Connected Objects
Z4 Aurora punches above its weight for portable projectors

The typical portable LED projector offers consumers a pretty good way to display video and other content on any flat surface wherever they are. But most aren’t designed to offer a complete entertainment experience including good-quality sound.

Z4 Aurora, however, is a smart, portable LED projector that features integrated Android functionality and stereo sound from audio company Harmon/Kardon. The projector can turn any surface into a 300-inch screen. Apps and games can be wirelessly streamed onto the projector, which also supports active-shutter, stereoscopic 3D video, as well as MP4, 4K and Blu-ray video. It uses an energy-conserving bulb and has a projected lifetime of 30,000 hours, more than the average expected lifetime of several rival projectors.

Z4 Aurora ships in June at future pricing of $699, although early bird Indiegogo backers have been able to get one for pledges starting at $399. Its makers hope to raise $50,000 this month.The combination of smart functionality and the Harmon/Karmon brand name are likely draws for some prospective LED projector customers. Its built-in correction system that provides an optimal image from any angle, making it easy to set the Z4 up, also seems like an appealing feature. However, the lack of surround sound means that the Z4 is likely not quite a good enough entertainment center for some consumers.