We know that finding something that fits into your budget is often just as important (if not more important) than picking out the fanciest or flashiest electronic devices on the market. However, when you are looking to find a budget-friendly device, quality matters that much more. So in this review, we’re going to take a look at the YABER Y31, an inexpensive 1080P projector with a reputation for power.
One of the newer projector brands on the market, YABER is a Chinese electronics company specializing in audio-visual equipment. As they were established in the mid-2010s, YABER only offers a few projector models to date with the YABER Y31 produced in late 2019 as an updated model of their earlier YABER Y30 (adding Dolby Sound support).
The YABER Y31 is a compact device that offers a lot of brightness for its frugally priced package. While not necessarily the highest-end model on the market, it’s serviceable enough to make a good option if you’re in the market for a basic, bright little machine.
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Who is the YABER Y31 for?
With any budget projector, you want to consider how you can best utilize it. To be entirely honest, the YABER Y31 is a great hobbyist projector. If you want to try out the home theater experience on a small budget, it could be a perfect model to get you started. While it does have some good features, the YABER Y31 isn’t going to be ideal for anyone looking to wow their audience with state-of-the-art bells and whistles or top-of-the-line color or sharpness. It is a durable, solid little machine for what you get. However, we wouldn’t recommend it for competitive gaming or a comprehensive home theater.
Many reviews mentioned how much they loved using the YABER Y31 for outdoor movie nights where there was plenty of ambient light. The brightness was perfect to combat the extra visual noise. We agree that it would be an excellent choice for someone setting up a portable viewing area, especially if you need to transport it indoors / outdoors frequently.
It could also be a great presentation projector, especially if you plan to show short videos. It would be an especially good pick for large spaces that may be prone to ambient light and is portable enough to take with you for traveling.
Let’s talk features! Overall, the YABER Y31 is a simple projector, reflecting the price point. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with some mentionable features, however.
- Native SVGA 1920 x 1080P resolution (Supported 4k UHD)
- High Brightness: 7200 lumens
- Lamp Type: LCD LED
- Lamp Life: 100000 hours
- Aspect Ratio 4:3 / 16: 9
- Displays from 50” to 300”
- Projection Distance 5 to 25 ft
- High Contrast 1000: 1
- Digital Zoom Range -25%
- Digital Keystone: Horizontal and Vertical Correction
- One-Click Restore Function: Easy to restore
- One-Click to Brighten: +15% Brightness Reduce
- Power consumption 120W
- Integrated 3.0 Watt Stereo Speaker with SRS sound system
- Projector Dimensions: 4.1″ (H) x 12″ (W) x 9″ (D)
- Weight: 5.7 LB
The YABER Y31 is a baseline projector. The compact size adds to the appeal for some but it does come with some limited connectivity options on the device. This YABER model comes with fairly standard connector ports including 2x HDMI ports, 2x USB ports, AV / VGA port, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Digital Keystone Correction
Most projectors on the market give you vertical keystone adjustment but not many offer horizontal adjustment as well. This is a definite bonus for this device, especially considering that the range is somewhere around 40° (compared to around 15° for many other brands). There’s also an automatic vertical correction built-in to help you get the best viewing experience.
LED Lamp / Superior Lamp Life
The YABER Y31 comes with an LED light source. It’s incredibly bright in just about any room. This is certainly a benefit of the brand and this model. Speaking of the LEDs, the lamp life of this device is outright impressive. According to the projector’s manufacturer, the expected life is 100,000. You won’t need to pick up a replacement for the foreseeable future. If true, the lamp might outlast the overall life of the projector.
What should you expect to see in the box?
While this projector doesn’t come with many bells or whistles right out of the box, it does have a nice selection of cables and accessories to help start you off right. You’ll be ready for a quick set-up immediately and won’t have to make additional purchases to start with a basic video or presentation experience. Out of the box, you’ll get:
- 1 x YABER Y31 Projector
- 1 x Power Cable
- 1 x HDMI Cable
- 1 x VGA Cable
- 1 x 3-in-1 AV Cable
- 1 x 3-in-3 AV Cable
- 1 x Remote Control (battery not included)
- 1 x User Manual
- 1 x Projector Lens Cover
Pros of the YABER Y31
It’s time to get into the details for the YABER Y31. It’s always important to know what you’re getting into before you buy. First, let’s talk about this projector’s assets.
This is probably the obvious advantage the YABER Y31 offers over competitors. Projectors can get expensive, as many designed for home theater can cost you upwards of thousands of dollars. Finding a good model for a great price can be difficult, especially if you aren’t sure what you’re looking for. The YABER Y31 is built for just about anyone’s budget.
