Announced back in February of 2020, the Acer C250i projector was claimed to be the world’s first auto portrait LED projector. Considering how normal projectors had to always be set up in one specific orientation, the C250i is a great take on a multi-angle projector. With its unique twisted roll design, is it worth the money? This is our review of the Acer C250i Projector.
Specifications – Acer C250i
|Resolution||Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080|
Maximum Resolution: 1920 x 1200
|Standard Mode Brightness||Up to 300lm|
|Native Aspect Ratio||16:9|
|Compatible Aspect Ratio||4:3|
|Throw Ratio||1.2 (1905mm @ 2000mm)|
|Vertical Keystone Correction||-30°/+30°|
|Horizontal Keystone Correction||-15°/+15°|
|Sync||Maximum Vertical Sync: 120Hz|
Maximum Horizontal Sync: 100KHz
Minimum Vertical Sync: 24Hz
Minimum Horizontal Sync: 15KHz
|Colour Supported||16.7 Million colours (24-bit)|
|Maximum Lens Aperture||f/1.6|
|Minimum Projection Distance||800m|
|Maximum Projection Distance||2.7m|
|Lamp Life||Normal Mode: 20,000 Hour|
Economy Mode: 30,000 Hour
|Connectivity||HDMI – 1|
USB – 2
3.5mm Audio Jack – 1
|Speakers||1 – Mono|
The Acer C250i breaks away from the usual projector square box design that we usually see. Instead, it has this unique twisted roll design which Acer claims can let it be propped up in any angle, and it does. It has a nice matte finish to it which gives it a really nice grip. Plus, the curvature from the roll design also helps to increase the grip too. When your smartphone rotates its orientation, the projector follows suit, without you adjusting the projector yourself. And that, is one of the C250i’s best feature.
On the top is where you’ll find the power button and volume buttons. There is also the wireless kit section, and an “enter” button to input your selections. On the bottom is where you’ll have all your I/O ports. You get the power adapter port, microSD card reader, 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C port, and HDMI port. There are also two screws on the bottom and on the back of the projector. This lets you mount it onto any compatible tripods. On the front is where the lens is, together with the knob to adjust clarity. Below it is the infrared sensor, and the mono speaker. Round the back, you get a USB Type-A port and a DC In port.
The Acer C250i is pretty much an all-in-one package for when it comes to on-the-go content streaming. You’ve got the projector, a built-in Bluetooth speaker, and all the connectivity options you’d need for whatever device you’re plugging it into. For such a bundle, its weight is acceptable. It might be a little big for some, but its size is already very small when you compare it to traditional projectors that have way less features.
The viewing experience on the Acer C250i is absolutely amazing for me. I liked the size of the throw display, and the brightness is absolutely superb. Even in a fully dark room, the projection excels at bringing out the visual with its bright colours. There’s also an Eco mode that you can activate in the Settings, as this allows the projector to save battery by dimming down the brightness.
For its throw display size, it is equivalent to a 100-inch smart TV. The visuals came out exactly in Full HD resolution, as it would on a smartphone screen, and if there were any artifacts, it would be something on the wall itself.
At first glance, I thought the visuals wouldn’t be clear and the throw distance wouldn’t be that far. But when I tested it, it went further than I imagined it could. I found the optimal distance to a wall would be 2.5 meters, and the maximum would be 2.7 meters. Anything more than that, the image would be darker and less clear. At optimal distance, the projector’s visuals are clear (with some adjustment) and the colours are vivid.
Once you start it up, the fans start whirring loudly before coming down to a quiet buzzing sound. The fan sound is constant, but you can’t really hear it if you’re seated away from the projector.
The I/O ports are sufficient, so no complaints there. I could hook it up to almost any device with the HDMI port. If not, I can always just load up the movie I want into a flash drive or a microSD card and plug it right in. So thumbs up to Acer for maximising its connectivity options on such a small-medium device.
Apart from that, I didn’t want any cables in my way, so most of the time I connected to the projector wirelessly. It works great with Huawei’s “Wireless Projection” mode, it could even go into EMUI’s Desktop mode too with no hiccups. However, if your device doesn’t support wireless casting, there’s also a wireless dongle for you to link it up to the projector.
The projector can be used in both portrait mode and landscape mode. However, if you’re using it in portrait mode, you might want to use it upside down, with the power button facing the surface it is on. This is so that you can still access all the I/O ports at the top. If you’re using it in landscape mode, then you won’t have a problem at all.
With the C250i having the auto-rotate feature, it is also meant for watching portrait content from your smartphone. IG Stories and video recordings that were filmed in portrait mode looks great propped up on a big screen.
Apart from that, the C250i also has automatic keystone correction, which I truly appreciate because I don’t have to do it manually. Whatever angle I put it in, it automatically adjusts to make the image straight on the wall or surface I’m projecting to.
The UI is clean and easy to understand. There are also guides on-screen to teach you how to connect to the projector. However, it isn’t as fast as I hoped it would be, cause there’s a slight delay when you input a command from the remote control.
The remote control is minimalistic, which kind of reminds me of an Apple TV’s remote stick. There’s no voice command button on board, but still it gets the job done. However, the remote does suffer a slight delay when you use it. After pressing a button, it needs a good second to register the input. And it’s worse if you’re not pointing it towards the infrared sensor.
The Acer C250i projector has a mono Bluetooth speaker built right in. The audio quality is subpar, so don’t expect any virtual surround sound effects from there. Its job as a speaker is to make sound, and that’s about all it will do. Volume is loud, with quite a bit of distortion at loud volumes. I find that the best volume level to be at is at 65%.
If you want, you can also plug in your own USB speakers or headphones. But if you’re out and about and don’t want to carry an external speaker, at least the projector already has one built in, and that’s a plus.
For its battery life, Acer claims that the built-in 9,000mAh battery can go up to 5 hours on a single charge. In my test, I looped a 1080p movie that lasts for 1 hour and 30 minutes, with the volume at 50%. The movie went on for 4 hours and 47 minutes before dying on me. That’s about 3 movies and 20 minutes of YouTube videos, which is pretty impressive.
Obviously, I couldn’t test the projector’s lifetime because I don’t have 30,000 hours with it. But according to Acer, normal mode can last the projector up to 20,000 hours, and economy mode can last it for an additional 10,000 hours.
Plus, the projector can even act as a powerbank. Just plug in a USB Type-C to C cable and you’re good to go to charge your device while watching a movie. It doesn’t charge that fast, but at least it provides some juice to your smartphone when you’re low on battery.
That being said, it’s too bad you can’t charge the projector itself via USB Type-C, so you’ll have to charge it with the DC charging adapter that came in the box.
A bright and clear 100-inch FHD display is a really nice touch to add to that blank wall at home, and there are so many ways to connect to the projector, hassle-free. For Acer’s asking price of RM1,699, the Acer C250i projector packs a tonne of great features for a projector. Whether you’re on the go, at home, or in the office, the C250i is great for any scenario it is put in. Even if I had an office and we needed to do a presentation, the C250i would be the projector of choice I would get for the office, cause I wouldn’t need to get an additional speaker for sound.