Anker Nebula Mars II Pro review: Petite portable projector performs proficiently

The Nebula Mars II Professional by Anker is a cute, little moveable projector. Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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The Nebula Mars II Professional by Anker is a cute, little moveable projector.


Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Anker’s Nebula Mars II Professional is a astonishing very little projector. And I do mean very little. It’s small sufficient to cover totally below a six-pack of Coke. With crafted-in streaming and a battery fantastic for about three and a 50 percent several hours of projection, the Mars II Professional is a wonderful companion for a film night in the yard or somewhere farther afield. And in addition to becoming a projector, it is really also a massive Bluetooth speaker.

Like

  • Compact dimensions
  • Created-in battery lasts up to three.five several hours
  • Astonishingly loud speakers

Never Like

  • Bad brightness and distinction
  • Inaccurate colour
  • Restricted application keep
  • Involves charging brick

Online video high quality will be fantastic sufficient for lots of viewers, but in contrast with a similarly priced home projector it is really far dimmer, with even worse distinction ratio and colour precision. As opposed with other little, battery-powered projectors even so, the graphic is pretty watchable and speakers audio remarkably effective. 

The most important reason to get the Mars II Professional is if you want extremely-moveable video, primarily outdoors. It’s quick to place in close proximity to a wall or monitor and stream some Netflix within just minutes, anyplace. If you prepare to use it frequently in the same room inside, even so, you happen to be probably superior off with a a lot more classic projector.

Primary specs

  • Native resolution: one,280×720 pixels
  • HDR-compatible: No
  • 4K-compatible: No
  • 3D-compatible: No
  • Lumens spec: five hundred
  • Zoom: None
  • Lens shift: None
  • Lamp life (Normal manner): thirty,000 several hours

The Mars II Professional is scaled-down than you might believe. It would in shape simply inside any backpack with a good deal of room to spare for a h2o bottle, hoodie or digital camera. Anker could have created the carrying strap out of cheap-emotion plastic, but has a faux-leather prime and is soft underneath. It’s awesome to touch.

There are buttons on the prime for all the primary features, but no controls for zoom or concentration. This is sensible considering the fact that you will find no zoom and concentration is automatic. An integrated slide-open up lens cap also turns the projector on and off.

To get a one hundred-inch graphic, the Mars II Professional requirements to be about nine ft from the monitor. Resolution is 720p, which is quite low for a projector these days and reduced than the competing ViewSonic M2, which is 1080p. The LED lamp is rated at thirty,000 several hours. 

Max brightness is a claimed five hundred lumens. I measured about 37 nits, which calculates out to about 337 lumens. For comparison, the ViewSonic M2 produces 349 lumens by my measurements, though the slightly a lot more costly, but far fewer moveable, Optoma HD146X places out about one,146. 

Anker statements the interior 12,five hundred-mAh battery is fantastic for about three and a 50 percent several hours viewing time, and about that extended to charge back up once again. If you continue to keep it in the superior brightness manner, that drops to one and a 50 percent several hours. If you happen to be just utilizing the Mars II as a Bluetooth speaker, Anker statements about thirty several hours for audio-only playback.

Nevertheless not specially pointed out as a characteristic by Anker, some apps address the Mars II Professional as a cellular gadget, so you can basically obtain shows to its 8GB interior storage. 

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Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Connectivity and benefit

  • HDMI inputs: one
  • USB port: 1 
  • Audio enter and output: three.5mm output
  • Digital audio output: None
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Remote: Not backlit

There is one HDMI enter, which is a good deal on a projector like this. The USB port allows you stream articles from a USB memory adhere, or you can charge a gadget (like your telephone), utilizing the Mars II Pro’s beefy battery. 

That is it for actual physical connections, other than the power port, which involves a different power brick. That is a bummer: I am a hardliner “every thing moveable must charge by using USB.” If you want to charge the projector away from home, you can have to pack the brick too.

The Mars II Pro’s runs Android seven.one, which places all the streaming capacity inside the PJ. So all you need is to tether the projector to your telephone or connect to some out there Wi-Fi. 

You never get the entire Google Perform Store, even so, or even Android Television set. As a substitute, it is really Aptoide, a sort of culled or curated edition of the Perform Store. It’s a bit of a liability with the ViewSonic M2, and it is really no superior in this article. There is Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Primary Online video, Hulu, Disney Plus and other individuals you may perhaps or may perhaps not realize. There is HBO Nordic and HBO Go, but no US HBO or HBO Max. Chromecast is not supported. Overall it is really not undesirable, but you might not be able to uncover every single provider you happen to be utilised to.

The remote is wafer slender, but not backlit. That is high-quality simply because you happen to be probably not likely to use it. As a substitute, you will find the Anker Join application (Android and iOS), which connects simply and does all the same things. In fact, some of the apps basically demand the application. Handle in the projector’s menus will work high-quality, but it is really a bit clunky in the Netflix application for occasion. Not a massive situation, but it could be smoother.

