Optoma CinemaX P2 review: the best 4K UST projector

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The Optoma CinemaX P2 ultra-short throw 4K projector can project a 2.5m image at only 25cm from the screen and therefore replace the living room TV. For this, it is equipped with a powerful laser lamp (3000 lumens) to project during the day. Ready for streaming, the Optoma P2 projector uses a customized version of Android offering several multimedia functions with access to multiple services and apps.

Available for €2,290, can the Optoma CinemaX P2 compete with the latest generation of 4K laser projectors, namely the Samsung The Premiere LSP7T and Benq V6050?

Thanks to its ultra-short throw lens, the Optoma CinemaX P2 projector can project a 2.5m image at only 25cm from the screen.

Optoma CinemaX P2: the brand

Optoma is one of the world’s leading projector manufacturers and offers models for consumers, businesses and the educational sector.

The Optoma projector range includes HD projectors, Ultra HD 4K projectors and ultra-short throw projectors, some of which use a laser lamp and are known as laser TVs. The Optoma CinemaX P2 is one such projector.

The manufacturer’s catalog also includes a HD1080p and 3D compatible wireless HDMI AV transmitter: the Optoma WHD200.

Optoma CinemaX P2: packaging & accessories

The Optoma CinemaX P2 4K projector comes with a power cable, a Bluetooth remote control and its micro USB charging cable, a user manual, two spacers to adjust the height of the feet and two templates to adjust the distance of the projector from the wall to modify the image size more easily. All of these elements are packaged in a classic cardboard box, inside of which the projector is protected by a cover and secured with foam blocks.

The size and buttons of the Optoma CinemaX P2 UST projector’s remote control make it look a lot like the controls that come with set-top boxes and Android network media players. Compact and beautifully designed, it features an aluminum frame, which contributes to its sturdiness and gives it a sleek and elegant appearance. The inscriptions on the buttons glow white when one of them is pressed, which is very practical when it is dark. This remote control supports infrared (IR) and Bluetooth transmissions and can also work as an aerial mouse. When paired via Bluetooth, it is not necessary to point it precisely at the projector to control it as radio waves are omnidirectional.

Optoma CinemaX P2: presentation

Designed to replace the living room TV, this Optoma 4K ultra-short throw projector can be placed on a TV cabinet, at the foot of the projection screen. That way, it will be right next to the other AV devices (set-top box, game console, network media player, Blu-ray player… ).

By placing the back of the Optoma CinemaX P2 only 23cm (8 inches) away from the screen, we were able to project a 100″ (2.54 m) image.

Ultra-short throw

The Optoma CinemaX P2’s ultra-short throw allows it to be placed at the foot of the wall you want to project onto. Moving the projector further away from or closer to the screen enlarges or reduces the size of the projected image. Depending on the distance between the projector and the screen (47 to 66cm according to the manufacturer’s recommendations), an image between 2.16 and 3.05m across (85″ and 120″) can be obtained.

This is very practical for video games that require the player to move around in front of the screen (Wii U for example) as it eliminates the possibility of seeing shadows on the screen. Its high brightness of up to 3000 lumens also guarantees good image legibility, even during the day in a moderately well lit room.

Laser lamp

The Optoma CinemaX P2 4K ultra-short throw projector is equipped with a laser lamp that has a lifespan of approximately 20,000 hours in normal mode. This is the equivalent of almost 11 years of use at a rate of 5 hours per day.

The Optoma CinemaX P2’s laser has a brightness of 3000 lumens in Bright mode.

In addition to this longevity, laser technology also provides more consistent brightness during the lifespan of the lamp. As a result, the color rendering remains realistic without having to regularly recalibrate the colorimetry. Lastly, the use of a laser light source allows the Optoma CinemaX P2 projector to start and stop almost instantly, offering the same convenience as a television.

Ultra HD 4K

The Optoma CinemaX P2 projector is equipped with a Texas Instruments DLP chip with XPR technology that is capable of displaying images with a resolution of up to 3840 x 2160 pixels. The projector therefore provides very detailed images with 4K Ultra High Definition sources such as 4K UHD Blu-ray discs and video streaming services (Netflix, Prime Video, Rakuten…). Moreover, upscaling technology enables it to scale all video content to 720p (DVD quality) and 1080p (HD Blu-ray quality) resolution to display content in Ultra High Definition with a result close to native 4K.

HDR10

Optoma CinemaX P2 : large palette de couleurs
The Optoma CinemaX P2 projector covers a wide color gamut to project images with realistic colors.

