Tiny. Stylish design. Good tripod for a small projector. HDMI port is MHL-enabled for connecting to compatible mobile devices. Rechargeable internal battery.
Does not connect wirelessly. Poorly responsive touchpad. Underwhelming Android experience. Rainbow effect in video.
- Bottom Line
The RIF6 Cube, a tiny, elegant projector that can mirror the screens of mobile devices and project content from a microSD card, is good for casual use, although its video quality could be better.
By Tony Hoffman
The aptly named RIF6 Cube ($299) is a tiny, cube-shaped projector, just 2 inches on each side. Its silver frame with black trim give the Cube a touch of elegance, and it has its share of useful functionality: For example, you can mirror the screen of an MHL-compatible mobile device connected to its HDMI port or project content from a microSD card. But unlike the Editors' Choice Celluon PicoPro, the Cube lacks wireless connectivity, which hurts its portability, and its video shows potentially distracting rainbow artifacts.
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Design and Features
The Cube is a DLP-based LED projector with a rated brightness of 50 lumens and a native resolution of 854 by 480 pixels, both typical for moderately priced pico projectors. Its native resolution is the same as on both the Lenovo Pocket Projector, which is also rated at 50 lumens, and the XSories X-Project WiFi , with a rated brightness of 100 lumens.
Not surprisingly, the RIF6 Cube is a near-perfect cube, measuring 2 by 2 by 1.9 inches (HWD) and weighing just 5 ounces. It's a handsome design, with four of its sides made from a single folded sheet of aluminum—one side with a hole cut into it for the lens—and the other two sides of black plastic. Geometrically, it resembles the UO Smart Beam Laser Projector, a cube-shaped mobile projector 2.2 inches on a side. The downside of its shape is that it makes the Cube hard to fit in most pockets. The Editors' Choice Celluon PicoPro, which resembles a cell phone, has a much more pocketable shape.
On the Cube's right side are a USB Type Micro-B port for charging the projector, the Power button, and a headphone jack. On the left side are a microSD card slot, a mini HDMI port that is MHL-enabled for connecting with a compatible mobile device, and a tiny focus wheel. Unlike the Celluon PicoPro or the XSories X-Project WiFi, the Cube does not connect wirelessly.
The projector comes with two mini HDMI cables, one compatible with Samsung mobile devices, the other compatible with most other Android phones and tablets. (To project from an iOS device, you'll need to buy a Lightning-to-HDMI adapter.) In addition to photos and video, the projector can also display text files and play music files stored on a microSD card.
The Cube comes with a small tripod with an unusual design. Instead of the tripod screwing into a threaded hole in the bottom of the projector, as is typical, a small aluminum mount screwed into the top of the tripod grips two of the projector's lower corners. Tightening a bolt secures the projector in place. With this arrangement, it is easy to remove the projector from the tripod by loosening the bolt. The mostly black tripod and silver mount match the Cube's stylish design, as does the projector's remote, which is silver with black trim. Also included is a plug-in wall adapter/charger with two USB ports, a 2-amp port to power the cube, and a 1-amp port for charging when the projector is switched off.
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I tested the Cube for image quality under theater-dark conditions. A good image size for a dark room proved to be about 30 inches (measured diagonally). When I added ambient light, 20 inches was comfortable.
In testing, I projected a series of photos and other images, and played an assortment of videos, all from an SD card. Image quality for both photos and videos was typical for a low-brightness LED pico projector. The still images generally looked good, although some showed an excessive amount of red. I noticed a significant enough rainbow effect (little red-green-blue flashes) in images that tend to bring it out that it could well be distracting to people sensitive to the effect. The Cube's rainbow effect was somewhat more pronounced than that of the XSories WiFi, which I tested at the same time. As a laser-based projector, the Celluon PicoPro displays video free of rainbow artifacts.
The single 1-watt speaker is predictably feeble, which is typical of a pocket projector. If you want louder sound, you can connect a powered external speaker to the projector's audio-in jack.
The RIF6 Cube is a handsome, cube-shaped mini projector with matching tripod/mount and remote, which add to its style. Potentially distracting rainbow artifacts were apparent in our video test clips, so its use is best kept to relatively short clips. The Editors' Choice Celluon PicoPro is laser-based, and thus free of rainbow artifacts, and can also connect wirelessly, unlike the Cube. But if you can make do with the Cube's MHL-enabled HDMI port, which lets you connect to compatible mobile devices via a cable, and its microSD port, the Cube is an attractive choice at a reasonable price.
As Analyst for printers, scanners, and projectors, Tony Hoffman tests and reviews these products and provides news coverage for these categories. Tony has worked at PC Magazine since 2004, first as a Staff Editor, then as Reviews Editor, and more recently as Managing Editor for the printers, scanners, and projectors team. In addition to editing, Tony has written articles on digital photography and reviews of digital cameras, PCs, and iPhone apps Prior to joining the PCMag team, Tony worked for 17 years in magazine and journal… More »
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