Strange thing is the Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K. It’s just different. Not in a bad way, but still. This projector is trying to fill a certain niche, or maybe even make one we not sure if it can do it. It’s easy to carry around, like other portable projectors, because it has a handle and is small. However, at $2,200, it’s really expensive for something you will carry around like a cheap Bluetooth speaker. The Anker Nebula Cosmos 4K Laser is good at a lot of different things. It’s very bright and has a good picture quality. It also has built-in streaming, and its speakers are loud enough for their size.
Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser: Description
But at the end of the day, it’s just too expensive for what you get. There are a lot of cheaper projectors that are just as small, like Anker’s own Nebula Mars 2 Pro, but they aren’t as bright or high-resolution. In fact, the Nebula 4K Laser is less flexible than many other small projectors because it doesn’t have a battery and needs to be plugged in.
Its lack of zoom, average overall performance, and limited picture adjustments put it behind other 4K projectors that are set up in a more traditional way. But that’s not the end of the story. The Cosmos Laser 4K is a 4K projector, which might surprise you. It has a brightness of 2,400 lumens. It was 1,607, which is a very good number. In fact, the Cosmos Laser 4K will be brighter for longer than lamp-based projectors because of how bright it is and how long the laser light source lasts. You won’t have to buy new lamps every few years.
Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser: Pros and Cons
- Easy to carry
- Runs native Netflix
- Fiddy to configure settings
- Some colour banding
|Rated Brightness||2400 ISO Lumens (Equivalent to ANSI)|
|Screen sizes supported||60-150 inches|
|Optical technology||Laser DLP|
|Dimensions||10.4 x 8.7 x 6.5 in|
|Official link||Visit Website|
Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser: Design
A good portable projector that can be moved from room to room needs to have good sound. With it, you won’t need to bring an extra sound system with the projector every time you move it to another room or the backyard for a movie night. Most models in this category, like the 4K Xgimi Horizon Pro and the 1080p BenQ X1300i, have a near-cube-shaped case that makes room for a good audio solution. One exception is Anker’s 4K Nebula Cosmos Max, which is shaped like a flat oval to give it more width.
Another one is the Cosmos Laser 4K. It has a clearly rectangular shape instead of a square shape, and it has more height to fit the audio. The projector is heavier than portable, weighing 10.7 pounds and measuring 8.7 by 6.5 by 10.4 inches (HWD), but it’s easy to carry, thanks in large part to the handle, which adds a little more than an inch to the height.
Aside from that, features like auto-focus, auto-keystone, and auto-screen-fit, which can all be set to run automatically when you turn on or move the projector, can help speed up ad hoc setup. Note, though, that keystone and screen fit (which is basically a digital zoom that is done automatically) are both things you should try to avoid because they can make the image less bright and can add artifacts.
Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser: Set-up
One of the best things about Anker Nebula projectors is how easy it is to set them up and use them. This is the same with the Cosmos Laser 4K, and it took us less than five minutes to watch a movie on a huge screen. Once it’s plugged in, you need to connect the streaming stick to a slot on the back, which takes about 20 seconds, and download the Nebula Connect app to your smartphone (iOS or Android). The display will walk you through the rest of the setup once you turn it on.
Thanks to auto-focus and automatic keystone correction, it is also easy to make a good screen. You might need to put the projector on a side table or a stack of books. We used an upturned trug outside, which also worked. It has a tripod mount on the bottom, and you don’t have to point the projector straight at the wall to get a straight image because the smart software compensates for the angle and fixes it for you. The image quality will get worse the more the projector is adjusted, so putting it straight on will give you the best results. But a few degrees shouldn’t make much of a difference.
Since the lens is fixed, the only way to make the image bigger is to move the projector further away. However, we were able to project a 60-inch image from about 1.6 meters away and a 150-inch image from 4.4 meters away, which was almost as wide as the back of the house. Impractical but impressive!
Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser: Picture Quality
For such a small projector, the Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K has great performance. Some projectors we’ve tested, like the Hisense L9G, can be used as a home theater in a box, but the Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K is a home theater that you can take with you. Its brightest point is 2,400 Lumens, which is enough light for a semi-light-controlled area. In the middle of the day, all you need to do to watch TV in a living room is close the blinds and turn down the lights. When it’s completely dark, the picture looks great and the contrast and colors stand out more. Even in a dark room, it’s fine for casual viewing, and sitcoms and cartoons come through quite well without having to adjust the ambient light.
And we know this because the picture was more than 100 inches wide when it was on our wall. The picture can be even better if you use a projector screen or make it smaller. Now, cheap projectors can get this bright, but Anker is bringing a 4K picture (still through pixel shifting) that is sharp enough even when blown up to large sizes and even when the image pixel count is reduced through digital zoom and keystoning. This brightness comes from a laser light source that is supposed to last up to 25,000 hours. There can be a little rainbow effect, but we barely noticed it. We were glad to see that the projector didn’t come with a horrible feature called “motion interpolation” already turned on.
We found it strange that there were no motion interpolation options. Some people might be happy about that, but it could be because they aren’t very good at this. During action scenes in Captain America: Civil War where a lot of characters and cameras were moving, the projector had a hard time keeping the playback smooth. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t as good as other movies in its genre, so if you like action movies, you should probably stay away from it.
Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser: Performance
The Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K is the portable all-in-one projector with the best picture quality we have seen. The pictures are clear, bright, and full of color. Also, the brightness of 2,400 Lumens means you can start your outdoor movie night before it gets dark and still see the screen, which isn’t always the case with portable projectors. But if you can make a garden room dark enough, the 4K resolution is great, and we got hooked on how it looked on a big screen (about 100″ in the spare room). It’s important to remember that most streamed content isn’t yet in 4K resolution, but the projector’s processor does a great job of making the most of whatever quality you feed it.
The great voices, which handle the deep rumble of action and the high frequencies of dialogue with ease, add to the fun. We sometimes forgot that the sound was coming from one box, which is a very high compliment. The fan is also very quiet, which is a plus. If we’re being very picky, the Cosmos 4K has trouble keeping up with fast-paced action, and some people might find the color contrast too strong. However, you can play around with different settings and modes to find your ideal display. You can also change the sound to fit your needs. For example, if you have trouble hearing the dialogue over the sound effects, you can move the dialogue up in the mix.
Price and availability
The Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K costs $2,199 (about £1,740 or AU$3,055). A 1080p version costs $1,699.
The Xgimi Horizon Pro does better than the Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K. Whether or not the higher price of the Cosmos Laser 4K is worth it depends on how much you need the slightly brighter image and how easily you can see rainbow artifacts. Also, if most of what you watch is in 1080p SDR format, you can save even more by getting a 1080p model like the BenQ X1300i, the Xgimi Horizon, or the Epson EF-12.
The Horizon and EF-12 are mostly made for home entertainment, while the X1300i has features that gamers are most likely to be interested in. The EF-12 isn’t quite as bright as either, but it doesn’t have rainbow artifacts, which is a big plus. Still, the Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K is the brightest portable 4K projector on the market.
The space between the projector and the screen must be at least 5 feet (1.68 meters) and no more than 13.85 feet (4.22 meters).
It’s easy to carry around and can make images of all sizes, from small to wall-sized. It has a built-in battery, is bright, sounds good, and can also be used as a portable speaker. It’s a fun gadget that can be used anywhere to make a pop-up home theater.