DBPower L21 Review – Best Projector under $100?

With the advancement in modern technology, projectors have become cheaper than they’ve ever been.

One such example is the DBPower L21. It is a sub-$100 projector that offers a casual big-screen watching experience without emptying your pocket. For this price, you get a featherweight projector with a compact size that you can easily carry anywhere.

In this DBPower L21 Review, we’ll look at the overall aspects of this projector, including its design, built quality, and performance. Plus, we’ll also look at a few unique features and functions that it has to offer.

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

DBPower L21 Review

  • [REMARKABLE BRIGHTNESS AND CLARITY]: DBPOWER L21 projector adopts the latest 4.3’’ LCD display technology with advanced LED light sources, bright 200ANSI-6000Lux, 3000:1 contrast ratio, supporting 1920x1080p highest resolution makes it brighter than other comparable Mini projectors on the market. It’s ideal for home entertainment in dark. NOT recommended for Power point, Word, Excel or business presentation.
  • [AMAZING MOVIE EXPERIENCE]: This DBPOWE L21 portable video projector support 1080P full HD with 1280*720p native resolution. It displays images between 40-200 inches, with a projection distance of 1-5m. For optimum viewing, placing the projector at a distance of 1.8 to 2.0m, while adjusting the focus and keystone correction, will achieve a super-clear and bright projection.
  • [MULTIMEDIA PORTABLE PROJECTOR]: DBPOWER L21 smart-phone mini projector is compatible with TV Box, Amazon Fire TV Stick, PCs, Laptops, Tablets, Speakers, Chrome Book, DVD players, SD Cards, USB Flash Drives, Media players, ipad, iphone and Android Smart phones. NOTE: When connected with smart phones, a Wi-Fi display dongle or HDMI adapter (not included) is required.
  • [INCREDIBLE SPEAKERS AND FAN]: DBPOWER L21 home portable movie projector equipped advanced built-in speakers system, offering excellent loud sound quality without connecting external speaker. Powerful cooling system cools the heat of lamp efficiently, extending the bulb life to 50,000 hours, thoughtful details for better use.
  • [3-YEAR WARRANTY with Carrying Case Included]: Backed by a 3-YEAR warranty, updated batches included carrying case, you have nothing to lose by purchasing our DBPOWER L21 mini projector. Registering within 7 days after receiving your projector to active 3-YEAR warranty and get free exclusive gift. Professional customer service and free tech support is available. If you have any questions with your purchase, please feel free to contact us anytime!

First Impression & Design

Being priced under $100, you’ll notice that the DBPower L21 has a minimalistic design. It is available in a compact casing that makes it easier to carry anywhere you go. It weighs just 2.3 pounds, and the package comes with a carrying bag to make things easier.

DBPower L21 Review

Currently, this projector is sold in its updated avatar; thus, you get additional new features that we’ll talk about in a bit.

Within the package, you are first greeted with the projector itself. Alongside, you also get a remote control, power cord, HDMI cable, audio cable, and instruction manual. Just like the projector, the instruction manual is very straightforward because the projector is very easy to set up.

Talking about the design, the DBPower L21 sports the projector lens and IR sensor at the front. The top features a focus ring, keystone correction ring, and 9 backlit control buttons, including the power button.

DBPower L21 Top Control Buttons

The back features a VGA port and IR sensor. The left-hand side features connectivity options like 2x HDMI ports, USB port, 3.5mm audio jack, AV port, and SD card reader. The right-hand side features heat vent and power cable connector.

The bottom part of DBPower L21 features 4 rubber feet and 1 screw-type kickstand. You get a quarter-inch screw threading at the center to mount this projector on a tripod or ceiling mount. The bottom right corner has a 3W mono speaker for casual audio listening.


Built Quality & Performance

For $100, don’t expect the built quality to be breathtaking. It is made entirely out of plastic with a glossy finish. While this projector can withstand daily usage; however, a fall from a short height might be enough to break the projector casing and its internals.

With the provided carrying case, you can prevent damage while carrying it in your backpack or storing it in a cabinet. The carrying case makes it easy to carry this projector wherever you.

