The Nebula Capsule II by Anker is an incredibly versatile portable projector and I’ve enjoyed testing over the last month. Essentially, it’s a smart TV that you can take with you anywhere that runs on Android TV OS.
The Capsule II is a DLP-based mini-projector that uses an LED light source with a 30,000 hours life rating. It has a native HD resolution of 720p or 1,280-by-720-pixel and a 16:9 wide-screen aspect ratio. It boasts 200-ANSI-lumens of brightness, which is double that of the original and it can project up to a
100-inch image — from seven-feet I was able to project an 80-inch image so you don’t need a big room to get a big screen.
The device is cylindrical in shape and measures 15cm tall by 8cm wide and weighs 739 grams. It has a stylish matte-black finish and a rubber base with a universal tripod fitting. On the front is a red with white Nebula logo and the projector lens directly above it.
On the back is the IR-sensor for use with the supplied remote control, a button that toggles between projector mode and Bluetooth speaker mode and the power button. Below these is a 3.5mm headphone socket which can be used for headphones or separate speaker setup.
There’s also a HDMI 1.4 port, a USB-A socket and a UCB-C charging port. On the top is a four-way capacitive touch controller, as well as plus and minus volume-control and a back button.
The Capsule II is a complete all-in-one package that is self-sufficient with an internal 9,700 mAh battery that can playback video continuously for up to 2.5 hours on a full charge, which takes less than 2.5 hours using the supplied Anker PD 30 watt charger. Of course, it will last longer if used to play music in Bluetooth mode.
The internal eight-watt speaker is 8-watts and is surprisingly loud, but more importantly, the sound quality is excellent. The bass is decent and vocals sound crystal clear even at full volume. The sound stage is well-balanced and can deal with quiet moments as well as loud explosions.
The Capsule II uses Android 9.0 TV and you can download up to 3,500 apps. However, it’s important to note that you don’t have access to the same amount of apps you’d find on an Android phone. Apps like Netflix, Now TV and Amazon Prime are not on the Android TV PlayStore and have to be downloaded onto the Capsule II using the free Nebule Connect app.
However, popular apps like the RTÉ Player, YouTube, Disney+, Spotify, Tidal, TuneIn and Plex are available on the PlayStore.
Thanks to the built-in Chromecast I was able to cast to the projector using my phone which worked great for apps like Now TV.
It’s handy that you can control the UI from the top controls, but the remote is a much better method. It allows you to control volume, navigate, switch between HDMI and Android TV, but there’s also a dedicated Google Assistant button. Keep this pressed to speak a command like searching for a video on YouTube.
Features like autofocus and automatic vertical keystone correction, make it easy to get a good image. AF worked well most of the time, but I did find it drift sometimes, but by pressing and holding the HDMI/ATV button on the remote will get the lens to autofocus again.
Apart from using apps directly, you can connect other devices to it using the HDMI port. I used my PS4, Apple TV and laptop to great effect. Playing games using the PS4 and Capsule II is excellent thanks to low latency. It’s pretty cool being able to play games on a big screen with a Nintendo Switch too or any other console for that matter.
You can also load music, videos and photos onto a USB-drive. You can even use the USB port for keyboards and mice.
Video quality is decent considering its HD resolution and brightness. However, for the best results, the darker the room or environment you use it in the better. You won’t be able to see much if you use it during the day in a sunlit room.
The Nebula Capsule II is a well-featured portable projector that you can take anywhere. Bring it with you on holidays or watch movies in the open air, it has so many uses and options that make it one of my favourite pieces of tech this year so far.
Available from Amazon.co.uk £550 (€630)