LG’s newest home projector is a compact little device—just 4.6 pounds and about the size of a loaf of bread. But the $1,500 gadget, released in May by the 70-year-old Korean conglomerate, produces crisp, bright, full HD-quality images at up to 140 inches. The heart of the projector is the LG WebOS interface, an integral feature of the company’s smart TVs that uses a Wi-Fi or ethernet connection to conveniently access Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other streaming services. The projector has two HDMI and two USB inputs to connect to laptops and their ilk, as well as a coaxial cable jack for those who haven’t cut the cord.
As consumers’ TV-watching habits evolve, the home-projector market has expanded—and innovated—accordingly. Options now include the pocket-size ASUS ZenBeam E1, which retails for $269 but uses LED bulbs that, at 150 lumens, demand a very dark room. LG’s laser-illuminated model has a maximum brightness of 2,000 lumens, and the lamp has an expected life of 20,000 hours. The projector does need to be about 14 feet from the wall to get the full widescreen effect, a far cry from Sony’s top-of-the-line VPL-VZ1000ES ultra-short-throw projector, which requires as little as 6 inches of space but costs $25,000.
It’s easy to go from broadcast TV to Netflix and back again with the “magic” remote control, which uses an array of buttons and a laser-pointer-style cursor to navigate around the screen. Built-in speakers produce a slight 3 watts of sound, but the projector pairs readily with Bluetooth audio systems and even allows you to fine-tune sound and image synchronization—often an issue with wireless audio. These features aren’t rare in home projectors, but finding them in a single small package at this price uniquely qualifies it to be the one that finally replaces your TV altogether. $1,500