This is the first projector I have tested that is LED based as opposed to the previous generation. I have seen many budget projectors on the market but when examining specs, it turns out they were little more than toys with awful resolution and no power. Therefore I was expecting a lot more from this, currently priced at £161.
It is a neat looking set up with build quality in line with a low-end printer, that is to say functional, quality of things like the plastic leg to change projecting angle seems a little flimsy. The ring to adjust lens focus too. However during my 20 hours of testing, none of my fears were founded. The benefit of this is that it is a LOT lighter than my previous projector, a Hitachi ED-X15.
To sum up the improvements over that generation of projectors:
*HDMI and component inputs
*Media support via two USB ports
*Firmware upgrade via the same
*Handles a 1080p input
*Much, much cheaper
*Fully functional remote control
*Flimsier build quality
*Manual keystone control via a mechanical dial
*Power input via kettle lead does not sit neatly in the the socket, rather it has a few mm of play
A 1.5M HMDI and Red yellow white RCA leads are included. Setup is easy, the menu has no quirks with a simple up down left right, OK and back system.
Sound is OK. For my purposes I plugged an external stereo speaker into a pair of phono outputs. This didn’t cut out the internal audio so that will have to be muted or turned down if you want solely the audio out to your speakers or hifi.
I tested it projected at the minimum distance giving a diagonal image of 50″ at 16:9 ratio. At this close, focusing had to be exact. Adjusting the keystone at minimal distance meant that either the top or the bottom of the picture went ever so slightly out of focus. I overcame this by raising the projector to get a perpendicular image rather than a slanted projection. At longer distances for a larger image, this ceases to be a problem.
The last image I have added here is a blown up section of the pure light coming from the sensor. This is to show the LED pattern. As you may be able to see the reds, greens and blues are interleaved nicely, meaning less moire interference and less blockiness of the projected image.
I tested mostly with a set-top box via HDMI. This worked perfectly, once adjusted for colour temperature and sharpness. My preference is for a cooler image and high contrast. I also tried a SONY Playstation 3 running games at 720p. This worked very well and is how I mostly used my previous projector as I will this one.
Image is bright and clear in a darkened room and still visible and watchable even during a sunny day.
Lastly, the projector does support playing media via the USB ports. I tried all types of media which were handled well with the exception of an older MPG video which seemed to stutter every few seconds. All over major filetypes played without problems.
The RAGU RG-01 is a capable mid-market LED projector which is energy efficient compared to older models meaning less heat and less noise. There are no major problems and once the price of this decreases with the Christmas rush (2016) becomes more and more attractive. It is what the Chinese do best which is to not settle for the cheapest components to get a sale, only for the product to fail but to leverage maximum functionality for a good price. I can recommend it for TV or for gaming.
Disclosure: I write reviews for press and websites, including national magazines and have done for years. The normal way this is done is an item is sent to a reviewer for their professional appraisal. No money changes hands and it is expected that the review will highlight both good and bad. In this case I paid a large chunk of the normal price and have reviewed the projector from the point of view of a paying customer.
Also, this is NOT made by the same people that make the pasta sauce. Which is probably a good thing.
All text, images, video and sound are © Tony Coleby or fair use for review purposes.