As the high-end model in Anker’s Nebula line of entertainment projectors, the Anker Nebula Mars II Pro packs good brightness for a mini projector and a powerful sound system. Bulkier and with a shorter battery life than the Anker Nebula Apollo, it’s not as easily portable as that Editors’ Choice model, but the Mars II Pro is brighter and has a higher native resolution, plus a more powerful sound system. It earns its own Editors’ Choice as an entertainment mini projector.
At 5.4 by 4.8 by 7 inches (HWD) and weighing 3.9 pounds, the Mars II Pro is larger and heavier than other entertainment projectors we have reviewed recently. Tub-like, with a matte-black top and steely gray sides, it has a cloth strap to lug it around. It looks rather like a handbasket—I found myself thinking of it as Darth Vader’s lunchbox.
A better analogy, though, is a handheld lantern. When not in use, the lens is concealed behind a protective cover. When the cover is pulled down, the projector turns on and the Mars II Pro’s DLP-based light engine—using an LED light source with a rated lifetime of 30,000 hours—pumps out up to 500 ANSI lumens.
Acer C250i Portable Projector can throw a usable image up to 60 inches (measured diagonally) in a dark room, the Mars II Pro’s maximum usable size proved to be about 80 inches, and about 48 inches with the introduction of ambient light.
Its native resolution is a healthy 720p (1,280 by 720 pixels), matching the Anker Nebula Capsule II and exceeding the Anker Nebula Apollo’s and Kodak Luma 350’s 480p (854 by 480 pixels), while falling short of the Acer C250i’s 1080p (1,920 by 1,080 pixels). The Mars II Pro uses autofocus; sometimes it would take five or more seconds to engage, but when it achieved focus, it was crisp.
An Android-Happy Projector
Speaking of Android, the Mars II Pro runs built-in Android 7.1, like the Anker Nebula Apollo. With it, you can run preloaded Android apps and download new ones from the App Store over a Wi-Fi connection, as well as tweak a variety of settings as you would on a smartphone.
The home screen includes buttons for (downloadable) apps for Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and Netflix, plus a link to the App Store, as well as Settings, Network, App Manager, File Manager, and HDMI buttons. From File Manager, you can run files from a USB thumb drive, or from the projector’s 8GB of internal memory.
See how we test projectors.)
The Anker Nebula Mars II Pro has much to recommend it as an entertainment projector. It packs 720p resolution, and at 500 lumens it is brighter than many of its peers. With twin 10-watt speakers, it doubles as a powerful Bluetooth sound system. Built on Android 7.1, the Mars II Pro can run Android apps. You can mirror your computer over an HDMI connection, run files from the projector’s internal memory or from a USB thumb drive, and control the projector from its top panel, the included remote, or the Nebula Connect app.
home projector. The promised 3 hours of video playback between battery charges seemed a stretch, and that rating is shorter than the 4-hour rating of the Anker Nebula Apollo, which is perhaps a better choice for a projector to use when traveling. But with its good brightness, resolution, and image quality, coupled with its loud speaker system, the Anker Nebula Mars II Pro makes a great addition to a home, and it earns our Editors’ Choice as a moderately bright (sub-1,000-lumen) entertainment projector.
|Rated Brightness||500 ANSI lumens|
|Native Resolution||1280 by 720|
|Inputs and Interfaces||Bluetooth, HDMI, USB|
|Dimensions (HWD)||5.4 by 4.8 by 7 inches|