The projector market has a variety of options available – from portable, battery-operated ones to 4k-capable models that are the size of a small coffee table. The Vankyo 1080p Mini Wireless Leisure 530W is a compact FullHD projector that’s good for impromptu movie or gaming nights, or for when you want to have a backyard cinema experience in the cooler months.
There are certain sacrifices you’ll have to make, but whether or not you’re truly bothered by them is up to you. For anyone looking for an inexpensive projector to set up in their home, this is definitely one to keep an eye out for.
Price and availability
The Vankyo 1080p Mini Wireless Leisure 530W Projector is available now for $229.99, usually in stock on Amazon or other online retailers.
The 530W is as basic as can be when it comes to appearance. The square white box has quite a bit of heft to it, but it’s not too heavy to carry around to another spot in the house if you need to relocate.
At the side you’ll find two HDMI ports, a USB Type-A port, 3.5mm out, and a AV-In port. Round the back you’ll find the power port and an IR-receiver, and on the adjacent side you’ll find the large, manual focus wheel. The USB port can be used to watch media off a USB thumb drive, and potentially also power certain streaming sticks, though it wasn’t enough to power our Google TV unit.
There’s also a bundled remote control, HDMI cable, AV cable, and power cord in the box. You’ll need the remote to navigate around as well as adjust the projector’s zoom levels.
On the top of the project is a CD-inspired touch control panel, which allows you to access the project settings and navigate around without the remote control. For the most part it works fairly well, but we’re slightly annoyed that there aren’t additional labels for which buttons can control volume during playback.
Underneath you have standard holes to connect to a projector arm if you’d like to mount the 530W to a wall or ceiling, and there’s an adjustable foot at the front to slightly prop up the projector if you’re using it on a table or the floor. Vankyo says that this foot can be unscrewed and a standard tripod mount can be connected instead, but when we tried doing this we were uncomfortable with how unbalanced the whole thing was, so we don’t recommend attempting to use a tripod mount here.
The 530W is rated at 290 ANSI lumens with a 10000:1 contrast ratio. It’s LED-based, so don’t expect very bright pictures if there’s a lot of light in your projection space. For darker rooms, you’ll do just fine if you’ve drawn the curtains. If you’re using this as a backyard projector, you’ll want to bring the projector closer to your projection screen, so you’re looking at around a 50-55” projection size. Keystone correction is fairly decent, so no matter how the projector is angled, you can work out the settings to have a consistent image.
The included projection screen is a huge bonus and is easy to hang up in most spaces. If you’ve got a plain white wall to project on, then we suggest using that – the screen is best if you’ve got an uneven or patterned wall, or if you’re hanging it somewhere in your garden to use as a projection surface. The adhesive hooks included are easy to put up indoors, and the screen stays up fairly securely.
Wi-Fi connectivity is offered in two forms on the 530W. First, you can connect to the projector’s built-in hotspot on your iOS or Android device. Once connected, you can then mirror your smartphone’s display or apps on it, along with audio. This will of course use your phone’s data, so if you want to actually connect your projector to a Wi-Fi network, you need to manually type in the projector’s IP in your phone’s web browser in order to scan for nearby hotspots and connect to. It’s definitely not a user-friendly experience, and you also have to keep in mind that not all content on apps can be wirelessly streamed due to copyright protection in place.
Audio on the 530W isn’t too bad for an entry-level projector, but you can tap into better audio options by connecting an external speaker or soundbar via the 3.5mm port. This is recommended if you’re projecting outdoors, as the onboard speaker won’t be loud enough to be heard properly in an open space. The internal fan is also very loud, so for scenes with low dialogue, you’re going to struggle to hear what’s being said.
Should I buy the Vankyo 1080p Mini Wireless Leisure 530W Projector?
Buy it if...
You’re on a tight budget
The Vankyo 1080p Mini Wireless Leisure 530W is a very affordable choice for a straightforward projector that you can set up in pretty much any space. Bonus points for including a screen as well.
Don’t buy it if...
You’re in a bright room
Image quality during the daytime will suffer on this model, so if you have a lot of light coming in to your projection space, you’ll struggle with image quality.
You’re using it for gaming
The brightness levels on the 530W might not be the best for certain games with dark scenes, making it difficult to play through some levels.