The Optoma CinemaX P2 projector is HDR10 compatible and therefore covers 120% of the REC.709 color space and the entire DCI-P3 gamut, the norm used in digital cinema projection. This guarantees rich, realistic and nuanced colors. HDR movies teem with detail in the darkest and brightest areas. In addition, its RGBRGB color wheel ensures more accurate colors and virtually eliminates the rainbow effect to which some people are sensitive.

Integrated soundbar

The Optoma CinemaX P2 UHD 4K projector features a genuine stereo soundbar compatible with Dolby Digital 5.1 (stereo reproduction only). Developed by Nu Force, it has two wideband drivers and two woofers that benefit from a bass-reflex enclosure.

The soundbar incorporated in the front panel of the Optoma CinemaX P2 projector features four drivers, hidden behind the light grey acoustic fabric.

Naturally, it is still possible to connect an A/V receiver to the Optoma CinemaX P2 UHD 4K projector’s optical digital audio output or HDMI ARC connector to enjoy a sound with five or more speakers.

Customized Android

The Optoma CinemaX P2 uses a customized version of the Android operating system to provide access to online video services such as YouTube, Netflix and Prime Video once it is connected to the internet. A dedicated store (Marketplace) also lets you download more services.

HDMI 2.0, USB, WiFi connectivity

The Optoma CinemaX P2’s connectors include three HDMI inputs. Two are HDMI 2.0 standard (HDCP 2.2 compatible), and one of them supports HDMI ARC technology. The third is HDMI 1.4a standard (3D 1080p compatible). Note that the EDID of the HDMI 2.0 inputs can be modified to convert its inputs to the HDMI 1.4 standard for 1080p sources (Xbox 360, PS3, DTTV, etc.).

Two HDMI connectors and two USB ports are located on the rear panel of the Optoma CinemaX P2 projector, along with an optical audio output, a mini-jack audio output and an Ethernet port.

There is also a 4K and HDR compatible multimedia USB port, as well as a powered USB port (5V/1.5A) that can be used to power a Chromecast Video or a wireless HDMI receiver such as the Optoma WHD200.

There’s a third powered USB port and a third HDMI jack on the right side of the Optoma 4K CinemaX P2 projector.

An optical audio output and a mini-jack stereo audio output are also present. The latter can be used to connect a subwoofer to provide more impact with movie soundtracks. There is also an Ethernet port to connect the projector to the local network and to the internet, a WiFi controller and a USB port for maintenance.

Optoma CinemaX P2: key specifications

Display/picture

  • Display technology: DLP
  • Native resolution: UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels)
  • Brightness (Bright mode): 3000 pixels
  • Contrast (max.): 2,000,000:1
  • Image ratio (native): 16:9, 4:3 compatible
  • Horizontal scan rate: 31~135KHz
  • Vertical refresh rate: 24~120Hz
  • Uniformity: 90%
  • Recommended screen size (diagonal): 2.16m~3.05m (85”~120”)
  • Color space: 120% Rec.709 / 100% DCI-P3
  • PureMotion technology (moving image smoothing via image interpolation)
  • Input lag: 70ms
  • Noise level (type): 26dB

Lamp

  • Light source: laser
  • Estimated lifespan: 20,000 hours

Optical

  • Throw ratio: 0.25:1
  • Projection distance (m): 0.47m – 0.66m
  • Focal length: 525mm
  • Native offset: 124%

PC compatibility

  • UHD
  • WQHD
  • WUXGA
  • FHD
  • UXGA
  • SXGA
  • WXGA
  • HD
  • XGA
  • SVGA
  • VGA
  • Mac

2D compatibility

  • 480i/p, 576i/p
  • 720p (50/60Hz)
  • 1080i (50/60Hz), 1080p (50/60Hz)
  • 2160p (50/60Hz)

3D compatibility

  • Frame-pack: 1080p24, 720p50 / 60
  • 3D: Full 3D

Audio

  • Stereo audio system
  • 2 x wideband drivers
  • 2 x woofers
  • Amplification: 2 x 10 watts
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 compatible (sound in Dolby 2.0)

Connectors

  • 2 x HDMI 2.0 inputs
  • 1 x HDMI 1.4a 3D compatible input
  • 1 x USB-A input (multimedia player)
  • 1 x S/PDIF audio output
  • 1 x powered USB-A port (5V/1.5A)
  • 1 x 3.5mm mini-jack audio output
  • 1 x USB-A port (service)
  • 1 x RJ45 port (LAN – control)
  • WiFi

Power supply

  • Mains power supply: 100 ~ 240V, 50 ~ 60Hz
  • Power consumption (standby): 0.5W
  • Power consumption (min): 220W
  • Power consumption (max): 345W

Weight and dimensions

  • Net weight: 11kg
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 576 x 383 x 130mm

Contents of the box

  • Projector
  • Power cable
  • Rechargeable remote control
  • User manual

Optoma CinemaX P2: configuration

We tested the Optoma CinemaX P2 with a motorized projection screen (white canvas), but also on a grey wall. Ideally, the use of a screen with a technical canvas suitable for projection during the day, such as the Lumene Movie Palace UHD 4K Extra Bright, is recommended.

