Can $279 product save you thousands?
IMAGINE if I told you that a $279 product could offer the same quality as its $999 competitor. Now imagine if I said the same product could also give the $1795 market leader a run for its money.
It sounds great doesn't it? Saving literally thousands of dollars for essentially the same product. Shame it's a lie and price ultimately does matter when it comes to home entertainment.
This is something I recently discovered when I got to test Kogan's $279 HD projector in the hopes it could stack up against BenQ's GS1 cable-free portable projector and LG's PF1000UW minibeam ultra short throw projector.
Impressed by the aforementioned models I have reviewed, I was convinced owning a projector for a home theatre experience was a solid move. Only I didn't want to spend a fortune.
On paper, the Kogan model looked impressive and I held high hopes.
It supports an input signal of up to 1080p, projects an image up to 120-inches and offers and an incredibly long lamp life of 50,000 plus hours.
In terms of inputs, the HD projector has two HDMI and USB ports, a VGA connector, plus ports for component video and composite A/V.
Sadly there is no antenna connection for those hoping to use a product to watch free-to-air TV, meaning you will need to connect an external set top box to meet those needs.
While there is 3.5mm stereo audio output, the Kogan offers no wireless and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity - both of the more expensive models offer these features.
One battle the Kogan product wins on paper is the 3000 lumens - the amount of light emitted per second - it delivers to project super-bright images.
Comparatively, the GS1 only offers 330 lumens, while the PF1000UW has 1000.
Kogan claims the "3000 lumens of brightness recreates images in super-vivid detail without looking overexposed" but sadly I have to disagree.
I found the images to be slightly overexposed, especially when compared to the experience offered by the other two.
I'd even go as far to say I prefer BenQ's lacklustre brightness to the overexposure of Kogan.
And when compared to the LG, there is no competition with the PF1000UW blowing it out of the water.
Both the LG and BenQ projectors also come standard with all the streaming apps you would expect on a smart TV like Netflix, Twitch, YouTube, with an app store for anything that might be missing.
Sadly the Kogan has no such offering, meaning you will need to connect your laptop via the HDMI cable to watch any streaming service.
Impressively the Kogan's in-built dual channel stereo speakers are more than sufficient, although it would have been nice to see an optical audio port for my soundbar.
While it definitely has it downfalls, the Kogan product is far from a complete write-off and could find a place in your home if you wanted a cheap projection solution.
You just have to understand that it won't offer the same quality you will find with the more premium models on the market.
The best way I could describe the difference would be watching a HD movie compared to a pirated movie that has been filmed on a video camera from inside a cinema.
You are for sure going to notice the difference in quality, it just depends if that's something you're willing to accept.