As much as I love watching television, there are just too many shows, and I can’t keep up! Plus, since I spend so much time idly staring at a computer screen for my desk job, the last thing I want to do after work is plop down and stare at another screen for 4 hours.
One of my favorite times to catch up on TV is when I travel. I’ll download a ton of episodes on my iPad to watch at the airport during layovers and on the plane. However, I rarely turn the TV on at hotel rooms because I hate flipping through the channels and am always disappointed that there’s no Netflix or Amazon Prime Video apps to stream shows.
And while there’s really nothing wrong with watching shows on your laptop, iPad, or phone, I just don’t see the point when there’s a 55-inch TV screen in front of you. So, I end up just going to bed or watching Chopped reruns.
I recently discovered the Nebula Capsule, a portable projector that’s made by Anker, a brand you may recognize for its reliable portable chargers and cables. It’s a small, soda-can-shaped projector that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker. The device allows me to catch up on my shows anywhere as long as there is a blank wall to project onto. I’m obsessed with mine and won’t go on a trip without it.
The Capsule projects up to a 100-inch image with an 854-by-480 resolution at 100 ANSI lumens, and although this isn’t high-definition, the picture looks just fine — especially in a dark room.
Since the projector runs Android and has Wi-Fi, you can download and install a bunch of different streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Plex, to watch TV shows and movies. Even if you don’t have Wi-Fi or a strong phone signal for a hotspot, you can wirelessly cast videos that you have saved on your phone or tablet through AirPlay or Miracast on Android. Or, if you’d prefer, you can download video files directly to it. There’s also a HDMI port if you want to plug in a laptop or video game console.
It comes with a remote control, but I preferred controlling it with my smartphone using its free app, which also makes it much easier to type in search boxes. I’d much rather type on a phone keyboard than individually type letter by letter on a giant screen with a remote to find my shows.
I’ve used my Capsule to play Mario Kart on a garage door, watch Netflix at an Airbnb in Mexico City, and to fittingly binge-watch soaps from a bathtub. Despite its small shape, its speakers are surprisingly loud. There’s even a Spotify and YouTube app you can download for listening to music and watching music videos.
My only complaint is that I wish it charged over USB-C instead of the older and slower Micro USB standard, but I’m happy that I still can recharge it with a portable battery when I’m low on juice. Speaking of the battery, the Capsule reportedly holds a charge for four hours. I was able to project the nearly 3-hour-long Avengers: Infinity War movie on a hotel room wall, and it didn’t die on me.
The Nebula Capsule costs $349, which may seem pricey, but some projectors cost twice as much, and don’t offer as much battery life, portability, or as impressive sound quality as this one. If you travel a lot, are forever behind on TV shows like me, or just want to project a huge Netflix screen on any surface, you won’t be disappointed — except when you regret neglecting chores and ordering $30 worth of pizza because you were getting caught up on the new The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series even though Halloween is over.
Anker Nebula Capsule Smart Mini Projector