We connected the Optoma CinemaX P2 projector to a 4K Blu-ray player via HDMI using an Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI cable to play Blu-ray discs. We also connected a network media player to access our digital library using Plex, as well as a USB hard drive containing several 4K UHD movies.

Like the vast majority of ultra-short throw projectors, installing the CinemaX P2 is quick and easy if you are projecting directly onto a wall. It takes a little longer and can be more difficult when using a projection screen. It is necessary to adjust both the height of the projector and its distance from the screen without forgetting to center it properly to adjust the size of the image and the height at which it is projected. With a fixed screen, care should be taken to adjust the screen’s height according to the height of the projected image. An electric projection screen offers a little more flexibility since it is possible to adjust the height of the screen quite precisely.

A test pattern is available in the settings menu to help you adjust the image more easily so that it is perfectly aligned with the screen.

The Optoma CinemaX P2 projector is equipped with height-adjustable feet with two spacers to tighten them just enough to keep the chassis level (see slideshow below).

Optoma CinemaX P2: our impressions

Menu and applications

The Optoma CinemaX P2’s menu is functional and fairly intuitive, although not very aesthetically appealing. The manufacturer has made the effort to add a wallpaper and to embed the date and time on the home screen, which groups together the icons used to access settings, sources and apps.

Several apps are accessible via the Optoma CinemaX P2’s Marketplace.

Netflix, Prime Video, Rakuten TV, Deezer, Spotify, Tidal and SoundCloud applications can be downloaded directly from the Top Applications menu in the Marketplace. It is also possible to download the Plex software to enjoy multimedia files shared over the local network (stored on a NAS for example) with a very user-friendly navigation interface. Disney+ is not included in the list of directly downloadable apps, which is a bit disappointing.

Unfortunately, in practice we were unable to connect to Netflix after downloading the application, as login systematically failed. Also, we were unable to access the Aptoide app store, which was unavailable every time we tried to connect. However, we were able to use Plex to play video files stored on a NAS over our local network.

In the settings menus of the projector, you will find the usual features available on most other Optoma video projectors: image, display, audio…

Day/night projection

The Optoma CinemaX P2 projector’s laser lamp delivers a maximum brightness of 3000 lumens, which should technically be enough to project during the middle of the day. In reality, however, it isn’t that simple, as with the other UST projectors we’ve reviewed. During the day, it is recommended to project onto a technical screen like the Lumene Movie Palace UHD 4K Extra Bright screen or onto a grey wall, ideally with the curtains closed (blackout curtains if possible). If not, the picture is pale and not very appealing, as you can see in the following slideshow with the curtains open (photo 1), partially closed (photo 2) and completely closed (photo 3).

Mad Max: Fury Road (4K HDR)

The 4K HDR Blu-ray disc of the movie Mad Max: Fury Road is perfect for testing an HDR projector: it is filled with scenes shot in semi-darkness or, on the contrary, in intense light in the desert. In addition, there is no shortage of close-ups of the actors’ faces with their weathered skin, burned by the sun and sandstorms.

In practice, the CinemaX P2’s management of low and high lights was very pleasing. For example, during the first few minutes of the movie when Max runs through the Citadel to try and escape from his captors, the many details in the darkest parts of the image remained visible and the whites nuanced.

During the chase scenes in the desert, the colors of the sand were well rendered with many ochre-brown tones. The sometimes gleaming, sometimes rusty vehicles looked very realistic. During the close-ups, the faces had realistic skin tones and many details (hair, wrinkles, scars…).

Inside the cabin of Furiosa’s truck, the many details of the dashboard were visible and were once again very realistically rendered. From the tan leather covering on the steering wheel, the dials, switches and gear lever handle to the details of Furiosa’s mechanical arm, one cannot help but admire the set designers’ workmanship with the materials and colors. Even when there was strong back-lighting in the cabin, the image projected by the Optoma CinemaX P2 was balanced and detailed, in both the dark and bright areas.

Le Mans 66 (4K HDR)

Out of all the different 4K projectors we recently tested, it is the Optoma CinemaX P2 that provided the most breathtaking images with James Mangold’s movie. It managed to deliver an extremely high level of detail without the picture becoming exaggerated (close-ups on faces, textures, materials …).

