XGIMI Elfin: a projector story

The XGIMI Elfin is an 800 lumen 1080p HDMI capable Android TV smart projector. This is a story about the first nine days of using it, playing games on it, watching TV, and generally just enjoying the device.

I used to rent computer projectors as part of my employment. Back in the days when projectors were several thousand dollars, manual keystoning was required, and a couple of coffee coasters might be the only way to get the image onto a screen properly.

We haven’t had a lot of call for a projector in the past eight years, so I’ve been a bit behind on the curve here, but dang when I got the XGIMI Elfin in I was surprised, pleasantly.

Whatever they’ve got pushing the 800 Lumen claim seems to be pushing somewhere near to that – I’m still doing the math with my Lux meter but it looks like mid 700s from my testing. This was historically not my experience as I’d rent 2000 lumen projectors that, no. I’ll get a proper light testing setup when I do the final review and someone can tell me if my Luxmeter is decent enough for this test.

5:27pm central time, lights, 2 windows open

I happened to receive this product the day my dining room was painted. I’ve been having a lot of work done to the kitchen and dining rooms, pretty sure I mentioned that my life has been in boxed for the past two months. As such I’ve had a nice white painted wall to work with and got the image up to about the equivalent of a 108 inch TV. I mean, it had to be dark when it was that large, but dang.

So, no matter how many photos I took they don’t convey what I was seeing. I really don’t know a good way to convey that while not perfect with lights on, the image was enjoyable, didn’t feel washed out (although it photographs washed out,) and was immersive.

The 800 Lumen XGIMI Elfin was acting like the 2500 Lumen rental I last had. It wasn’t going to compete with an open window on a sunny day, but the image was good. More than good enough for interior viewing. Most of my accounts appeared set up with the Android TV functionality, I was up and streaming with minimal issues if I remember correctly (it’s been the end of major construction on my house, memory is shot.)

The only thing was Netflix.

We don’t talk about Netflix, no no no

While the XGIMI Elfin is Android TV certified, that doesn’t buy Netflix certification evidently. The official reply is basically the ball is in Netflix’s court and very few certifications on projectors have been given out. I don’t know if that is the case, but that’s what I’m told.

Took all of four minutes to get Netflix working by installing a KODI version of it using an app called DesktopManager. It’s a stripped down version, but works fine. You can also just plug a streaming stick into the thing. It’s something to note if you’re getting it that there’s a chance without a $26 streaming stick you won’t be able to enjoy Netflix.

Everything else I’ve thrown at it worked.

That soap opera look without the overkill

I’d swear this thing has some modified motion interpolation thing going on. It’s smooth, disarmingly so, but without that making everything look like it’s on a cheap BBC set circa 1987. I don’t know. It looks sharp, crisper than it has a right to be, and generally very responsive visually.

Sports, Red Pandas, Games, and live TV

So far I’ve used this as a TV to watch two sportsball games of schools that the wife and sister in law attended, watched Turning Red with the kids, had on an obscene amount of streamed local content, and played a little with the Nintendo Switch.

5:14pm, sunny day, windows with no curtains

I do not consider the Switch to be the gaming system we want to do a review on with this, I’ll be dragging something else in to test this out. I will say My Friend Peppa worked as well as one would expect, which is to say unusually long load times and the audio was not synced up at all with the lips (which is nothing to do with anything other than the Switch and that game.)

All were acceptable and generally enjoyable.

Find something to complain about

Unit requires a remote control. Remote shipped with no batteries. I mean who does that? I’m told the next batch will.

Speakers are about what you’d expect. I’d invest in an external Bluetooth, eARC, headset, etc. Big picture, medium sound.

Auto keystoning and digital picture fixing does not seem to work properly for me. It finds the perfect position when I start it up, and any attempts later to adjust tend to fail in some comedic fashion. Might be the reflective white of the walls, might be mine, but it generally rotates slightly and asks if that’s ok after moving the projector. Saying no it returns properly and in focus.

So far I’ve found nothing I really dislike about this and have enjoyed it. I’ll try and give it a follow up full review shortly, however I want to have a few more days with the thing and with a higher FPS gaming system attached before I finish.

You can grab an XGIMI Elfin projector at Amazon

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts