If you are in the market for a super-cheap and inexpensive projector that you can use outdoors, and also one that’s truly portable then the Kadoola Z495 might be worth consideration.
It’s a very recent addition to the mini-projector market, as I’ve only recently seen it pop up on Amazon. I thought I’d take a closer look to see how it stands up and compares against other models. You can read my full review below. I have not been paid by this company for my review.
Review of the Kadoola X495 LCD Portable Mini-Projector
So first impressions?
Well, it’s cheap, and it kind of looks a little cheap too.
But then it is cheap, and you can buy it for less than $100 in most cases – But don’t let that put you off too much, because it actually feels pretty robust and stands up really well just being thrown into a backpack… and that’s kind of where I feel this product sits – in other words as an outdoor projector you might take on your travels with you or just for small, intimate events.
Obviously though, it not just designed for the outdoors, and if you are thinking of buying it to use indoors, then it should be fine in bedrooms and smaller environments.
Where I can see it being used is in hotel rooms where perhaps there are no TV facilities, or whilst travelling with friends, or on camping trips. It’s not battery-powered though, so wherever you are, you will still need to connect it up to a power source via the power port and cable.
Does it Work Well for Outdoor Movie Parties?
Would I use it for backyard movie parties?
Personally, it’s not for me. But that’s only because I’ve been in the game for a number of years, and have higher-end equipment that I prefer to use.
But… if you are starting out in throwing your own outdoor movie parties at home, and the audience is just going to be you, your other half, and kids – in other words audiences of 5 people or under then it might be a reasonable investment.
It’s a decent projector for small gatherings and travelling or to use in a bedroom, perhaps with a games console against a wall.
If you are thinking about running larger outdoor events, then don’t bother, and look for something more fit for purpose. It does have a built-in speaker, but you might want to connect up external speakers to it to amplify and make it louder – the speaker is probably the weakest element of the entire Kadoola Z495 – it’s not of a brilliant sound quality.
But if you want to stay small, or even are just looking to throw a one-off backyard movie night then give it a go.
Click here to see the latest prices on Amazon.com. At point of review, it was less than $100.
What are the other aspects that might make you want to buy?
Well there’s the chunky feeling buttons and simple dials which make the operation of the product actually very simple. You adjust the focus really easily, making the image larger or smaller just by using the black dials.
It has 1080p HD resolution, but once you start projecting to an image size of 130 inches wide you will start to lose quality. So, bear in mind that ideally you don’t want to project onto a screen or surface larger than 10 foot wide.
What Else You Will Need?
You can either plug an SD card into it, or you will need a media player. You might also want to consider additional speakers to increase the volume on what aren’t brilliant built-in ones. And obviously, you will need a screen on which to project onto – or a wall!
The Kadoola Z495 has multiple ports including a card for an SD slot – you might not even have to plug a player device into it if you have media on a card.
But, most people will want to play from a device, and this comes with USB slots, plus HDMI, AV, and VGA connections meaning pretty anything can be hooked up to the Kadoola Z495 to start playing movies.
For example, you can get it working with any of the following playing devices:
- External hard disk
- SD card
- DVD player
- Games console
Note though, you will need to purchase a wireless HDMI adapter separately though if you want to play media via an iPad or smartphone.
But who are Kadoola? They are a Chinese brand founded in 2017. They own their own factory and manufacture their own products.
My experience of buying electronics from the Chinese market is that over the last 3 years or so it’s become a lot better. They tend to mimic and imitate leading products on the market, and the Kadoola Z495 appears to be inspired by the BenQ and Epson range.
- Display Type: 4″ LCD
- Brightness: 2000 Lumens
- Keystone Correction: 12° Vertical
- Aspect Ratio: 2000:1
- Native Resolution: 800×480
- Displayable Colors: 1.67 Million
- Projection Size: 30″-220″ inches
- Connectivity Technology: HDMI,VGA,AV,USB,SD
How to Set-Up and Use
It’s one of the simplest portable and mini outdoor projectors, simply due to the size and the way in which it’s designed. It’s very much a plug and play device.
Once you’ve set it down, you will need to connect your own speaker to it if you want a really good audio experience.
Once that’s done, get it connected to the power supply, connect your chosen media player and test projecting onto your outdoor movie screen.
To get the best picture you will need to adjust the projector lens using the black dial, and move the projector back and forth until you are happy with the projected size and focus.
When the movie starts playing, you have a small remote control that lets you operate everything. Don’t lose it as otherwise you will need to stand by the projector and use the white buttons on the unit instead.
- It’s very portable and can fit in your hand
- It’s very cheap
- It’s simply to use (plug and play)
- Lamp lifespan of 30,000 hours
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- It’s a new brand, and as such it’s hard to say what their customer support is like
- Only 2,000 lumens so needs to be complete night to achieve the best outdoor image
- The built-in speaker are poor, I would advise additional speakers if a large party
If price-point is an important consideration for you, then the Kadoola Z495 is an OK investment. It’s not going to work brilliantly for large outdoor movie parties, but if it’s just the two of you it could be perfect.
Please note, this website is all about outdoor movies, if you are considering this for using indoors, then I’ve got no issues with it. You will need to ensure that your room is completely dark though to get the best results.
With larger outdoor gatherings, it’s audio will let it down, so you will need to connect up additional speakers to it.
It should last a reasonably long time, and whilst it doesn’t have the same design aesthetics of the more popular brands, it’s worth looking past that at how functional it is.
If you want something cheap, something you can carry around, and are planning a fun evening this could be for you.
There are alternative products I would recommend ahead of it, and you can see those by clicking into the recommended gear section – and in particular my recommended projector screens page which gives options for all budgets.