The first-time setup is effortless, and within few steps, you can configure and set up this projector. You can start using this projector by connecting a USB drive or SD card to view its content on a big screen.

DBPower Cheap Projector under $100

Price-wise, the user interface isn’t candy dandy, it feels rough and not well put together, yet it gets the job done. The OSD menu is very simplistic, and hence getting around it won’t be an issue. The OSD menu text feels a little pixelated, but that is the projector’s software problem and not related to display quality.

A big reason why DBPower L21 is a popular choice among other inexpensive projectors is its native resolution. This projector comes with 1280 x 720p native resolution with support for up to 1080p resolution content. It is hard to find a 720p projector for under $100.

On its product page, DBPower is marketing this projector with 6000L brightness and interchangeably using Lumen and Lux units to describe brightness. It is a common practice among cheaper projector brands to use this trickery to mislead first-time projector buyers.

Actual projector brightness is measured in lumens, which measures the light output from a light source, whereas the amount of light that falls on a surface is called Lux.

The DBPower L21 has 200 ANSI lumens brightness, where ANSI lumens is the industry standard to measure a projector’s brightness. In real-life usage, 200 ANSI lumens isn’t very bright, and thus you’ll require a very dark room to get a bright projection.

DBPower L21 LCD Video Projector with Carrying Case 6000L 1080P Supported

With the 2x HDMI port, you can connect a plethora of HDMI compliant devices to this projector, including PC, Playstation, Xbox, Laptop, Mobile, Tablet, etc. To add smart TV-like capabilities, you can connect a streaming media player like Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, or Roku and enjoy movies/TV shows on a big screen.

Suppose you’ve never used a projector before. In that case, you’ll enjoy the display quality since it’s comparatively bigger than your smartphone or laptop screen. However, you’ll notice the lack of sharpness.

In a dim room, the colors pop, and watching animated movies will be a joy on this projector. However, if you’re a cinema lover, you’ll find cinematic movies a little off-putting while watching on this pint-sized projector.

The DBPower L21 is capable of producing up to 200-inch projection. Although, it works best between 80-120 inches since you get the right amount of clarity and brightness.

DBPower L21 Projection Size

In the audio department, the 3W speaker is a good addition; however, to improve the audio experience, I’d suggest getting a dedicated speaker set.

Talking about daily use and heat dissipation, the DBPower L21 stays relatively cool. It uses an LED-based light source that takes zero startup time and doesn’t emit heat even when used for a long time.


Important Features & Functions

  • 4.3-inch LCD Screen – This projector uses single LCD technology to project content onto a projection surface. While most inexpensive projectors use a 4-inch LCD screen, the DBPower L21 is equipped with a 4.3-inch LCD screen. On the specs sheet, it might not make a huge difference; but, you get better clarity and sharpness with a slight increase in the LCD screen size.
  • 720p Native Resolution – For a sub-$100 projection, you get an excellent deal with 720p native resolution. Most projectors at this range come with 480p resolution and support up to 720p resolution. Whereas the DBPower L21 supports up to 1080p resolution content.
  • Extremely Lightweight – Weighing at 2.3 pounds, this projector can be easily carried everywhere. You can take it to your friend’s house for a movie night or take it with you on holiday and turn any place into a movie night. The addition of a carrying pouch makes sure the projector and its accessories stay in place. You also don’t need to worry about the projector taking a beating while carrying it around.

DBPower L21 Review: Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent price-to-performance ratio
  • Bigger LCD screen
  • Compact Size
  • Weighs just 2.3 pounds
  • Package comes with a carrying bag

Cons

  • Poor sound quality via the built-in speaker
  • Controls buttons on the projector aren’t evenly lit

Conclusion

In today’s time, it’s hard to imagine that you get so much tech just under $100. This projector is not for serious users. But if you’ve never owned a projector before and want one for casual use, then the DBPower L21 is an excellent starting point.

Since it’s priced under $100, you aren’t emptying your pocket, plus your friends will thank you for turning movie nights enjoyable.

With a good amount of connectivity options, you can attach several devices at one go. However, to make full usage of this projector, I’d suggest getting an aftermarket speaker to improve the overall audio experience.

If you have any questions regarding this projector, please don’t forget to leave your queries in the comment section below.

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