We are currently facing a global pandemic that forces us to stay at home as much as possible. Covid-19 has become a worldwide threat and its negative effects might linger in the foreseeable future.
That doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy what time you have in your home. If you want a cinematic experience in your humble abode, you’d want to complete your home theater setup by getting a projector screen.
Read through the rest of the article to find the best projector screens in 2020.
Why Do You Need a Projector Screen?
People used to think that a completely white wall is enough when you are going to utilize a projector and although that is true to some extent, you are not going to get the best possible cinema experience.
That is because the material, the paint, and the overall smoothness of the wall might distort some of the images that are thrown by the projector.
A projector screen is a perfect accompaniment to that simply because it has a smooth surface, it provides better color accuracy, and it is much better when it comes to conveying the images provided by your projector.
If you are looking for the best, read the next section to find out our recommendations.
Best Projector Screens in 2020
1.Elite Screens ezFrame
Price: Starts at $160
The best overall projector screen is the Elite Screens ezFrame series. It is called a ‘series’ as it is offered in a variety of different sizes. The one I will be talking about is the company’s 135-inch variant.
This particular product is beloved by many because it produces the best possible colors and has a gain of 1.1. Ideally, you want a gain of 1.0 to be able to enjoy the pictures much better and this display offers a bit more than that.
The ezFrame series by Elite Screens is made of an anodized black aluminum frame with black velour surfacing. To the layperson, this just means that this display is capable of getting rid of any light overshoot by the projector and it also helps improve the screen’s picture contrast as well.
People that have a robust speaker system will be glad to know that the ‘AcousticPro’ surface of the display allows for better audio performance. That is because of the more breathable material that doesn’t have any problems passing through the sound.
This is very easy to install and the kit provides you with everything that you need to have this set-up in no time.
2.Silver Ticket 100-inch Screen
Not a lot of people are willing to spend some extra money to get a projector screen. In fact, they would just paint their walls white just to use their projectors and as I’ve said, this doesn’t provide the best possible home theater experience.
If you are stingy, then this next display might convince you to spend. The Silver Ticket projector display is a 100-inch screen that is voted best overall in 2018. The reason is that it provides good overall performance with a balance of features that are unlike any other similar ones at this price point.
The Silver Ticket has a gain of 1.1 and has a wide 160-degree-angle that provides ample viewing pleasure for anyone inside your own home theater.
The only thing that’s holding this display back is that it doesn’t have the ability to roll back up when you’re done using it. This is not big of a deal, but it is something to take note of.
3.Best Choice Products 119-inch Projector Screen
Although it has a really weird product name, this next projector screen is actually pretty good for its price. If you do not want to spend $200 on this kind of product, then this will surely sway you to buy one.
This is a 119-inch projector screen that has a white matte display that is capable of low-light penetration thanks to its black-backed screen. It has a high gain of 1.1 and the black border just makes it so that you will know where the screen ends.
Unlike the previous recommendation, this projector screen comes with a metal frame that you can install on your wall to allow you to store this product when it is not in use. It is pretty durable and lightweight so that you can easily set it up without a problem.
Included in the package are wall mounting brackets and screws so everything is just a matter of putting it up and forgetting about it.
With its anti-acid and anti-static materials, you can rest assured that the projector screen is resistant to dust and mildew.
Priced just right, the Best Choice Products 119-inch projector screen can be a good starting point for anyone who hasn’t used such a thing before.
4.Elite Screens Spectrum
The next projector screen may not be for everyone, but for serious movie enthusiasts, this is definitely one of the best out there.
The Elite Screens Spectrum is a 180-inch projector screen that is capable of supporting 4K content. It has a wide 180-degree viewing angle so that anyone who is inside your home theater will be able to see what’s on the screen without any problem.
It is motorized so that whenever you want to tuck the display away, you can just control it using its included infrared remote control.
