PLEASE READ > Before you read this review I would just like you all to be aware that although I do not own this product I was present at the product lauch and have since spent an entire extended weekend thoroughly testing it out ... essentially as I want to buy one myself ! During that weekend, I used all of the features I have described and was impressed by how well the product worked, it's ease of use and the quality of the visual and audio output. Also, I am in regular contact with one of my best friends who still owns this product and as far as he is concerned it is both durable and efficient and he has had no technical issues, problems or glitches in the year and half that he has owned it. I would not write a review on a product that I had no experience with ...
Anyway, many thanks for reading my newly added introduction and I hope you enjoy reading the rest of my latest review.
Best wishes, Gray.
~ ARTOO DEETOO, WHERE ARE YOU ? ~
R2-D2 is perhaps one of the most iconic "droids" from the Star Wars Saga and Nikko have created a product that is simply "out of this world". What they have essentially done is to create a fully functioning half scale R2-D2 Unit and packed it full with an impressive amount of technology.
~ R2-D2: THE "ULTIMATE" PROJECTOR ~
Firstly, as a media projector, Artoo performs an outstanding job. This is because just like the on-screen Artoo he can move. The remote control allows you move him backwards and forwards and he can also turn ... which means without having to touch the projector unit itself you can fully control where you would like your projected images and movies to be. In addition to this, his head unit can also turn from left to right and when you combine this level of movement with the fact that he can also tilt and automatically focus the image you suddenly realise that the accuracy of the projected image is far more superior to that of any other projector on the market.
This in itself would be fantastic, but there's more to this little droid then you could possibly imagine. So, before you read another word of this review, don't let the word "projector" make you think that this is simply a gimmick because it isn't. Nikko haven't just produced a projector with a Star Wars theme, because what they have actually produced is a complex home entertainment system that will serve your every need.
~ A DROID WHO CAN SERVE ALL YOUR HOME ENTERTAINMENT NEEDS ! ~
So, having dealt with the basics let's move on because underneath that shiny dome R2-D2 has mind-boggling array of functions that will have any technology enthusiast grinning from ear to ear !
With a press of a button on the impressive looking Millennuim Falcon Remote Control you can open up Artoo's hidden control panel. Here you will discover that Artoo can play all your favourite CDs and DVDs. If you fancy watching a movie beamed onto your bedroom ceiling then just tap the remote control and Artoo will trundle around and beam the image upwards. However, if you don't want a movie as a projection then plug Artoo into a television ... because when not in "projector" mode he becomes the coolest looking DVD player in the Galaxy !!!
With fully integrated surround sound speakers, R2-D2 is also an impressive sound system too ... add to this the fact that Artoo is also compatable with your xBox, PS3 or Wii then you can start to realise that in terms of a complete home entertainment system the Nikko R2-D2 is something rather special indeed.
So far I have told you that R2-D2 can project images and movies onto any surface and through your televison, that he can play your Cds and DVDs through his integrated surroud sound speakers and that quite magically he can be made to trundle around your home by using the remote control ... but what else can he do ? Tech fans read on ...
~ R2-D2: FULLY SUPPORTS ALL THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY ~
In addition to everything I have decribed Artoo is also fully up to date in terms of the latest technology and compatability. For example, if you own an iPhone or an iPod then feel free to access Artoo's hidden iPod dock ... not only will the droid play your tunes through the impressive surround sound speakers but he will also beam your iPods menu onto a nearby wall. He is also fully compatable with a vast array of data sticks, USB devices and memory cards.
Also, imagine if your boss wanted you to deliver the winning sales pitch. Why not take Artoo along with you. Not only will R2-D2 provide you with the technical wizardry as he tootles into the board room and beams your powerpoint presentation onto the wall but he will also be able to transmit any data you need to send out to your colleagues ...
~ R2-D2: EVERY STAR WARS FANS DREAM PRODUCT ~
Finally, in addition to the impressive array of technical specifications in terms of image projection accuracy, home entertainment functions and media compatability the Nikko R2-D2 projector is also the most impressive Star Wars remore control toy that I have ever seen. I have already mentioned that you can fully control Artoo's movement using the remote control unit but he also comes packed with a variety of pre-loaded sound effects from the Star Wars movies.
Imagine inviting your new girlfriend around to watch a movie. The lights are dimmed. The pizza has arrived and the drinks are flowing. Then without warning R2-D2 trundles through the door, pivots his head and beams her favourite chick flick onto the screen
..................................................................... GENIUS !!!
>>> THE R2-D2 PROJECTOR: PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS <<<
* The size of R2-D2 is an impressive 190mm (H) x 140mm (W) x 75mm (D)
* This means the R2 Unit is exactly half the size of the model used in the movies.
* The weight of the projector is a hefty 10kg ... but there are hidden carry handles within the droids legs.
* R2-D2 can be plugged directly into the mains but can also run off a 7.2 NiMH battery.
* The impressive thing about the battery is that it automatically recharges itsefl so Artoo is always ready and fully charged.
* The specs for the display system are as follows ... 2x LVDS DLP with DDP 2230.
* The maximum projection size is 6.6 m diagonal (260')
* The minimum and maximum projection distances are 1.0m/10m
* The image resolution is 1024 x 768 XGA
* The brightness is 1800 Lumen
* The contrast is 1800:1
* Input connections are as follows ... RCA (composite video), mini DIN (S-video), RCA (Audio L/R) and DVI-I PC/Mac.
