Vankyo Leisure 495W Review Dolby Audio Projector Dual Wireless (Wifi + BT)

Monday, August 29, 2022

A home cinema-like experience on the cheap! Vankyo's new Leisure 495W projector supports Dolby audio, true 1080p native resolution and an LED bulb light source capable of 220 ANSI lumens!

Vankyo's new Leisure 495W is equipped with multiple connectivity ports, including: 3.5mm audio out, female8 port (for power), AV input, two USB-A ports and HDMI 1.4 connection. The maximum distance projection is 5.8 meters (220 inches) and 1.3 meters (47 inches) minimum projection distance, which is a lot of range but, if you want to use the Vankyo Leisure 495W without the room being pitch black, you will have to set the projector closer. 

The optimal projection distance for the Leisure is around 67 inches (1.7 meters). The further the projection distance, the more washed out the image looks specially with ambient lighting, which is an issue with low lumen projectors like the Leisure 495W. At 68 inches distance, the Leisure 495W projector is capable of producing a 60 inch size image (31 inches vertical and 51 inches horizontal).

Inside the projector there are stereo speakers with Dolby Audio support, which makes the audio have a virtual surround sound - perfect for movies. Would have been nice though, if Dolby audio could be disabled as music sounds better with standard stereo. 
You can connect external speakers to the Leisure 495W projector but the internal speakers get disabled automatically. While not on a level of a 7.1 true surround speaker surround setup, it is the closest to a home theater-like experience on a budget, which is a nice selling point for the Leisure 495W projector.
As well as stereo speakers, the Leisure 495W is equipped with a keystone correction knob and focus knob to physically adjust the sharpness of the image. With autofocus (sensor+ motor), it is done automatically which is more convenient and quicker. However, when it comes to part replacement, a focus knob will be cheaper to replace and even repair than a motorized autofocus. Both knobs for keystone and focus operate smoother and more silently than a focus ring and keystone ring. The included protective lens cover does not fit when the lens is all the way out, which is an issue many projectors on this category have.

The  Vankyo Leisure 495W projector has a premium modern looking design with built-in user control glossy buttons (clicky and responsive), ventilation cutouts and thick rubber feet on the base of the projector which do a good job of minimizing rattling vibrations on a desk when playing content at 100% volume. The dimensions of the Leisure 495W projector is 23cm long, 17.5cm deep and weighs 1.3kg (1357 grams).

Potential deal breakers facing the Leisure 495W
  • Does not support streaming via an OTG cable from an Android device
  • Cannot be connected to a 4k input source
  • Supports only 4k 30fps playback 
  • Does not support HDMI 2.0, which is more desirable because it supports 4k 60fps video
  • Not the brightest - only 220 ANSI lumens
  • It is a 1 chip LCD projector, not as good as a 3 chip LCD projector (more expensive)
  • Does not support horizontal keystone - only vertical - which is ideal when the projector has to be placed at an awkward angle i
  • Does not support Bluetooth speaker mode - which turns the projector into a bluetooth speaker by turning off the LED bulb. This has the benefit of extending the lifespan of the LED bulb.
  • Vertical keystone adjustment has a short travel (up to 15 degrees +-)
  • The focus knob wobbles, which is a pity as the rest of the projector feels well built
  • No internal rechargeable battery - mains powered only

Selling points for the Leisure 495W
  •  Dolby enabled stereo speakers (3 watts each - 6 watts total RMS) - makes the audio sound deeper and further
  • 1080p native resolution
  • Supports wireless screen mirroring via an Android device and iOS device
  • The USB ports support powerbank mode (5V/0.5A max) for charging external devices
  • Supports streaming via a Lightning cable from an iOS device
  • Can be connected to external speakers via the 3.5mm port 
  • Decent image quality at an affordable price
  • Can be used in a low light room - doesn't have to be pitch black
  • You can connect bluetooth speakers
  • Uses an LED bulb which generates less heat than a traditional halogen lamp and has longer lifespan too (30,000 hours runtime)
  • Supports chromecast, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV stick via USB
  • Perfect for small/medium room size
  • The projector can be controlled via the on-board physical buttons
  • Comes with physical IR remote control
  • Supports vertical keystone correction
  • Can be hanged from a ceiling
  • Comes with a plastic lens protective cover
  • Can playback content from a flashdrive/ external drive via USB connection
  • Can play text files - perfect for power point style presentations
  • Supports image zoom function
  • Supports 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Firmware updateable 
  • Sleep timer mode
  • Manual focus knob makes it easier and more convenient to adjust focus than with a focus ring found on many projectors, including the Vankyo Leisure 470 Pro
  • Easy to use and user friendly interface that supports different languages
  • Comes with a snazzy carry case to transport and store the projector
  • Includes a carry bag for the projector
  • One of the brightest lumen Vankyo projectors, brighter than the Leisure 470 Pro, Cinemango 100 projector, Leisure 410 projector
  • Includes a useful comprehensive user guide with colorful pictures
  • Tripod mountable
  • Height adjustment thumbscrew which elevates the projector from 9cm to 10cm
Accessories include a cleaning kit, plastic IR remote (AAA batteries not included) with clicky rubber buttons, 3.5mm to RCA AV adapter cable (14cm), 1.60 meter detachable EU plug power cord (250V 2.5A) and 1.8 meters HDMI cable. The Vankyo branded carry case has a soft shell with dual zippers, fabric grab handle and a clamshell style opening that looks a lot like a mini suitcase. The outershell of the Vankyo carry case is made of thick fabric polyester padded all around with foam to protect the projector. The internal liner is bright and water repellent.
Another neat thing about the Vankyo carry case is that it can be used as a mini carry-on bag for gadgets (e.g, handheld console, headphones, cables, tablet, etc) when flying on a plane. The Vankyo branding logo is laser white printed - not embroidered. You can buy the Leisure 495W projector (model YG461) from Vankyo. Check out the review of the Performance V700W projector.

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