This product has a pretty huge screen real estate. It measures 156.9 inches wide and 88.3 inches high so there is definitely a lot of screen space for everyone. In fact, I would go so far as to recommend this if you want to have a Netflix watch party on the weekend.
Everything that you need to install this screen is included in the package. You get wall mounts and ceiling mounts as well, with an option to also acquire an in-ceiling trim kit if you are willing to spend a little bit more.
Aside from the hefty price, it is also a heavy product as it weighs 52.9 pounds for the screen alone. You might want to have people to help you install this thing.
5.Elite Screens SB100WH2
This 100-inch projector screen by Elite Screens is a pretty good one for the budget-conscious. It is capable of supporting images of up to 8K resolution and it comes with plenty of options for you to tweak the entire thing.
It has a black velvet covering on its frame that can help absorb excess light which essentially means that there will be no light protrusion or anything spilling on the side.
There are also some included tensioning rods so that you can make the projector screen stay flat on the wall at all times. This is a great addition considering that such products tend to go side to side when you have your AC turned on.
This is what I would recommend is you have a budget of less than $200.
6.Vivo PS-E-100V 100-inch Display
If you know someone that wants to build their own home theater system but you also know that they are so thrifty, then turn their attention to this one.
The Vivo PS-E-100V is a 100-inch projector screen that has a 4:3 viewing area, is 80-inch wide, and 60-inch high.
It has a considerable gain of 1.1 which means that it produces punchy colors and prevents light penetration as much as possible.
You can mount this product either on your ceiling or on your wall and it comes included with the mounting kits that you need to do either one.
If you have a DLP, LED, or LCD projector, this should work well. It is also worth noting that this is a motorized projector as well so you can just have it stowed away automatically when it is not in use.
7.Optoma Panoview Freestanding Projector Screen
Optoma is a company that prides itself on amazing home cinema products. The Panoview is a 72-inch, 4:3 freestanding projector screen that you can just install anywhere without having to mount it on the wall or ceiling.
You see, I understand other people’s qualms about getting a projector screen because they do not want to run into the trouble of installing one in their homes. I get that and that is why I am recommending this product.
Although its display is shorter than 100 inches (which is considered to be a standard by many home theater enthusiasts), it still has a respectably large screen real estate regardless.
It is lightweight and you can have the option to adjust the height of the screen for a better viewing experience.
Although priced higher than other budget projector screens, the ability to have a bigger display without having to mount it is a pretty good compromise.
8.Gemmy Airblown Movie Screen
If you want to watch movies outside, then you will need a capable display that can handle the elements. Fortunately, there is one that I would recommend.
The Gemmy Airblown Movie Screen is a 123 x 77-inch inflatable projector display that you can place outside without having to worry about the elements.
You can take it around the pool, place it on your parking lot, or you can also bring it with you on your camping trips as well.
Its 160-degree viewing angle should be plenty enough for all of the people around the vicinity.
The only problem here is that the blower could potentially block the volume of the content you are watching, so I would recommend that you up the main volume to mitigate that.
Otherwise, this is a perfect projector screen that you can set up outside.
Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers
Smart home speakers are not as popular as mobile phones, but in my opinion, it actually should be.
You see, companies are slowly rolling out smart home devices so that your life will be so much easier given the convenience of having them.
That being said, I am going to be talking about the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo speakers because they are the ones that are at the forefront when it comes to smart home speakers. Which of these should you choose? Read on to find out!
For those of you who do not know, Google Nest Audio is actually the Google Home speakers that were released just about a year ago. It seems that Google wanted to use a new moniker to denote that this particular thing can ‘nest’ your other smart home devices.
The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, refers to the medium-sized Bluetooth speaker that the largest online retailer sells. The company is set to release a new version of this device soon, so it would be interesting to see how well it performs.
Even though the new version of the Amazon Echo hasn’t arrived at our doorstep yet for an official review, this is not to say that we can somehow speculate what it can offer, especially considering that the company has provided us with some really good information about it.