In the Reference picture mode with the original settings, the colors were remarkably balanced. The tones were rich and nuanced, ideally saturated with a very realistic result. HDR content was also handled very well, making full use of the laser lamp’s brightness. Dark areas were nuanced without appearing faded, highlights were intense and detailed. We took real pleasure in rediscovering this movie with the Optoma CinemaX P2.

Live in Prague – Hans Zimmer (1080p)

With the Blu-ray player output set to 1080p to disable upscaling, we were able to test the projector’s 1080p to 4K scaling quality. The Optoma seemed a little less efficient than the best TVs in this field in terms of finesse and detail. But because it doesn’t overdo it, the image remains soft and natural and doesn’t feature overly sharp contours as is the case with bad upscaling.

However, be careful to check that the sharpness setting is set to Off, otherwise you may quickly notice noise in uniform areas. It was very obvious with this Blu-ray of Hans Zimmer’s concert as soon as an artist was isolated by a spotlight while the rest of the stage was dark. Dozens of white dots polluted the black background. Once the sharpness is deactivated, the blacks become consistent and intense.

Optoma CinemaX P2: compared to…

Samsung The Premiere LSP7T

Sold for €3,490, €500 less than the Optoma model, the Samsung The Premiere LSP7T offers a more user-friendly interface and a softer look with its rounded edges and corner. The connectivity features of these two projectors are virtually the same with access to many online service applications, but the Samsung menu is more pleasant to use. However, the noise the  LSP7T makes is a lot less pleasant. The CinemaX P2 is a lot more discreet.

Regarding the picture, the Samsung projector provides more flattering colors with higher saturation, even in Cinema mode. We preferred the image of the Optoma CinemaX P2, which bears its name very well as it projects a very cinematographic image with accurate, well-balanced and natural colors. 1080p to 4K upscaling is more effective with the Samsung LSP7T with a little more visible detail without going over the top, but the smooth scaling provided by the Optoma projector remains very pleasant. Lastly, the CinemaX P2’s higher brightness ensures a more legible image when the room isn’t dark, which is an asset when projecting during the day or in a partially lit room.

For the sound, the Optoma model manages to widen the soundstage enough to provide satisfying immersion, but the Samsung is even better and offers more powerful bass.

BenQ V6050

More affordable than the BenQ model which costs €1000 more, the Optoma CinemaX P2 projector has a wider range of connectors with three HDMI outputs as well as network and internet access. It’s not an Android TV, but the Optoma projector is connected all the same! What’s more, the CinemaX P2 is a lot quieter than the BenQ model.

In terms of picture, the BenQ V6050 impressed us with its very “cinematographic” HDR rendering. The Optoma does almost as well, with a colorimetry that seemed more accurate and better sharpness in 4K. When it comes to audio, the more powerful BenQ gives soundtracks more substance, with slightly more intense lows. Another advantage for the BenQ model is its automatic motorized protective lens cover.

Optoma CinemaX P2: conclusion

The Optoma CinemaX P2 is arguably the 4K UST projector with the best value for money on the market right now.

We were impressed by its “cinema-like” picture with very accurate colors and great HDR management. It is remarkably quiet, even with the laser lamp at maximum power. The custom Android menu is a bit dated but functional. However, to enjoy certain apps such as Netflix and Prime Video, you will need to invest in an external box or a compatible network media player because the versions of these applications installed on the projector were not functional at the time of this test. The manufacturer also informed us that the video quality on these versions might be restricted. Perhaps a future update will fix this.

In terms of sound, without performing miracles with its stereo audio section, the Optoma manages to widen the soundstage enough to offer satisfying immersion. With Le Mans 66, the audio “panoramas” are well rendered, even though we would have appreciated even more breadth. The stereo is prominent, the dialogues are audible but the spatialization could be wider. Finally, the bass is a little weak compared to that of the Samsung and BenQ models.

To summarize, Optoma’s CinemaX P2 sets the bar high in terms of image quality and delivers a truly compelling cinematographic experience. This 4K HDR laser projector should be a serious contender if you want to project a very large image in your living room without the drawbacks of a conventional projector. It’s quite possibly the best ultra-short focal length projector in this price range.

Optoma CinemaX P2 - Laser TV 4K HDR
The Optoma CinemaX P2 UST projector impressed us with its precise and detailed color-accurate image.

What we liked

  • The very natural colors (Reference mode)
  • The excellent HDR management
  • The exhaustive range of connectors
  • How quiet it is

What we would have liked

  • Wider spatialization and deeper lows
  • DTS compatibility via USB
  • Android TV rather than an older customized version

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