* And finally the output connections are as follows ... stereo headphones jack, optical audio digital OUT, RCA Video, RCA Audio and a 5 channel FM wireless audio transmission.
>>> THE DVD & CD PLAYER SPECIFICATIONS <<<
* The projector has a fully integrated DVD/CD player.
* The gadgetry is truly wonderful and a hidden slide-out control panel can be accessed to control all of the projector's functions.
* It fully supports the following media formats: DVD-video, DVD-R/RW, WMA, MP3, MP4, JPEG, DivX 3.0-5.03.
* The audio specs are an impressive Dolby Digital 5.1 Ch, DTS 2.0.
>>> IPOD, GAMES CONSOLE, MEMORY CARD & USB COMPATABILITY <<<
* In addition to it's DVD/CD player functions this projector is fully compatible with all models of iPods.
* Simply connect your iPod to the iPod Dock (hidden within Artoo's body) and all audio, photo and video files can be accessed ... Artoo even projects your iPod's menu onto the wall !!!
* Gamers will also find that Artoo can be used to enhance their gaming experience as the he is also compatible with xBox, PS3 and Wii.
* Finally, Artoo also supports all SD memory cards, smart media, multi media cards, USB flash memory sticks ... and in addition to video, images and music can also deliver high quality power point presentations, slideshows and animation.
>>> SOUND & AUDIO SPECIFICATIONS <<<
* Artoo has fully integrated speakers (stereo and surround sound)
* These speakers are 2 x 10 W giving a total of 20 Watt audio power.
* The speakers include tweeters to further enhance the audio capabilities.
>>> THE REMOTE CONTROL UNIT <<<
* The remote control unit is a fantastic highly detailed 1/100 scale model of the Millennium Falcon that comes with an impressive looking stand.
* As expected, the remote control can be used to control all the "normal" features of the media unit (such as play, pause, rewind, fast-forward etc)
* However, in addition to this the remote can also be used to bring R2-D2 to life ...
*R2-D2 can move forwards, backwards, turn left and turn right.
*His body can also be tilted to enable ceiling projection.
*Just like in the movies Artoo also has rotating headunit (45º left, 45º right) ... and again this feature can be accessed whilst the unit is functioning as a media player !
~ WHAT'S IN THE BOX ? ~
* The R2-D2 DVD projector.
* A Millennium Falcon remote control
* A stand for the Millennium Falcon remote control
* A power cable
* A 7.2V NiMH battery (R2-D2)
* 3 AA batteries (for the Millennium Falcon remote control)
* 3 AA batteries (for the Millennium Falcon stand)
* A lens cover
* An instruction manual (CD format)
* A quick set up manual (Booklet)
* A 2 year manufacturer's warranty from Nikko.
~ COST & AVAILABILTY ~
The average cost of the Nikko R2-D2 projector is around £1000 at the moment but this is a massive reduction from the launch price of £2,500. The product itself was lauched at Celebration Europe in 2007 as part of the 30th Anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars movie. I remember watching the product being demonstrated and thinking "I gotta have me one of these" !!!
~ HELP ME DOOYOO MILES, YOU'RE MY ONLY HOPE ~
At this point in time I am currently saving up to buy my very own Nikko R2-D2 projector. I own a massive amount of Star Wars merchandise that I have collected over the years but to own one of these would be (in my opinion) the icing on the cake. A couple of months ago I visited a good friend and fellow Star Wars fan who had one of these at home and believe me it fully lived up to expectation. The audio and visual quality that the unit produced was extremely impressive, the gadgetry (in terms of hidden controls and iPod docks) was superb and the size and scale of R2-D2 himself was breathtaking. The one thing, however, that makes this product worth every penny is the fact that under the shiny dome Artoo really does contain every single media need that you could ever possibly need.
There's a huge range of Star Wars merchandise and memorabilia. Books and toys and all sorts, thousands of individual different things you can get branded with the Star Wars logo on it. Then there's this piece of merchandise. The R2 D2 DVD Projector is something else entirely.
I absolutely love this. As suggested by the title, the R2 D2 DVD Projector lets you play DVDs, to have them projected onto a wall, or ceiling or anywhere in the house. The head (where the projections come from, like in the film) rotates, blinking and beeping like the real R2. The DVDs are projected with a quite small resolution of 800x600 pixels, and it's nothing HD or anything, but it's not bad, especially for home cinema viewing. After all, the gimmick and novelty of it is the main part of the purchase. It projects up to 80 inches in viewing area.
The R2 unit also features a number of other docks and slots for iPods and memory cards so you can view photos, listen to music or play videos caught on your digital camera as well.
He stands about 18 inches tall and is study on any flat surface like table, desk or the floor. The model is well made, too, with some fine attention to detail and a really nicely done paint job, and with its fairly big size, there can be a lot of work put into the little details. Just as an R2 unit model it's amazing.
I also love the remote control, and is almost worth the buy. It's the Millenium Falcon (oh, yes), again fantastically modeled and done, painted and given extra care. The control unit even looks great as a figure or decorative piece.
The R2 unit has a few jacks and plugs which you can plug into your monitor or computer, a headphone jack and all sorts, as well as a USB slot for files you keep in mass media storage.
This thing is truly awesome, but the only problem I have with it is the price. At almost two grand for one, it's certainly nothing cheap, but the quality of the product makes up for that. The simple fact that it's R2 projecting video was a selling point for me, but add all sorts of features, and a Millennium Falcon remote control and you've got yourself a sold unit. You'll be sitting back and watching the entire saga in no time with this.