With all of those out of the way, let’s talk more about the design first. The Google Nest Audio takes on a more cylindrical approach in that the speaker itself has a higher height than the Amazon Echo.
For that reason, you are getting a 75mm woofer and a single 19mm tweeter. Google touts the Google Nest Audio as a better sound solution compared to its original Google Home Speaker because of the changes.
On the other hand, the Amazon Echo, in my opinion, has better sound quality. That is thanks to its two 20mm tweeters and a huge 76.2mm woofer. Its design is more spherical but I am pleased (and surprised) that Amazon was able to include two tweeters on its Bluetooth speaker implementation.
At the base of the Amazon Echo is a blue light ring that changes the way it emits light depending on the current usage.
Both of these Bluetooth speakers are offered in various colors so you have different options to choose from.
If you look at the design of both speakers, you could make a case that the Amazon Echo wins this round when it comes to pure sound quality. Its two tweeters compared to the single tweeter on the Google Nest Audio, provides it with a much better chance of delivering mid-high sound frequencies.
This is not to discount the fact that Google has some tricks up its sleeves because its AI technology is smart enough to adjust the sound quality on the fly when needed.
Both of the speakers have an adaptive sound feature wherein if it detects that the ambient noise is loud enough, it increases the volume of whatever content you are consuming at that moment to compensate. This is using both of the speakers’ microphones. The volume should normalize to the last known level after it detects that the ambient sound has quieted down.
Of course, this is only my opinion after looking at the spec sheet because I will have to get my hands on these things before I can give my honest opinion. But, my initial assessment would be that the Amazon Echo delivers better sound compared to the Google Nest Audio.
To be able to provide you with ‘smart’ features, both the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo are equipped with processors that can handle just that.
The Google Nest Audio comes with the company’s TeraOPS A53 processor which is a quad-core chip that boasts of better performance compared to the company’s previous Bluetooth speakers.
On the other hand, Amazon’s own speaker is equipped with the AZ1 Neural Edge processor that, according to the company, should be more responsive to voice commands compared to previous versions.
It is hard to say who wins this round. You see, Amazon has Zigbee hub integration which means that your connected smart home devices have better compatibility with the said speaker because of this.
However, we all know that Google’s AI technology is so advanced (and even more accurate) than Alexa, so it could potentially provide you with better features overall compared to Amazon’s Bluetooth speaker.
Of course, I cannot truly say which one wins this round until I get to review these wireless audio solutions. In that case, stay tuned for more.
The Google Nest Audio will be available on October 5, while the Amazon Echo will not be released until later this month (October 22). That being said, both of these speakers will retail for $99.99, so stay tuned for our official product reviews to help you know which one you should ultimately choose for yourself.
Best Tech Deals in October 2020
Technology is always going to be there to help improve our lives. We at Startechnews will provide you with some of the best tech deals every month and today, I am going to be talking about some of the products that have received good price cuts.
Although Black Friday happens in the same month, most of these deals will not be a part of that special day.
Anyway, here are some of the best tech deals in October:
Best Tech Deals in October
1.Apple iPhone XR
Price: $550 (was $599) @BestBuy
If you are fond of using any devices under the iOS ecosystem, then I highly recommend that you get your hands on this Apple iPhone XR deal.
Yes, I know that this device is dated at this point but its specs, as well as its overall performance, are still really good in this day and age.
What I love about iPhones, in general, is that their Bionic chips outmatch the performance of any flagship Android device released in the same year, so you can rest assured that the XR can still be good for at least 2-3 years from now.
That being said, if you are okay with this, you can get head on over to Best Buy to get yours.
Lastly, if you have an old iPhone, you can also surrender that and get even more discounts as well!
2.Amazon Echo Dot
Price: $39.99 (was $49.99) @Amazon
The Amazon Echo Studio is always going to be the best in terms of Amazon’s line of Bluetooth speakers, but there are people who are okay with the convenience and the form factor of the company’s Echo Dot line.