There are two aspect-firing ten-watt speakers and a rectangular passive radiator in the entrance. That won’t audio like much, but it is really quite loud and the audio high quality is superior than I expected from this sort of a small gadget. This is one of the number of projectors I’ve basically turned down to realize a usual listening degree.

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Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Picture high quality comparisons

I in contrast the Mars II Professional to the ViewSonic M2, a different moveable projector, and the Optoma HD146X, a classic plug-in PJ. The M2 is pretty related to the Anker, can operate off a battery and also runs apps from the Aptoide keep. The Optoma is a pretty unique projector, and only a direct competitor in one feeling: rate. 

I have a emotion the Mars II Professional might bring in the focus of someone not generally fascinated in projectors, so the Optoma is in this article as an example of what related dollars can get you in a non-moveable, typical projector. I connected these by using a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier and seen all on a 102-inch one.-get monitor.

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Leading see with carrying strap


Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Initially up is brightness. The M2 and Mars II are remarkably related. Their light outputs and distinction ratios are in essence equivalent. In both of those conditions, this volume is “high-quality.” Thinking of the dimensions and their capability to operate off batteries, somewhere about three hundred lumens is satisfactory. When creating a one hundred-inch graphic that equates to about 37 nits. That is sufficient for a watchable, albeit dim, graphic. You might be superior off relocating the Anker nearer, which will make a scaled-down but brighter graphic.

The Optoma, on the other hand, is appreciably brighter than either one. On a same dimensions monitor I measured about 127 nits, which is about five periods brighter than the Mars II. The Optoma is much a lot more watchable at one hundred inches. And if you use the Optoma’s most colour correct manner, it is really even now two times as vibrant as the other two. 

And we definitely need to communicate about colour. The Mars II Professional has some of the least correct shades of any projector I’ve at any time reviewed. Blue is the only colour out of the three major and three secondary shades that is correct. Environmentally friendly is oversaturated. Yellow isn’t but is very greenish-yellow. Magenta is oversaturated and too blue. The consequence appears like you’ve got the colour command a number of ticks above the place it must be. It’s not unusual, for each se, and overall it even now appears superior than the M2, but overall it is really definitely a lot more Pace Racer than The Grand Budapest Lodge. 

Aspect by aspect with the Optoma, it is really night and day. Or at least Technicolor and Kodachrome. The Optoma isn’t tremendous correct by itself, and basically errs on the aspect of becoming undersaturated, but its shades glance far a lot more pure than the Anker.

Unlike the Optoma, the Mars II won’t have extensive image settings. It has two. You can change the colour temperature: Normal, Amazing and Heat, and even the most correct (Heat) is even now way too cool. You can change the lamp settings: Standard, Battery and Vehicle. Standard is its brightest. Battery is dim but will get you that three-furthermore hour see time. Vehicle switches amongst the two other modes dependent on whether or not the projector is plugged in. That is it. No brightness, distinction, tint. One particular consequence is that you are not able to change distinction to restore clipped information in vibrant whites.

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Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Distinction ratio, like the brightness, is satisfactory provided the class. I measured an common of 354:one throughout all modes. That appears low, and it is, but the vast majority of sub-$one,000 projectors are only two or three periods that. The superior finish of that functionality vary, the BenQ HT2050A is 2,094:one. The ViewSonic is in essence the same as the Anker, at 376:one. The Optoma is 568:one. 

The Anker’s graphic lacks punch but not as much as you might believe. In fact, simply because the Anker’s black degree is a very little reduced than the M2 it appears a very little superior. The M2 is pretty slightly brighter, which isn’t noticeable. That black degree is even reduced than the Optoma, but that projector is so much brighter this edge isn’t relevant. 

And finally we occur to detail. Both equally the M2 and HD146X are 1080p to the Anker’s 720p. On a one hundred-inch monitor this is most noticeable if you happen to be shut sufficient to observe the individual pixels, which are quite big. If you shrink the graphic down to sixty-eighty inches, it appears in depth sufficient that it won’t glance soft. 

Summary

Truthfully, I wasn’t expecting much from the Mars II Professional. I’ve been underwhelmed with most battery-powered moveable projectors I’ve reviewed. I’ve also located that organizations not recognised for video gear have a tendency to miss out on some important things when it will come to projectors. For occasion, image high quality. 

Overall I am impressed that Anker got a good deal suitable with the Mars II Professional. At least when graded on the curve of rate, dimensions and battery power. As opposed with an common home projector it will come up brief in every single functionality metric, so If you happen to be hunting for some thing that will never stray too far from an outlet, you happen to be superior off with a a lot more “classic” projector. But if you want some thing moveable to watch motion pictures exterior, the Mars II Professional has a wonderful style and design, sounds fantastic, is quick to use and has a a lot more watchable graphic than the ViewSonic M2 — all for fewer dollars.


As properly as covering Television set and other display screen tech, Geoff does image excursions of cool museums and places about the entire world, including nuclear submarineslarge plane carriersmedieval castlesairplane graveyards and a lot more. 

You can comply with his exploits on Instagram and YouTube, and on his vacation site, BaldNomad. He also wrote a bestselling sci-fi novel about city-sized submarines, alongside with a sequel.