from the projector to a speaker positioned under the projector screen.
Considering its compact size and 540 ANSI lumens brightness, the Neo delivers impressive image quality. It supports HDR10 and HLG, offering approximately 90% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space. While it does support HDR10, it may not be bright enough to fully display HDR content at its best, particularly in dark scenes where details can be lost in the shadows. However, most video content looks fantastic on the Neo, with vibrant colors and clarity.
The Neo is powered by Linux, providing fast and efficient loading of apps and streaming content. It comes pre-loaded with Netflix and Prime Video, but does not include Disney+, Apple TV+, Paramount TV, or local streaming platforms such as Virgin or RTE. While it does have an app store, the selection of apps is limited. For users who require access to additional streaming apps, using a Chromecast with Google TV, Apple TV, Firestick, or similar hardware is recommended. These devices offer a wide range of apps and can easily be connected to the Neo. It is worth noting that the Neo only supports Miracast for casting, with no support for Google Chromecast or Apple AirPlay.
The Neo also functions remarkably well as a gaming projector, although primarily for casual gaming. It has a latency of 30ms, which is barely noticeable but may not be suitable for hardcore gamers. The Neo can be connected to gaming consoles such as the Nintendo Switch, Xbox, or Playstation using the HDMI input, providing an immersive big-screen gaming experience for friends and family.
In conclusion, the Dangbei Neo is an impressive DLP projector that holds official licenses for popular streaming platforms. It offers crisp 1080P visuals and features a sleek and refined design. While it may not be suitable for daytime viewing due to its brightness limitations, it is more than sufficient for moderately lit rooms. The Neo’s long LED lifespan ensures long-lasting entertainment, and the built-in speakers provide good sound quality. Overall, the Dangbei Neo offers a compelling home entertainment experience with only minor limitations in terms of software support.
The Dangbei Neo is available in black or white on Amazon.co.uk for €700.