The Amazon Echo Dot is currently sold for just $39.99 and although it is just a $10 discount, it is still pretty good nonetheless.
One of the reasons why I highly recommend that you get one for yourself is that you can actually use Alexa to help you do a lot of different things.
If you are following some sports teams, for example, you can ask Alexa to search for scores and any news about the teams that you are truly passionate about.
The device’s always-on microphone is there to take your voice commands and Alexa will do the rest for you.
Although it is relatively okay as an audio solution, there is more value when it comes to using its ‘smart’ features.
Price: $275 (was $299) @Amazon
The Nintendo Switch is considered to be one of the company’s best gaming consoles yet. The beauty about this particular game console is that you can either play it as-is (handheld) or you can wire it to your TV via HDMI to enjoy your games at a higher fidelity screen.
This deal is for the new version of the Nintendo Switch that aims to fix the joycon drift issue that has plagued the first version of the console and it has a bigger battery life so that you can play untethered for a longer period of time.
You can buy the discounted Nintendo Switch at Amazon.
4.Beats by Dr. Dre Solo Pro
Price: $199.95 (was $299.99) @BestBuy
The Beats by Dre Solo Pro is a really good pair of wireless headphones that have active noise canceling. Although you might not like its on-ear design, this pair of cans is still quite comfortable to use for hours.
You get a lot of different color options to choose from and its ergonomic design allows you to use these headphones without any issues.
The Beats by Dr. Dre Solo Pro currently retails at a discounted price of $199.95 down from $299.99. If you are a fan of the brand or just for good Bluetooth headphones, in general, this is a really good choice.
5.Apple Airpods Pro
Price: $219 (was $249) @Amazon
The Apple Airpods Pro needs no introduction. It is one of the best Bluetooth headphones that you can buy not only for your iPhone but also for your other mobile devices as well.
Part of the reason why so many people love this particular product is due to its active noise-canceling feature. Normally, you can only expect great performance if you are using over-ear headphones, but not the Airpods Pro.
Its active noise-cancellation is really good because it shows you a warning that you shouldn’t enable the feature when you are walking on a busy street. It is really that effective.
It has consistently been compared to other Bluetooth audio solutions on the market, but nothing compares to it unless, of course, if you are talking about high-end over-ear solutions.
If you are interested in getting your hands in an Apple Airpods Pro, you can head over to Amazon to purchase this thing for only $219.
Price: $229 (was $329)
If you want to get your hands on an Android TV that is really good and it doesn’t break the bank, then I suggest that you look at the TCL 43S425.
This is a 43-inch 4K TV that has the famous Roku operating system built-in. That means that you can enjoy a ton of different features, movies, and TV shows without ever having to download any application to do those things.
Although TCL is a relatively new brand in the US, you can rest assured that the build quality and the materials that are used in the making of these television sets are of high-quality.
7.Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
Price: $229 (was $279) @Amazon
We considered the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 as one of the best smartwatches for Android and even though it is a year and a half old at this point, it is still pretty good regardless.
You are looking at a smartwatch with great build quality and you can use this no matter what activities you are going to do.
Its battery life is okay, though not that great. The good thing is that you can top this device up quickly and easily using its included charger.
If you want a smartwatch that allows you to track your physical activity really well, get this product as soon as possible.
8.Bose QC 35 II Wireless
Price: $239 (was $349)
Consistently regarded as one of the best Bluetooth headphones for quite some time now, the Bose QC 35 II Wireless is great both in terms of comfort and sound quality.
Although its overall performance does not rival that of the company’s higher-end models, this is not to downplay whatever this thing is offering because it still provides you with some really amazing features- one of which is its award-winning active noise-canceling capability.
You should get the Bose 35 II Wireless right now because you can have the chance to get a limited edition Rose-Gold color if you order this month.
Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade
When it comes to ease of use and convenience, people like getting Apple’s products because of its more streamlined approach to everything. Sure, there is a lot to tinker on Android but that is also precisely the reason why the user experience, at least for the layman, is not as great.
