XGIMI Elfin Mini Review: Tiniest Projector, Less Portable
The XGIMI Elfin Mini, as its name suggests, is built to provide you with most of the XGIMI experience on a smaller more compact package with minor sacrifices. This projector does not fall behind in picture quality or features when compared to other XGIMI models, however, it focuses on being small by dropping off features such as a built-in battery. This makes it a bit more impractical to carry it around or use it on the go despite being a very portable XGIMI projector.
The XGIMI Elfin Mini isn’t necessarily cheap but it is affordable for those who don’t need high-end 4K projectors but want something they can use occasionally at home or outside with less effort. Besides, the picture quality of the Elfin Mini is just beautiful when in a dark environment. You can see how smooth and colorful details produce very crisp images from videos and games/movies.
This projector won’t cut it for those who are looking for bright or 4K home theaters. Though the Elfin Mini is a great all-around projector, there are a few sacrifices you would need to consider like being limited to dark rooms only or watching downscaled 4K content. Let’s have a look at some of its features to identify what makes this projector worth it.
No products found.
Features of the XGIMI Elfin Mini
Compact and lightweight design
The first thing you’ll notice when you look at the XGIMI Elfin Mini is its thin, light, and ultraportable design; it lives up to its name. The projector has a square base measuring 7.5 inches wide and 1.9 inches in height and weighs 2.2 pounds. The visual design seems to be reminiscent of Apple’s Mac Mini with its white plastic case, rounded corners, and a rubber base that can be mounted on a tripod stand. The white gives it a premium feel and should fit well in any home theater space.
You’ll find the projection lens at the front beside the speaker grills while on the back is the power button, venting system, an HDMI 2.0 and USB 2.0 ports, power connection, and a 3.5mm audio output. Being a projector also means it can be used to play videos as well as stream videos from USB drives/SD cards or even from your phone/tablet.
The neat thing about this projector is it is a Google device that comes with a standard and well-designed remote to offer software controls.
The remote has Google voice which you can connect to the device to do your searches, stream your content, or cast apps directly on the projector, besides the selection, menu, and setting buttons. The remote is also lightweight and easy to handle so that you can navigate through the menus easily by using it with just one hand.
Built-in Android TV Platform
XGIMI’s Elfin Mini is delivered with an in-built Android TV platform. This means that you can access a wide range of your favorite streamable content through Google Play, apps, and services such as YouTube, Hulu, Movies & TV, and more as long as you have an internet connection. Without Wi-Fi, you’ll have to resort to the HDMI or USB port.
The Android TV platform provides you with one of the fastest and simplest ways to connect, stream, and enjoy your favorite media. Besides having access to most of the popular streaming apps that are available on Android TV, XGIMI Elfin Mini also supports media casting with Google Home and Chromecast.
This is one of the best features I like about this Mini projector set. Watching TV shows and movies on my phone or laptop is just not that fun anymore when you are at home, so it is important to make sure you have the option to stream your content by itself. It is important to note that this platform doesn’t support Netflix. And since XGIMI Elfin Mini runs on the Android TV platform, it can do most of the work for you.
The XGIMI Elfin Mini has a 0.33-inch Full HD DLP chip that can produce 1080p (1920×1080 resolution, which is great if your TV and movie collection is up to par. You should be able to stream content and media on other devices directly or stream them wirelessly and enjoy them in full HD (1080p). You’ll still get very rich video quality for your screen, even at 720p resolution, although it isn’t groundbreaking.
Oftentimes, the pictures look sharp, detailed, and crisp although, on larger screen sizes, you’ll notice a little pixelation This is to be expected, taking into consideration the compact nature of this projector. For the most part, though, this is a projector that is sufficient for home entertainment purposes. The Elfin Mini supports 4K resolution that’s downscaled to the projector’s native resolution and can display HDR10+. With its slightly significant HDR capabilities and low brightness, it may not be as ideal to use for movies/TV shows over gaming.
High-end Full HD visuals with 3D support
It supports Full HD native resolution to provide high-definition visuals. In this way, you can experience remarkable graphics for your games. The advantage of having a projector with just a 1080p resolution is that it supports a refresh rate above 60Hz, to which 4K projectors are limited. You get to enjoy extraordinary graphics at a high refresh rate.
3D support is available to project 3D content from Blu-ray players and HDMI-enabled devices (laptops, desktops, etc.).
Rated 800 ANSI lumen brightness
The Elfin Mini is designed for a darker room and can deliver most (70% or more) of its rated brightness. The colors are relatively bright and vibrant when in a darker room, but the contrast ratio is quite low which makes decoding shadowed areas particularly problematic. Even in dark/light-controlled rooms, this projector will struggle to produce deep black levels and its projected images aren’t super-detailed.
This means that the quality of the picture you’re going to see will highly depend on the setting and what you are watching. Even with 800 lumens max brightness, the Elfin Mini cannot hit its peak if your room or lighting conditions are too bright. So for ideal projection settings, you’ll want to make sure that your room is dark. It won’t be a perfect choice for ambient light situations or bright rooms either.
