AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro 4K UST laser projector review: Shining bright

AWOL Vision isn’t a brand that would be familiar to many; I didn’t hear of the brand until last year, when I was researching ultra short throw (UST) projectors with a high brightness. While most brands have a selection of products — mostly aimed at the budget and mid-range tiers — AWOL Vision does things a bit differently; it only sells UST laser projectors, and given the tech on offer, they’re aimed at the high-end segment.

I used a half-dozen UST projectors over the course of the last five years, and there has been a steady increase of new entrants rolling out enticing new features in the last 18 months. AWOL Vision’s LTV series stands out because of Dolby Vision; there aren’t many UST projectors that offer the feature, so I was automatically interested in taking a look at what the brand is doing in this category.

The only other projector I tested that had Dolby Vision was the XGIMI Horizon Ultra, but it was a regular laser projector. What makes AWOL Vision’s LTV-3000 Pro all the more alluring is that it uses UST tech, so you can position it right up against a wall and still get a large image. I used the LTV-3000 Pro for just over three months now, and here’s what I think of the UST projector.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro: Pricing and release date

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AWOL Vision unveiled the LTV-3000 Pro in December 2023, and the projector is now available in select global markets. It retails for $3,999 on Amazon U.S., but you can get $500 off, bringing the cost down to $3,499. The LTV-3000 Pro sits in the middle of AWOL Vision’s portfolio; the base variant is the LTV-2500, and it is available for $2,599 as of writing. There’s a high-end model dubbed LTV-3500 Pro that has 3,500 lumens of brightness, and that is currently retailing for $5,599 on Amazon.

All three models have the same design and connectivity, and the only difference is the brightness of the projection; the LTV-2500 goes up to 2,600 lumens, and the LTV-3500 Pro hits 3,500 lumens. You get Dolby Vision and a 4K projection as standard, and plenty of customizability when it comes to color balance and picture modes.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro: Design

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro UST projector review

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The LTV-3000 Pro has a bold design that immediately grabs attention. I previously used the XGIMI Aura as my go-to UST projector, and while it also has a distinct styling, it doesn’t look quite as futuristic. The smooth lines combined with the liberal use of metal trim gives the LTV-3000 Pro a lot of visual flair, and I love the way the projector curves around the front.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro UST projector review

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The LTV-3000 Pro is just as massive as some of the other 4K UST projectors I tested, and it delivers all the features you need in a stylish package. My only quibble is the choice of color; the projector is available in black, and the glossy plastic that’s used on the sides is a dust magnet.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro UST projector review

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Outside of that, there are no issues with the design. There are large vents on the sides to deliver airflow into the chassis, with the vent on the right serving as the intake and the one on the left the exhaust. There’s a power button up top, and you get AWOL Vision branding along with the usual Dolby labels, and a Tri-Chroma Laser moniker on one side.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro UST projector review

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The four rubber feet at the bottom make it easy to position the projector, and you can make any necessary adjustments to elevation. The projection lens sits in an island, and it has a larger outlet than some of its rivals, with AWOL Vision noting that it delivers better clarity even at a 150-inch projection.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro UST projector review

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There’s the usual proximity sensor that switches off the laser when it detects an object, and I found that it was a tad too sensitive — it would switch off the screen even when I was walking by the projector. Overall, the LTV-3000 Pro certainly looks the part of a high-end UST projector, and the bold design combined with the build quality make it a great choice in this category.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro: Features

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro UST projector review

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The LTV-3000 Pro isn’t lacking when it comes to features; the UST projector is able to deliver a projection of up to 150 inches, and it uses a Texas Instruments 0.47 Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) along with a custom Ricoh lens to deliver a 4K projection with a contrast of 2500:1.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro UST projector review

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As the Tri-Chroma Laser branding suggests, it uses a three-laser light source that goes up to 3,000 lumens of brightness, and AWOL Vision touts a longevity of 25,000 hours for the laser, which is significantly more than what you get with traditional projectors.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro UST projector review

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In terms of connectivity, the LTV-3000 Pro has Wi-Fi ac and Bluetooth 5.0, and you get three HDMI 2.0 ports at the back (one with eARC), two USB 2.0 ports that let you connect an external drive to the projector, digital audio out, and Ethernet. As for the hardware, you get 3GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC storage.

There’s 8-point keystone correction, and like other UST projectors, the LTV-3000 Pro has a standby mode where it consumes just 0.5W of power.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro: Picture quality and sound

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro UST projector review

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The biggest selling point of the LTV-3000 Pro is that it is able to deliver an image that goes up to 3,000 lumens. That’s significantly higher than the 1,800-lumen that the XGIMI Aura manages, and having used that projector for the better part of two years, there was an immediate difference when switching over to the LTV-3000 Pro.