There is this saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, although I would have liked to say that here, I just don’t think that that approach applies here.
You see, the design of the 8th generation iPad is identical to its predecessor. As in everything about its aesthetics are similar which means that if you want to imagine what the new iPad looks like, all you have to do is look at the 7th gen variant.
Like all things, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is a good thing because that familiar design should feel right at home, especially for people that already own an iPad. It is bad because, in this day and age, more and more mobile devices have slimmer bezels and the new iPad still has those atrociously huge ones.
Don’t get me wrong, there are practical uses to having large bezels as it allows you to hold the tablet better when using it in landscape mode, but if you are watching online content, you can’t help but be bothered by the huge sides.
There are two versions of the 8th generation iPad and that is one with WiFi only and the other one having LTE. Its dimensions are 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29. The only difference between the WiFi and the LTE versions is that the latter is a bit heavier at 495 grams compared to the 490 grams of the former.
Thankfully, Apple didn’t remove the headphone jack but if you are going to utilize its built-in speakers, you are better off using a good Bluetooth speaker instead.
The 8th generation iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 2160 x 1620 and 264 pixels per inch or PPI. It has a good peak brightness at 500 nits, though you can still experience some problems when you are outside and the sun is shining brightly.
You can utilize the Apple Pencil on this device and it is also quite accurate as well (just keep in mind that it is sold separately).
What I love about iPads, in general, is that their displays provide you with crisp and clear details. Whether you are working on your documents or perhaps watching your favorite movies and TV shows, they do not disappoint.
Specs and Performance
- CPU: A12 Bionic
- GPU: Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
- RAM: 3GB
- Storage: 32GB/128GB
- Display: 10.2-inch Retina IPS LCD Display, 2160 x 1620, 4:3 aspect ratio, 500 nits brightness, 264 PPI
- OS: iPadOS 14
- Cameras: 8-megapixel (back), 1.2-megapixel (front)
- Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 AC, Bluetooth 4.2
- Battery: 32.4 Wh
So, if the 8th generation iPad has an identical design to its predecessor, what has changed here? Well, I am glad you asked. The only notable difference here is that the new model comes with the A12 Bionic chip and that’s pretty much it.
While you could be unhappy with the change, the new CPU actually beats its predecessor by a lot. By using Geekbench 5, single-core scores are about 60% higher than the 7th gen iPad and about 100% better in multi-core tasks than the previous model.
Granted that the said benchmark is relatively old, you couldn’t argue that the new processor is indeed way better than its predecessor.
Even when you are just using the tablet the way it should be used, you can really tell the difference. This is more evident if you are going to play some games.
Now, do not worry about the 3GB of RAM because the iOS ecosystem is quite streamlined and efficient that you normally wouldn’t need more than that.
It should also go without saying that the included cameras are just there for show and they do not really do anything special, so I don’t think that covering them is warranted here.
Sure, the new 8th generation iPad doesn’t bring a lot to the table, but its new processor is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor. Does that justify buying the new one? Probably not, especially if you already own the 7th generation model.
However, if you own an older iPad and you want better performance across the board, then you could probably spend your money to get one.
My gripe here is that there are only two storage options to choose from. You can get the 32GB variant for only $329 but in this day and age, 32GB is not a lot of storage space.
If you want more storage, you will need to spend an additional $100 premium just to get the 128GB model. In fact, I would go on to say that you should be buying this particular model compared to the 32GB variant. I just don’t like that the company is gouging you another $100 ($429 in total) just to get one.
The 8th generation iPad is disappointing in a lot of ways and its only redeeming quality is its new processor. It would have been nice if there is a redesign or that the lightning cable is changed to USB-C, but there is just not a lot of things to talk about here.
Therefore, I should say that the 8th generation iPad is just an iterative upgrade. Whether you want to buy it or not is entirely up to you.
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