The Dangbei Mars Pro 4K is a laser projector that delivers excellent picture quality and superb brightness. But you need to bring your own 4K streaming device to tap into the best features this laser projector has to offer.
Table of Contents
- Dangbei Mars Pro 4K Specs & Overview
Dangbei Mars Pro 4K Specs & Overview
There have been a number of portable projectors that have come into the market since 2017. Brands such as Anker with its Nebula series have led the way in the U.S. by making pint-sized projectors.
And XGIMI has produced portable, easy to use projectors with upscaled 4K resolution and native HDR10.
This year, the trend has turned towards the laser home projector. Laser projectors are much brighter. These projectors have wider color gamut and high picture resolutions that give viewers a cinema-like feeling or experience.
The Dangbei Mars Pro home projector is well-known in China as a top projector brand. It is starting to market its flagship projector in the U.S. through Amazon. This Dangbei projector uses ALPD laser technology.
The Mars Pro supports native 4K Ultra HD resolution, and two HDR formats (HDR10 and HLG).
Dangbei says the Mars Pro can project up to a 200 inch screen size. The system has 128 GB ROM on an Embedded Multi-Media Card (eMMC), and 4GB of RAM.
Aside from its high-end features for movie watching, the Mars Pro has a game mode that the company says has low latency of up to 20ms.
The Mars Pro should not be confused with the similarly named Nebula Mars II Pro. Nebula entered the smart projector market with the Mars brand in 2017. The Dangbei Mars Pro projector currently retails for $1799, a price that is on par with laser projectors with similar features.
Design & Inputs
The Dangbei Mars Pro 4K is best suited for indoor use due mostly to its weight and size.
The Mars Pro weighs about 10 lbs. There are four adjustable feet that can elevate up to about one centimeter.
The chassis of the projector looks metallic, but it’s actually a hardened plastic. The finish on the front and top of the Dangbei Mars Pro resembles a glass plate.
There are two HDMI ports on the back of the projector. One supports eARC, giving the remote control to your streaming device control over the projector’s power and volume.
The projector has two USB ports that you can use to watch movies that are stored on an external hard drive or flash drive. For audio, there is an S/PDIF optical port and a headphone jack.
There is an LAN Ethernet port if you prefer to hardwire your internet connection instead of using Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi connectivity supports dual-band (2.4G/5G).
Despite its size, the Mars Pro does not have an internal battery. The power port is at the back of the projector.
Picture Quality & Performance
The most impressive aspect of the Mars Pro is the picture quality. The projector has 3200 ANSI lumens of brightness.
The hardware supports native 4K along with HDR10. That alone may make the Mars Pro 4K an attractive choice compared to its rivals.
I used an XBox Series X to check that the projector was actually supporting 4K, and not upscaling 1080p.
A number of projectors and Laser TVs on the market promise 4K resolution, but only accomplish it through upscaling a 1080p image. The picture had excellent contrast with deep blacks, and the colors looked true to life.
The Mars Pro uses MEMC to smooth out the frame rate.
During my weeks of testing, I had the projector about 10 feet away from a white wall in my office. I got a 120″ picture. Dangbei says the Mars Pro can produce up to a 200″ inch image.
The Mars Pro has autofocus and auto keystone correction (vertical and horizontal). You can fine tune the image afterwards using the remote control. Aside from auto focus, and picture settings, the Mars Pro has an intelligent screen alignment feature.
I usually recommend using this type of projector in the dark, or at least in a very dim room. But the Mars Pro really showed off its brightness when I had some ambient light still in the room. It even had a watchable picture in broad daylight.
When watching in a dark room, you really notice the tiny details and contrast. The image quality is slightly better than the last projector I tested, an ultra-short throw projector by WEMAX.
The Mars Pro has an intelligent obstacle avoidance feature. Obstacle avoidance automatically moves the picture away from anything that is in the way of an image. So if you have a plant on a bookshelf that is in the way of the screen, the screen will adjust (and sometimes makes the screen size smaller.)
I am personally not a big fan of obstacle avoidance. I would rather just move whatever is in the way, and maintain the largest screen size possible.
Generally speaking, software is often a weak spot with smart projectors, even when you are spending $1,000 or more. Dangbei instructed me to use a streaming device when I wanted to watch Netflix, YouTube and other streaming apps.
There are streaming apps available on the projector’s native software, but Dangbei notified me in advance that they would not work.
The company provided me with an Android TV box for testing, but I mostly used my own 4K streaming devices and the XBox Series X. When you connect the Mars Pro to a NVIDIA Shield or XBox Series X, you are able to tap into the 4K HDR resolution that’s offered on popular streaming apps and games. The NVIDIA Shield also has its own AI upscaling technology.
Disney+ showed me options for watching IMAX-enhanced versions of movies when using a NVIDIA Shield and Chromecast 4K.
There were some parts of the operating system that I really liked.
The icons for auto focus and keystone correction are at the bottom center of the screen.
Under the settings wheel, there are adjustments for picture mode and Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation (MEMC) to smooth out the frame rate. Under both settings, there are live models so you can see how each setting changes color, brightness and contrast.
All smart projectors should have live models showing these changes in real time, but most don’t.
The upper left corner of the home screen had a picture-in-picture style window for each HDMI port. You could toggle to a third window to flush the memory cache and another gave you a readout of the current weather.
The remote control has a navigation wheel at the center. There are buttons for power, volume and to navigate back.
The remote control is palm-sized and fits well in the hand. If you are familiar with any current streaming device, the Mars Pro remote will be familiar.
The remote is powered by two AAA batteries. If you do start using a streaming device, one of the HDMI ports supports eArc so you can start using the remote for your streaming device for some of the projector’s functions.
But if you want to adjust the settings of the projector, then you will need the Dangbei remote.
The audio quality was solid and consistent no matter what I was listening to. The Mars Pro has two 10W speakers. The sound system supports Dolby Audio, DTS-HD Surround Sound and Dolby Digital Plus. You can add a soundbar or external speakers using the optical port, but I was satisfied enough with the interna
The Dangbei Mars Pro projector is the brightest projector that I have tested to date. It lives up to the hype of native 4K resolution and HDR10 support, but the caveat is that you need to add your own 4K streaming device.
- 3200 ANSI lumens brightness
- Efficient heat dissipation
- Large screen image
- Sharp image
- ALDP Display Technology
- Bulky design
- Operating system could be better
- Average remote control
In terms of future improvements, the Mars Pro may be better as a less-smart operating system that only focuses on picture calibration.
Its ease of use is fairly straightforward. The speakers produce clear sound that don’t require additional speakers. Fan noise is minimal and mostly unnoticable.
For its price, any projector enthusiast should be pleased with its brightness, contrast and audio. Overall, the Mars Pro delivers a quality experience for home theater enthusiasts at a price that is on par with its rivals.
Where to buy
The Dangbei Mars Pro 4K projector retails for $1799.00. It is currently available in the U.S. at Dangbei’s Amazon Store.
Jim Kimble is a seasoned industry expert with over two decades of journalism experience. He has been at the forefront of the cord-cutting movement since 2016, testing and writing about TV-related products and services. He founded The Cord Cutting Report in 2016.
Major publications, including MarketWatch, Forbes, and South Florida Sun Sentinel, have interviewed Kimble for his years of expertise. He gives advice on the complexities consumers are navigating with streaming options, and over-the-air TV. Kimble has been a staff writer or correspondent for several award-winning, daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. You can follow Jim on LinkedIn, YouTube and at X at @james_kimble