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    HomeTechnologiesDangbei Atom is a powerful, pocket-sized laser projector

    Dangbei Atom is a powerful, pocket-sized laser projector

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    The Dangbei Atom is a laser DLP projector that is barely larger than a paperback book, but can shine comparatively exceptionally brightly. With Google TV, the uncomplicated projector also offers a large selection of apps, RTL+ and other leading streaming services are preinstalled.

    Not so long ago, small projectors were more of an emergency solution that people hardly wanted to use for a cozy evening at the cinema at home. But compact projectors now have a lot to offer, as the Dangbei Neo showed in practical tests last year. Now the Chinese manufacturer has brought a new mini projector onto the market, the Atom, which can shine even brighter and is much more versatile with Google TV as the operating system.

    Small housing, great luminosity

    The user interface is clear. The user interface is clear.

    The user interface is clear.

    (Photo: Dangbei)

    When you unpack it, you are initially suspicious because at just 19.5 x 19.5 x 4.75 cm, the projector, which weighs just under 1.3 kg, is hardly larger than a paperback book. Nevertheless, with ALPD 3.0 laser technology, it should throw a strong image onto the wall with a brightness of up to 1200 ISO lumens.

    You can try it out quickly because commissioning and operation is absolutely uncomplicated. If you already have a Google account, scan a QR code with your smartphone and set up the Dangbei Atom in the Home app. RTL+ and other popular streaming apps are already preinstalled, and many more can be found in the Google Play Store. The user interface is clear and largely self-explanatory.

    The remote control, which is of high quality like the projector, is a perfect addition. Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime have their own buttons under the selection wheel, and all other installed apps can be accessed via them. To the right and left of it are the home and back buttons. Above the wheel there is a button to call up the Google Assistant for voice control of the Atom and other purposes.

    Dangbei also managed the remote control. Dangbei also managed the remote control.

    Dangbei also managed the remote control.

    (Photo: kwe)

    On the right side, the remote control has two more practical buttons. Use the red one to start manual focusing or long press it for autofocus. The larger button calls up further settings, including keystone correction, to straighten a distorted image if the projector is not aligned straight with the projection surface.

    Successful automatic, practical remote control

    As with focus, you can leave the work to the automatic system, which in the practical test usually adjusted the keystone and focus perfectly on command or whenever the projector was moved. Subsequent corrections were only necessary if the projector was very unfavorably aligned. The Dangbei Atom can also automatically adapt to screens or can independently align the image so that there are no objects in the way.

    Image thrown onto a screen from around two meters away, almost at a 45 degree angle, about 60 inches tall. Image thrown onto a screen from around two meters away, almost at a 45 degree angle, about 60 inches tall.

    Image thrown onto a screen from around two meters away, almost at a 45 degree angle, about 60 inches tall.

    (Photo: kwe)

    Of course, all of this is of little use if the image shown (1.2:1) is no good. However, this is surprisingly good for such a small projector. Although the highest resolution is only Full HD, if you don't go overboard with the size, you'll get an image that's absolutely sharp enough. Dangbei recommends 100 inches for the best display, which can be obtained without zoom at a distance of 2.7 m. Up to 120 inches you can see a sufficiently sharp image.

    Good contrasts and colors

    Colors and contrasts are also surprisingly good for the compact class. The Atom supports HDR10 when streaming, but unfortunately not when a device is connected via HDMI (ARC) or USB. But you don't have to do without a sufficiently bright image.

    The manufacturer's claim of 1200 ISO lumens is not an exaggeration. Although this isn't enough for a crisp picture in full daylight, you can have fun at the cinema even in a moderately darkened room. The Dangbei Atom even offers 3D display, but the room should be dark.

    Small weakness in action

    The small projector is partially suitable for games, as long as the action is limited. Otherwise, you occasionally have to live with visible blurring when moving quickly. The same applies to sports programs or action films.

    There are four presets for the image, but you can also adjust contrast, sharpness, saturation, etc. to suit your own taste. The brightness has been given its own area. Here you can select an Eco mode in which the projector consumes around 49 watts of power. By default it is around 58 watts. At maximum brightness, consumption rose to almost 70 watts in the test. In standby, the projector is content with a pleasingly modest 0.3 watts.

    There is a screw thread on the underside for standard tripods. There is a screw thread on the underside for standard tripods.

    There is a screw thread on the underside for standard tripods.

    (Photo: kwe)

    The power supply always comes from the power supply, which is bulky compared to the projector. There is no battery on board that would make the projector even more mobile. However, a battery that fits into the small housing probably wouldn't be able to power it for too long.

    Whisper-quiet fan

    No matter which setting you choose, the Atom never gets loud. Even if you sit right next to him, you can hardly hear the fan. If a film is playing at room volume, you won't notice it at all. Class.

    The sound coming from two 5-watt speakers with Dolby Digital support is also more than acceptable. However, for a cinema experience you have to connect external boxes. Unfortunately, this only works via the jack socket or another plug connection. Although the Dangbei Atom has Bluetooth, it can only play music from paired devices.

    What is more interesting is the possibility of streaming content from smartphones or tablets via the Chromecast function on the shared WLAN. If you install the AirScreen app, you can also throw the screen of connected devices onto the wall via the projector.

    Strong value for money

    The Dangbei Atom officially has a recommended retail price of 999 euros, but you can currently get it with a discount coupon for just under 850 euros. That's still a lot of money, but compared to similarly powerful and compact laser projectors, the Atom offers great value for money.

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