LG CineBeam PF610P Full HD Projector review

Not a bad portable projector, but it struggles against the competition

LG CineBeam PF610P
(Image: © Mark Knapp)

TechRadar Verdict

The LG CineBeam PF610P shines bright and provides a nice picture for your home theater. It can hold up in less-than-ideal circumstances, but is better served in a dark and quiet space or with external speakers. Its biggest fault is that competitors generally deliver more for your money.

Pros

  • +

    Pretty picture

  • +

    Effective brightness

  • +

    Versatile

Cons

  • -

    Expensive next to competition

  • -

    Dithering in the dark

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One-minute review

LG’s providing a value-focused home projector with CineBeam PF610P. At $849 (about £630, AU$1170), it’s not exactly a steal, but it’s packing a decently powerful cinema experience into a package you could easily slide into a backpack — try to find a TV that can do that.

The LG CineBeam PF610P is almost an all-in-one package with its bright projection, dual speakers, and webOS smart TV platform. This all makes it exceptionally easy to set up. A variety of ports, keystone adjustments, and wide connectivity options also make it flexible in how you use it. 

The picture the LG CineBeam PF610P provides is solid and falls in line with a lot of the other projectors we’ve tested in its price range. The LG CineBeam PF610P skews on the expensive side for these smaller units, coming in above the Xgimi Elfin, but it provides a brighter picture with that price trade-off. It’s also a fair bit larger than the Xgimi Elfin. The LED light source also provides a long rated lifespan, so you don’t have to worry so much about the bulb burning out as with many larger projectors.

Overall, the LG CineBeam PF610P can serve as a decent home theater device for small rooms. It has enough sound for bedroom or small living room, and it’s bright enough to hold up even if you can’t completely black out a room. Two HDMI ports allow for extra input devices while there’s ample connectivity options for external audio.

As good as it is, the LG CineBeam PF610P isn’t stepping out ahead of its competition. While only being a little dimmer, the Xgimi Elfin is both more affordable and compact, making it extra convenient. Xgimi also has the Halo+ projector which provides a comparable experience with portability stacked on top thanks to a built-in battery. So the LG CineBeam PF610P is flanked on one side by an assortment of great portable offerings from Xgimi while bigger projectors like the Optoma HD39HDR and BenQ TH585 go brighter, louder, and faster while often costing less.

Price and release date

The LG CineBeam Projector PF610P is available for $849 from LG (opens in new tab) and Amazon (opens in new tab) in the US. It is currently not offered in the UK.  

Design and features

The LG CineBeam PF610P is something of a low-key projector thanks to its trimmed down proportions compared to a lot of other home theater projectors. It measures just 8.9 x 7.6 inches and is just under 3 inches tall. It’s also only 3.7 pounds, so it’s not hard to pick up and carry from room to room. Its white plastic design is relaxed but doesn’t offer a lot of visual appeal.

Despite its compact design, the LG CineBeam PF610P is still offering a fairly full-featured home cinema system. It’s only delivering a 1080p picture, but it boasts a 1,000-lumen peak brightness, HDR10 support to provide up to a 120-inch picture. 

With automatic keystone adjustment and manual image resizing, it’s easy to frame the projection to fit the space, though it can result in somewhat distracting borders that aren’t quite pitch black. Focus has to be adjusted manually, using a dial on top of the projector — something worth considering if you’re mounting the projector to the ceiling. 

LG CineBeam PF610P

(Image credit: Mark Knapp)

The projector packs in a pair of 3W speakers for stereo sound. Audio comes through clear enough, easily overpowering the fan noise, and it’ll do in a quiet, 100 sq. ft. room, but you’ll want to augment it with something a bit beefier if you are trying to fill a large living room and watch with boisterous friends. Thankfully, there’s HDMI ARC, a 3.5mm audio jack, optical audio, and Bluetooth available for external audio connections. 

Beyond those audio connections, the projector includes another HDMI port, two USB ports (easy power if you’re plugging in a streaming stick), and an Ethernet port for wired networking. You don’t need to actually use the HDMI ports, though, as the LG CineBeam PF610P runs LG’s webOS smart TV platform as well as supporting Miracast and Apple Airplay 2. This provides access to tons of content using just the included remote. Said remote isn’t quite as simplified and elegant as a lot of what you’ll find coming with streaming sticks and some other projectors, like those coming from Xgimi, but it’s a fairly standard TV remote and plenty effective. 

LG CineBeam PF610P

(Image credit: Mark Knapp)

Picture quality

The LG CineBeam PF610P has a commendable picture but it’s not doing much to step out ahead of its competition. Its 1,000 ANSI Lumen brightness level makes it mostly usable in even rooms that aren’t completely blacked out — light out and a light-filtering shade is enough to enjoy an 80-inch picture. But, it’s easy to have dark visuals get washed out, so it does require a dark room to ensure picture quality is good throughout. 

In ideal conditions, the brightness and color are lovely. The colors come through vibrant and poppy. It doesn’t feel overly biased in any direction, though the LG CineBeam PF610P does offer a variety of brightness/HDR modes, and the Brightest setting dramatically skews toward green. We find the Standard and Vibrant modes look best while providing ample brightness. 

Motion clarity on the projector is good, thankfully, as there is no increased refresh rate or settings to adjust motion. Panning shots aren’t riddled with judder and action is clear. 

LG CineBeam PF610P

(Image credit: Mark Knapp)

The LG CineBeam PF610P does suffer from one of the issues we’ve seen on a number of other DLP projectors, namely dithering. It’s absent in brighter elements, but large swathes showing dark shades include this dithering. It’s a distracting effect that looks like little squirming spots, and it’s likely to be more pronounced in cartoons and 3D animation/games.  

Given that the LG CineBeam PF610P is a considerable uptick in price over the Xgimi Elfin we recently tested, we’re surprised to see such a similar picture quality. LG may win out in brightness, but both projectors effectively require a dark room for proper enjoyment, so the 200-lumen difference isn’t necessarily worth the $200 difference.

Should you buy the LG CineBeam PF610P?

Buy it if...

You want a bright but small projector
The LG CineBeam PF610P isn’t much bigger than a large hard-cover book, but it provides a competitively bright image and reasonably sharp picture. It’ll hold up in a dark room well and can muster a viewable picture even in unideal conditions if you’re watching bright content.

You like webOS
The LG CineBeam PF610P has webOS built into it. This provides plenty of options for streaming without having to plug other dongles or video sources in. It also supports a variety of casting technologies. Well other projectors may offer similar features, you’re only going to find webOS on LG devices.

You want some portability
The LG CineBeam PF610P doesn’t run on a battery, but it’s still very compact. You can easily throw this into a backpack with the power cable and a tripod to the homes of friends or family for a portable cinema.

Don’t buy it if… 

You want the best picture for your money
At $849, the LG CineBeam PF610P is edging into the territory of much more serious projectors. You find models offering thousands of lumens of brightness at this price alongside HDR support, some even bump up the refresh rate for gaming.

You don’t plan to dim the lights
The LG CineBeam PF610P may be able to handle some content in brighter environments, but a great many movies, shows, and games will just look awful whenever there’s a dark scene if you don’t manage the ambient light. 

You’re into gaming and cartoons
Like many of the more affordable LED DLP projectors we’ve recently tested, there’s a distracting dithering present in darker colors that’s especially noticeable on large areas of solid color. It can be really hard to focus in games with that dithering creating an artificial movement in the dark, and it’ll pop up a lot in animation. 

Mark Knapp

Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.