One of the things that stuck out to us was the brightness of this projector. The YABER Y31 is a powerhouse with 7200 lumens and a vibrant, long-lasting LED bulb. There’s no need for absolute darkness for you to get a great quality image. This makes it a great device for spaces that have a lot of ambient light, including any outdoor spaces or larger rooms with multiple windows.
The lamplight is estimated at 90,000 hours – which is pretty incredible as well!
Right out of the box, the YABER Y31 is ready to go. It’s easy to use and doesn’t need much adjustment or time spent on the set-up to get a solid, bright image. It’s a great plug-and-play device for those who don’t feel confident calibrating complicated settings. This makes it a great choice for projector newbies!
For the size of this projector, the 3-watt speakers put out decent audio quality! The dual stereo speakers have an SRS sound system and support Dolby Digital (AC3) which is a step up from the YABER Y30 (as well as the biggest complaint with that earlier model). Granted, you may want to boost that by plugging in your stereo system or adding additional speakers to your home theater set-up. (This is especially true if you plan to watch the latest action blockbusters and want to replicate that theater experience in your living room) However, you should have no problems with basic sound quality to fill a room.
Cons of the YABER Y31
Now that we’ve pointed out all the reasons to purchase the YABER Y31, let’s talk about some of the issues you might want to consider before you commit.
There is something to be said about the adage – “you get what you pay for.” One potential pitfall of this projector is its durability. Several consumer reviews for this product have cautioned that this projector brand isn’t as durable or reliable as other, more popular brands. Earlier models of the same projector have had overheating issues as well as hardware malfunctions. You may have to replace this model within 1-2 years if you aren’t careful.
One potential issue with this projector is that many customers have noted that the edges of the projected image were blurry at times, indicating some focus issues with the projector’s lens. These focus issues could be a problem if you rely on subtitles or close captioning to enjoy media. More importantly, it could affect the viability of using it for presentations. No one wants to squint at a screen of information while they are trying to pay attention!
There isn’t a lot more than the absolute basic connections for this machine. You’ll have to purchase an additional MHL-HDMI adapter if you’d like to support the MHL function. The projector can only read the MP4 video format in a USB Key. If you want to play AVI, MKV, WMV video, you will need to connect a computer or other device to make this work. While the YABER Y31 supports 4K media, it also doesn’t have an interface to connect 4k devices.
To combat some of the overheating issues of the earlier model, the YABER Y31 has multiple built-in fans to keep it cool. Unfortunately, this has the noted side-effect of it being extra noisy compared to other projectors. YABER doesn’t list noise output for any of their machines, but reviewers have taken note of the distracting noise this machine puts out. If you are in a small space, this might become an issue.
If you want to explore other options, we’ve found a few comparable projectors that might catch your eye.
While we have covered this projector extensively in its review, we think the ViewSonic PA503W is a solid projector from a well-established brand that is the perfect budget buy. While the ViewSonic is comparable in size to the YABER Y31, it also comes with full HD capabilities along with 3D support. It features greater connectivity and comes with an affordable price tag that’s comparable to the YABER model. While both models are versatile for presentations and a basic home theater experience, the ViewSonic PA503W might be better suited for your use long-term.
Vankyo Leisure 3
If you want something even less expensive but still quality, you might want to look at the Vankyo Leisure 3. It’s compact, affordable, and provides a quality image. It’s smaller than the YABER Y31 (only weighing around 2.1 pounds). It’s also an LED projector so you know you’ll get a crisp, bright image! The best part? It is as cheap as projectors get! If you want to try out a projector system at home without a massive investment, this might be the perfect pick.
To wrap up…
If you want an entry-level projector at a low cost, the YABER Y31 might be a good choice for you. Sometimes, the simple option is exactly what you need! We’d consider it as a basic presentation projector when you need quick set-up and the ability to be portable.
Alternatively, it’s a great pick for outdoor spaces – the brightness will help you make the most of your experience! Otherwise, we would probably pass on this one in favor of a more durable, better quality brand. For even a slight increase in your price point, you can get more features and a better overall experience to build a home theater.
With its limited capabilities and mixed reviews on overall projector life, you may want to go with a more trusted brand. However, this price is a great deal for what you do get, especially if you’d like to try swapping your television for a projector long-term. As many projector enthusiasts will gladly let you know, you just might be surprised at what the YABER has to offer!