Most UST projectors don’t get as bright, and that doesn’t make them as versatile as TVs; you’ll mostly need to position them in a dark room with the blinds closed. But this is not an issue with the LTV-3000 Pro, and even with plenty of ambient light in the room, the projector was able to deliver a bright image that’s more than serviceable. Heck, this UST projector gets brighter than most regular laser projectors, and that’s no small feat.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro UST projector review

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The projector has six modes — Standard, Vivid, Movie, Sport, Game, and User — and in my usage, I found the Movie mode to have the best color rendition. Both SDR and HDR content was rendered with plenty of detail and color vibrancy, and AWOL Vision did a great job calibrating the colors out of the box. What I also like is the sheer customizability on offer; you can easily change the white balance, contrast, saturation, and tweak the color balance as needed (in User mode).

I streamed a lot of content on the LTV-3000 Pro in the three months I used the projector, and I had zero issues with picture quality. Color balance and black levels are terrific throughout, and it does a far sight better than any other UST projector I tested thus far, including the VAVA Chroma.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro UST projector review

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The projector does a terrific job with HDR content, and it played Netflix’s Dolby Vision titles without breaking a sweat. It is just as enjoyable for watching movies as well as sports, and its biggest differentiator is the high brightness levels. What’s particularly great is that you get a 24fps option, and at the other end of the scale, there’s MEMC.

You can also use the projector for gaming, and the dedicated Game mode lowers the latency down to 15ms. It doesn’t manage 4K at 120Hz, but if you’re looking to connect a console to a large screen, the LTV-3000 Pro is a great option. You can get 120Hz in 1080p, and the latency is as low as 8ms in this mode.

I set up the LTV-3000 Pro to deliver a 95-inch projection, but it goes up to 150 inches, using a throw ratio of 0.25:1. . The projector has two built-in audio drives that deliver 36W of sound, and it does a decent enough job in its own right. That said, you’ll ideally need to pair it with a good soundbar.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro: Remote

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro UST projector review

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While the design of the LTV-3000 Pro is clearly futuristic, the same cannot be said of the remote. It looks a bit chintzy and something out of the ’90s, and it doesn’t have any similarities to the projector itself. The silver design looks gaudy, and it has too many buttons that are of little to no use.

The biggest issue is that there’s no backlight, and that makes using the remote more cumbersome than it needs to be. The only good thing about it is that you won’t have to use it after setting up the projector to your preferences.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro: Software

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro UST projector review

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AWOL Vision has a barebones software interface based on Android 9.0, and it doesn’t offer any smarts; there’s no way to install the usual set of streaming services, or do much with the UI at all. Other than switching HDMI sources and changing the projector’s settings, you don’t get many features.

Thankfully, AWOL Vision offloaded the software problem by bundling Amazon’s streaming stick with the package. Most Chinese brands miss out on Netflix certification on their projectors — this is a constant bugbear on XGIMI’s products — so by just bundling a streaming stick in the box, AWOL Vision doesn’t have to worry about any of that.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro UST projector review

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As such, there isn’t much to talk about on the software front. There is a provision at the back of the projector to house the streaming stick — and power it natively — and it is a decent workaround to setting up a custom software interface or go with Android TV and worry about Netflix certification.

I used the LTV-3000 Pro with my go-to streaming device, NVIDIA’s Shield TV Pro, and it turned out to be a terrific combination. The Shield TV Pro is incredibly fluid in daily use, has plenty of customizability, and lets me download all the streaming services I care about.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro: The competition

XGIMI Aura 4K UST Laser Projector

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

The XGIMI Aura shares a lot of similarities with the LTV-3000 Pro; it also uses a similar laser light source and delivers terrific colors out of the box. It doesn’t get as bright as the LTV-3000 Pro, but it is more than adequate if you don’t have too much ambient light. And at $1,699, it is much more affordable.

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro: Should you buy it?

AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro UST projector review

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You should buy this if:

  • You need a UST projector that gets bright
  • You want a projector with Dolby Vision
  • You need accurate colors with plenty of configurability

You shouldn’t buy this if:

  • You want Android TV out of the box

Honestly, AWOL Vision ticked all the right boxes with the LTV-3000 Pro. The projector is the brightest I tested yet, and it does a terrific job even if you have a lot of ambient light coming through. You get excellent colors and contrast levels, and there’s enough customizability that you can tweak the color balance to your preferences.

The LTV-3000 Pro does a standout job with HDR content and Dolby Vision in particular, and the various modes make a difference in daily use; this is a versatile projector that can be used in a variety of settings. A big drawback with most new entrants in this segment is the software, and that’s not an issue here. The only downside is the remote, but other than that, I don’t have anything to fault with the LTV-3000 Pro.

It is costlier than its rivals, but if you want a bright projection with Dolby Vision and a decent amount of customizability, the LTV-3000 Pro is a standout choice.

Via: Androidcentral

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