Anker Nebula Cosmos Max 4KSource: CordCutters

Ask anyone who's been anywhere near a video projector their two biggest painpoints, and undoubtedly you'll be told the same things: Resolution, and audio quality. The new Anker Nebula Cosmos Max aims to address both of those.

Announced this week in New York City, the Cosmos Max is a 4K-resolution projector that also incorporates Dolby Digital Plus 3D audio for an experience that it hopes will surpass pretty much every other projector. That's an admittedly low bar - projector audio typically is "terreible," Anker's execs noted at the event. The Cosmos Max looks to do something about that.

Anker is funding this one on Kickstarter. It's listed at $999 (with the list price at $1,699), with delivery in April 2020.

First, though, the particulars: The Cosmos Max outputs at a max resolution of 3940x2160, at up to 1500 ANSI lumens. The LED illuminating the whole thing is rated for 30,000 hours, or a little under three and a half years. (That's if it were to be lit continuously, of course.) It'll do a minimum screen size of 30 inches from a half-meter of distance, or up to 150 inches from 3.58 meters, or about 11 and a half feet away. The whole thing is powered by an Amlogic 962X2 processor, with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. It's not running Android TV, but has an Android 9 build on board instead. Netflix, KYouTube, TED and Spotify are all supported out of the box.

Resolution is, as always, a numbers game. More is better, and 1080p is better than 720p. And so 4K is even more important if you're talking about a projector-size display. To that end, the demo video we experienced looked decent enough, fed through local storage mounted on one of the USB ports. The source material is important as every, though. So it remains to be seen how compressed streaming video may look.

And should you want to use some other streaming device for the input method, two HDMI ports on the back will take care of that.

On the audio end, the Cosmos Max features four 10-Watt speakers for "3D audio." Anker talks about it being "theater-quality," which doesn't necessarly mean anything. That said, we got a brief listen to it in a somewhat noisy environment. And while it's definitely not the worst theater audio system we've ever heard, you'll be forgiven if you want to consider an external audio source if you're planning on using this indoors. Or outdoors. It's better than nothing, but it's still limited by the laws of physics.

Projection video

Anker Nebula Cosmos Max

A 4K display meets improved audio

The Anker Nebula 4K Cosmos Max beefs up the resolution and includes 3D Dolby audio in a decent package that doesn't break the bank.