This story is part of, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
I know what I want for Christmas. (Actually, Hanukkah, but you get my meaning.) It’s this Vava 4K HDR projector, which blasts a beautiful, mammoth image on the wall and solves a number of the challenges normally associated with projector setups. It regularly sells for $2,800, but for a limited time there’s a substantial discount: The. This is only the third time there’s been that big a price cut; every time it happens, the projector sells out quickly. (If that happens, check back on Sunday, as there’s another vendor that’ll be getting in on the action.)
What’s an ultra-short-throw projector? One you can park right below your screen or wall. That the hassles of a traditional ceiling mount, which are considerable. Plus, the Vava features a built-in Harman Kardon soundbar, one with both Dolby and DTS audio support. That means you can dispense with additional audio gear (and the remote and cabling that goes with it).
The projector runs a specialized version of Android, but it’s clunky and limited. Trust me when I say you’ll want to plug in your preferred Fire TV or Roku streamer. There are three HDMI inputs, so you’ll also have room for your game console and another device. (One of them is HDMI ARC in case you want to expand beyond the built-in sound system.)
I was able to test-drive the Vava earlier this year. Here’s what I learned:
- It’s a breeze to set up and operate, proof positive to me that UST projectors are the wave of the future. One box, one wall, done.
- It produces a bright, sharp picture — one you can see easily even in a well-lit room (though obviously darker is always better).
- The built-in speakers sound superb, though the projector itself produces a constant low-level fan noise that can be a bit distracting during quiet scenes. That’s really my only ding on the product.
- UST projectors are less forgiving on uneven walls than traditional projectors. For the best overall experience, you’ll probably want to invest in a proper screen. (You could also .)
- I want one.
With this projector, you’re limited only by the amount of wall space you have: It can project an image as large as 150 inches. (And, at minimum, 80 inches.) That’s some serious home theater right there.
Indeed, if you’re thinking movie theaters aren’t coming back any time soon and you want to recreate the big-screen experience as best you can, this is a great way to go about it. Excuse me while I bust open the piggy bank to see if I can swing this somehow.
Originally published earlier this year. Updated to reflect new pricing. Removed expired bonus deal.
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