XGIMI Aura 4K Ultra Short Throw Smart Laser Projector Review – Performance

October 28, 2021 / By Project Reviews Staff

COLOR REPRODUCTION

The Aura’s color reproduction was good out of the box. The images above provide a general idea of color accuracy. However, when viewing in person, the colors will look much better than how the photos look on the display of the device you are using to read this review.

The Brightness tab located under Projector Settings has five presets. They are labeled as Standard, Bright, Eye Protection, Performance, and Custom. The custom mode allows adjustability to Brightness, Red, Green, and Blue to suit your visual preference.

Pressing the Shortcut Settings button on the remote shows the projector’s Image Mode, which has five presets. The five preset modes are labeled Movie, Football, Office, Game, and Custom. The Custom mode allows Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness, Noise Reduction, as well as Color Temperature adjustments.

BRIGHTNESS

XGIMI lists the brightness of the Aura at 2,400 ANSI lumens. I also measured the brightness myself. To measure the brightness, I set the projector’s image mode to Custom and its Brightness mode to Performance, which is the projector’s brightest mode. I then took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the screen.

At maximum brightness, Performance mode, the Aura measured 2574 ANSI lumens. I measured all five available image modes; my measurements are below.

XGIMI Aura Projector Settings Brightness
Image ModeBrightness (ANSI Lumens)
Movie2076
Football1966
Office1333
GameGame mode was not compatible with the white test pattern
Custom2574

While in Custom image mode, I also measured the brightness of the Aura’s different Brightness (Power) modes, all of which alter the unit’s laser light output.

Brightness ModeBrightness (ANSI Lumens)
Standard1941
Bright2162
Eye Protection1677
Performance2574
Custom2092

CONTRAST / BLACK LEVEL

The Aura’s blacks were visibly blacker than many other 0.47-inch DLP projectors. However, those blacker blacks are actually a shade of dark gray and not truly a deep black. I watched numerous dark scenes and found the projector performed better than expected based on my experiences with many other 0.47-inch projectors and their reproduction of dark scenes.

Ultra short throw projectors like the Aura are not designed to compete against $10,000 home theater projectors. The Aura would most likely be used in a room with a higher amount of ambient light, meaning the ability to reproduce deep blacks would not be critical. In those higher ambient light environments, the extra brightness, with the improved color of the Aura, would likely be more advantageous to the end-user.

When paired with my Elite Screens Aeon CLR® 3 Series, 103-inch ALR screen, the Aura produced beautiful images in my test space even with ambient light. The Aeon CLR® 3 Series screen material, which has a gain of 0.8, most definitely improved the black level when viewing content in ambient light and in a darkened room. Of course, the increased black levels come at the expense of some screen brightness. Still, the Aura has plenty of brightness to spare, as evident in the ANSI lumens testing.

VIDEO QUALITY

The XGIMI Aura’s video quality was really good out of the box. Changing the brightness modes and image modes can significantly alter the on-screen image. I found myself leaving the Projector’s Brightness on Standard mode and then switching between the Movie and Custom image modes. I used the Custom mode to fine-tune the Aura’s image quality to better suit my viewing environment.

TV shows and live broadcasts will continue to be produced in HD for many years, making good upscaling an essential feature. The Aura’s ability to upscale is outstanding. Sports in 720P and Blu-ray content in 1080p all looked great on the Aura.

While most Blu-ray UHD content is available in HDR10, a lot of 4K streaming material is still only 4K SDR. The Aura delivered sharp and detailed images without any problems. The Aura uses a 0.47-inch DMD Texas Instruments (TI) DLP chipset to deliver its 4K (3840 x 2160) displayed resolution. Now, many 4K movies do not have enough fine detail to make the difference between watching 4K SDR and HD very noticeable in the first place. Nevertheless, I was extremely pleased with Aura’s video quality. Vibrant colors and pleasing skin tones made this projector enjoyable to watch.

HDR (High-Dynamic Range)

The XGIMI Aura supports High Dynamic Range (HDR). In addition, the Aura is compatible with HDR10, which is the most commonly used format found on UHD Blu-ray discs (4K movies), and most streaming content.

The unit also supports the mainstream HDR10. HDR10 material contains static metadata delivered to a video display to help it tone map HDR content. Simply put, HDR lets you see more detail in the shadows and the bright areas and delivers more saturated lifelike colors.

The XGIMI Aura also supports Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG), the HDR standard developed for live broadcast, so you are all set to enjoy sports and award shows when the networks start broadcasting in HDR.

GAMING

I cannot talk about performance without talking about gaming. Under Image Mode, you will find Game mode. Game mode has options for Standard and Boost. XGIMI states that Boost mode lowers image latency. However, using Boost mode will temporarily disable keystone correction, so you will want to have the Aura squared up to the screen when picking this mode.

I switched the projector’s Image Mode to Game and played numerous games from my PlayStation and Xbox on the Aura. The games I tested on the Aura played great, including my usual Elder Scrolls Online (ESO), Genshin Impact, and Overwatch. I did not experience any issues with input lag, even while in action-packed matches on Overwatch. The XGIMI Aura should be great for most of the casual gamers looking to play games on a big projector screen. I, for one, get sad when I go back to game on my 70-inch TV or my dedicated gaming PC system with a 34-inch curved gaming monitor. Why do I get sad? Because the images look tiny compared to the projector’s images.

SOUND QUALITY

A 60-watt Harman/Kardon audio system is built-in to the Aura.

XGIMI partnered with Harman/Kardon to maximize the Aura’s audio system. As a result, the Aura has two 15-watt tweeters and two 15-watt woofers for a total of 60-watts of crisp highs, dynamic midranges, and ample bass.


The Aura is equipped with an HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC). It can send multi-channel audio from the projector’s internal apps to a connected external audio system for those end-users wanting a more powerful audio system.

AUDIBLE NOISE

While we do not measure audible noise, I measured the fan noise produced by the Aura between 30dB and 32dB. I placed the Image Mode on Movie and the Brightness Mode on Standard and Performance for the fan noise measurements. Standard had the lowest dB reading, and Performance had the highest dB reading. I could not hear the Aura as I watched movies and shows approximately four feet away from the projector.

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