XGIMI Takes on Sony with an IMAX Enhanced Projector

Get ready for another cutting-edge XGIMI projector. The new XGIMI Horizon Max boasts IMAX Enhanced certification, a motorized gimbal, and an insane projection quality. It’s an interesting product that should undercut Sony’s IMAX Enhanced projectors while offering a more stylish design.

The Horizon Max is a direct upgrade to the Horizon Ultra, which we reviewed last year. I thought that the Horizon Ultra’s 2,300 ISO lumen output was “eye-searingly” bright, but the Horizon Max is even brighter, clocking in at 3,1000 ISO lumens. That’s a 35% increase in brightness. We still don’t know this projector’s video resolution (presumably 4K), but XGIMI’s new Dual Light 2.0 laser system promises a 2000:1 native contrast ratio.

Evidently, these upgrades helped the Horizon Max achieve IMAX Enhanced certification. IMAX Enhanced aims to bring IMAX picture quality, aspect ratio, and sound into the home theater. Before today, Sony was the only projector brand to carry the IMAX Enhanced badge—XGIMI repeatedly compared last year’s Horizon Ultra to Sony’s $4,000 IMAX Enhanced projectors, so this feels like a very natural development.

Just know that IMAX Enhanced is a fairly niche standard. If you want to take full advantage of this technology, you’ll need Blu-ray discs or digital media files that are mastered for IMAX Enhanced playback. A compatible AVR is also required for IMAX PPS audio. The only major streaming service that offers IMAX Enhanced content is Disney+, but its streaming bitrate doesn’t hold a candle to Blu-ray.

To me, the most compelling parts of this projector are its motorized gimbal and long throw ratio (0.7:1). When I reviewed the Horizon Ultra, I complained that it didn’t have a kickstand and wasn’t ideal for permanent installation (its hefty design and short throw are best suited for a coffee table). The Horizon Max’s gimbal can automatically adjust to any projection surface through the use of a ToF sensor, which is great for temporary installations, but its long throw ratio is perfect for permanent installation in a larger room.

I’m also compelled to mention the Horizon Max’s design, which feels very retro. It reminds me of those old wood-grain GE clock radios. But XGIMI isn’t the only projector brand with a flair for retro design—LG’s new CineBeam Qube looks like it’s straight from the space age.

Anyway, XGIMI is still holding back some of the Horizon Max’s specs, including its video resolution! Pricing is also a mystery, but a price tag of $2,000 or more seems like a safe guess, as the Horizon Ultra sells for $1,700. Note that Sony’s IMAX Enhanced projectors sell for anywhere between $4,000 and $20,000.

The Horizon Max will make an appearance at CES 2024. It will be accompanied by the XGIMI Aladdin, a projector that doubles as a ceiling light fixture—this concept may seem strange to westerners, but it’s relatively popular among Japanese apartment dwellers. We’ll try to learn more as we attend CES this week.

Source: XGIMI


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