Maximum 200-inch screen projection
The XGIMI Elfin Mini can project a 200-inch picture at a distance of 7.5 feet from the screen. The maximum projection distance is great for those who want to run this projector on a longer throw distance or place it at other locations in their homes. However, the minimum viewing distance is not very impressive so if you’re planning to connect it up to the wall, you will still need to be around 4-5 feet away for the best picture quality.
Note that the Elfin Mini has a maximum throw distance of 7.5 feet, which gives you the freedom to place it far away from your screen if you want to increase the picture size on your TV.
Incredible auto-setup features
Like its other XGIMI siblings, the Elfin Mini has integrated AI features that will certainly make your experience and setup process a breeze, with the minimal manual effort required. The built-in AI can even detect your presence in the room and react accordingly. They include:
- Autofocus: XGIMI’s Auto Focus feature allows you to focus on the screen instantly. You can get a clear, sharp, and focused image on your screen in an instant. It will find the focus automatically and make sure that you are watching your best picture.
- Auto keystone: The auto keystone feature is easier to use than other projectors. It will adjust the image with just one click for it to be projected as you want it to be without any distortion or angle problems.
- Intelligent obstacle avoidance: The projector is designed to know where the obstacles are in your room so that you can place it at any location, without removing the obstacles, and it will automatically adjust itself.
- Screen alignment: Auto screen alignment allows you to enjoy a perfectly aligned image every time after turning the projector on. Not only is it able to self-position, but it can also align images automatically and securely while in operation.
It will make sure there won’t be any misalignment or shaking of photos or films no matter how many times they are played back. The Intelligent screen alignment also automatically identifies the projector screen and matches it to the edges perfectly, eliminating the need for manual corner and edge adjustment.
The Elfin Mini will also automatically set the optimal picture size, brightness, and contrast for you when you are using it. You can use the OSD menu to fine-tune the brightness and contrast so that you don’t have to do this manually. The only thing is that these features aren’t customizable so if you want to adjust these settings, you have to turn the projector off.
35ms low latency mode
The XGIMI Elfin Mini has a native 35ms low-latency mode which is great for casual gaming or casual video streaming. If you are playing a fast-paced game, this is the mode to use, where the input lag will be minimal. This can also make your stream go smoother while gaming or watching videos.
3-Watt built-in Stereo speakers
The XGIMI Elfin Mini has dual integrated 3-watt stereo speakers which are alright for small to medium rooms. The audio quality is enough to enjoy the low decibel sound effects but lacks punch and depth in audio. It’s not great with music but they are fantastic for watching movies without any external speaker.
Having looked at the features, does this projector have any shortcomings? First, let’s look at the pros.
Pros of XGIMI Elfin Mini
Small and lightweight: The Elfin Mini is super light and small which is great for travel or moving from one room to another.
Good picture quality: The projector produces sharp and clear pictures, especially when in a dark room.
Lots of features: Despite being small, the Elfin Mini is loaded with a lot of features like full HD, 4K support, Android TV, autofocus, auto keystone, intelligent obstacle avoidance, screen alignment, etc. that make the setup process easy and fast to set up and cinema experience an exception.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built-in: The built-in Wi-Fi is a welcome addition that allows this projector to be a part of the smart home ecosystem. You can also use the Bluetooth feature to easily sync the projector with your phone or other Bluetooth-enabled devices.
Affordable: At its price point ($649.99), the Elfin Mini offers a compelling alternative to most mid-range 1080p or 4K projectors delivering a good image quality, with HDR support, and can project pictures up to a screen size of 200-inch without distorting its fidelity.
Longer lamp life: This projector uses an LED lamp with a lifespan of 25,000 hours. This means that you won’t have to make many replacements if you intend to use the Elfin Mini for a long time. The lamp is also energy efficient which means that it will use less power and produce less heat.
Cons of XGIMI Elfin Mini
Extremely low brightness: With a rated brightness of 800 ANSI lumens, the Elfin Mini isn’t bright enough to deliver a full HDR effect; it produces noticeably washed out and dull images.
No Netflix support: There is no Netflix support and this can be a touch frustrating for many users with Netflix subscriptions.
Not enough ports: There are only one HDMI and USB input, power input, and AV input, which makes connecting and disconnecting cables a hassle.
AC adapter gets hot: The AC adapter gets hot when in use, but it’s not to the point where it is dangerous.
Are you having some doubts? Here are some options to consider.
Earlier I mentioned that the Elfin Mini is a light projector yet less portable because it excludes a built-in battery, meaning, you’ll be restricted to only rooms with electrical sockets. One of the best alternatives to consider would be the XGIMI Horizon full HD. This projector is also light, ultraportable, has a built-in battery, and overall the image and sound quality of the Horizon Full HD is better, although it is a bit expensive (retails at $1,100).
For gamers, consider going for BenQ TH585 that offers brighter pictures (3500 lumens) and a low input lag (16ms) for an exceptional gaming experience at $600 only.
Overall, the XGIMI Elfin Mini is a fantastic budget projector. It offers sufficient brightness, good picture quality, and some cool features like auto keystone correction, intelligent obstacle avoidance, and auto screen alignment that make the setup process significantly faster. The inclusion of Android TV is a bonus as it gives you access to various streaming services, including YouTube, Hulu, Disney+, etc., all in one place, but the lack of Netflix support is frustrating.