Vivitek has created a very easy-to-use, small, portable projector that is ideal for the minimalist office user or general consumer. The Qumi Q5-RD ($555, £360.88, AU$708.59) won't compete with the bigger dogs, like the Epson EX7235 Pro Projector ($599.99, £385.24, AU$738.45), or the Optima GT1080 ($1,399, £870, AU$1,600), but, if size is your only requirement, it might be a perfect choice.
Unfortunately, the Qumi Q5-RD's greatest downfall is that it lacks in image quality, which should be your main concern when purchasing a projector.
For starters, the Qumi Q5-RD is super small and pretty light. It weighs 1.1 lbs (490 grams) and is only as big as 6.3 inches wide x 4.02 inches deep x 1.27 inches tall (160 x 102.4 x 32.3mm). The Q5-RD comes with a soft case, a remote, an HDMI cable, an MHL Cable to connect to mobile devices (specifically for an older gen iPod/iPads), a VGA Cable, and an AC Power cable. Pretty impressive for something that can fit into a briefcase.
The native resolution for the Qumi Q5-RD is WXGA (1280 x 800) HD 720p and has a maximum output of UXGA (1600 x 1200) @60Hz. The image is just decent, even when set to its 500 lumens maximum. The image can also be projected as small as 1.55:1 feet (Distance/Width) and the projected image range can be expanded or contracted from 30" to 90" (0.8 to 2.3 yards).
The Qumi Q5-RD has a 2W speaker built into the device and the Q5-RD supports an HDMI v.1.3, 24-pin Universal-In port, A/V-In (3.5mm) port , Audio-Out (3.5mm) port, and an USB connection which is used for easy access for documents and is used for their Wi-Fi Dongle. Unfortunately, the Wi-Fi dongle does not come with the device and has to be purchased separately.
The Qumi Q5-RD is super easy to set up. Plug in the AC Adapter, then plug in your computer or device, and you are now up and running. The Qumi Q5-RD is super quick to boot, and to shut off. If you plug your device into the Qumi Q5-RD after it has already booted, it will prompt you to switch to that input (though you can change the settings to automatically switch).
The Qumi Q5-RD would be great for a very small room. It lacks a stand and adjustable feet, which is kind of annoying because it requires you to purchase a tripod to adjust the image angle. The AC adapter cord is too short, which may be good if the conference room you are in has power built into the table. Otherwise it may be best to carry around an extension cable.
When plugged in via HDMI, the picture quality is impressive for such a small device. It is smooth, and if you play a video from a streaming service or your computer, the Qumi Q5-RD handles the throughput very well with no noticeable lag in frame rate when streaming HD video.
You can plug a USB into the device and project directly. The USB has to be formatted in either FAT-32 or NTFS, so Mac and Linux users will have to keep that in mind. Reading file formats off of USB is a bit of a challenge as the Qumi Q5-RD does not support everything. For example, the Q5-RD only supports JPG, BMP, and PNG.
I tried different type of videos and found that .avi wasn't supported as the Q5-RD only supports MPEG-4, M-JPEG, and H.264 file formats. With regards to documents, the Qumi Q5-RD can read Microsoft Office 97-2007 Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files (doc/docx), along with text files and PDF files. The Qumi Q5-RD does support Music as well, MP3 (up to 256Kbps bit-rate), WMA, MID, MIDI, MP1, MP2, OGG, AAC, AMR, WAV, AC3, M4A, AWB, APE, but with the 2W speaker you won't want to buy this device for audio output.
The remote that comes with the Qumi Q5-RD might as well be ignored. I found that in order to use it, you had to be very close to the Q5-RD for the projector to pick up the remote commands. It's simple and really only good for looking at documents or PDFs.
The user interface is too basic and not smooth. If you are looking for something that looks more professional you may want to shop elsewhere. Using the touch-buttons on the device made navigating the menu far easier than the remote, though I did feel it was laggy. The auto-switch feature does bypass a lot of this and if you intend to solely use the Qumi Q5-RD via HDMI or another direct input, then just ignore this paragraph as it is pretty amazing with direct-to-projector inputs.
The fact that the Wi-Fi dongle needs to be purchased separately is disappointing.
The Qumi Q5-RD projector is lightweight, and just so easy to use, that I immediately envisioned it in a small conference room, classroom, home office, or even in the briefcase of a travelling salesperson. The device's simplicity and minimalist feel are perfect for someone who wants a small projector to plug in via VGA or HDMI, and go. Its fast boot time, decent image quality, and no-frills interface are all huge plusses.
The fact that you have to purchase extra items to get a perfect setup is a bit disappointing. The Qumi Q5-RD is great in its simplicity, but adjustable legs would have been nice. The lack of support for direct-to-projector files via the USB port is also frustrating. If you are going to have this option why can't you support GIF images? Also, the UI for this option is cumbersome as you have to navigate the Qumi Q5-RD's menu as it partitions Image, Movie, Office Documents, and Music as different categories. A rethink of the user experience may be needed here.
Overall, this projector is perfect for very basic needs. It's ideal in size and weight, and as long as you are using the direct inputs, the Qumi Q5-RD is a great choice. If you want something that has a nicer UI, or has a bit more features, then you may want to shop elsewhere.