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Xgimi Z4 Aurora Smart Projector


Xgimi Z4-1

Xgimi Z4 Aurora

The Z4 Aurora is pure gadget. It’s a nice looking portable WXGA (1280×800) projector with 802.11ac Wi-Fi that adorably says “hello, gimi” as it boots into its custom Android 4.3 skin. It can be controlled by the included Bluetooth remote that doubles as a surprisingly handy on-screen pointer (enabled with a vigorous shake); or by a keyboard and mouse you supply; or by a very useful app that’s freely available to download for iOS or Android. And unlike many so-called pico projectors, this one’s really bright, pumping out a reported 700 ANSI lumens while maintaining a relatively small footprint of 7.72 x 7.72 x 1.97 inches (196 x 196 x 50mm) and 2.65 pounds (1.2kg). It’s also very quiet, rated below 30dB according to XGIMI. And wow, is it versatile.

Content can be sourced over the two HDMI jacks or the USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. Better yet, because it’s running Android you can download apps directly into the projector’s 16GB of onboard storage, and then login to Netflix, Plex, Hulu, YouTube, VLC, etc, and stream your content over Wi-Fi or built-in Ethernet. It supports Miracast, DLNA, and even AirPlay (XGIMI tells me it developed its own solution for video) to mirror or “cast” your media from a PC, Mac, Android, or iOS device. AirPlay worked fine from my MacBook, but I was never able to AirPlay from my iPhone 6 Plus.

The Z4 Aurora handled everything I threw at it without stutter. 1080p video played without hiccups over AirPlay as did a 4K MKV video stored on a USB 2.0 thumb drive. In both cases, the Z4 Aurora down-sampled the video to 720p. I even watched 10 minutes of a 1080p 3D movie served over Plex thanks to the active 3D glasses XGIMI bundled with my review unit (it created a dimly lit 3D effect which some people seem to enjoy). Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube all streamed without issue as well, though they were again limited to 720p resolution. And after an early issue with HDMI (more on that later), I was also able to use the Z4 Aurora with my Apple TV. Business users can even turn the Z4 Aurora into a Wi-Fi hotspot and then use a smartphone or other device to project or control Office documents and PDFs.

Xgimi Z4-3

Xgimi Z4-2