The Nebula Capsule II from Anker is a solid update to its previous small portable projector, originally launched late in 2017. The new model boasts 720p projection, increased brightness, louder sound, and better connectivity, making it a very competitive and affordable option in the small (or pico) projector market.
The Nebula Capsule II retains the compact design of its predecessor, meaning it's still the size of a can of soda, but incorporates some fundamental tech improvements making it a much more desirable and competitive unit.
The new model steps up its projection resolution to 720p, bringing it into line with most competitors in the pico projector market, while the brightness has doubled from 100 ANSI lumens to 200. Other key improvements include USB-C charging, dynamic auto-focus and more powerful inbuilt 8-watt speakers with a redesigned internal architecture.
Of course, a brighter projector with better resolution demands a bigger battery, so this model is substantially heavier than the previous iteration. Although, weighing at 24 oz (680 g), it still presents itself as light and portable. Anker claims the new model currently offers three hours of HD projection on a single battery charge, which is a little less than the four hours promised by the prior model – however, the company says the device is still being optimized and should exceed the three-hour runtime when finally shipped.
Everything else on the Nebula Capsule II spec sheet is solid and to be expected from a good pico projector in 2018. Projection size of up to 100 inches; Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HDMI and Chromecast connectivity; plus an Android TV operating system with inbuilt Google Assistant.
It all comes down to the price point for these kinds of portable projectors and the Nebula Capsule II is currently rolling out on Kickstarter for US$399. At that price it's fantastically competitive compared to similar projectors on the market, although the ultimate recommended retail of $599 is certainly less enticing a proposition. Even more impressive is a special $100 off deal for customers that bought the first Capsule model last year, allowing prior supporters to upgrade to the latest model for just $299.
Overall, Anker's new Nebula Capsule model looks to be a nice piece of kit, especially at its early Kickstarter price. As with all Kickstarter campaigns there is an element of risk in preordering a product that has yet to be made, but considering the track record of the company it seems reasonable it will achieve its May 2019 shipping goal without too many problems.
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