Smithsonian Optics Room Planetarium and Dual Projector Review

Specs

  • Brand: Smithsonian
  • Size: 10 inches x 7 inches x 10 inches
  • Weight: 85 pounds
  • Lighting: LED lights
  • Colour variants: black or blue
  • displays up to 24 Northern Sky images
  • up to 50 combinations of images
  • Powered by 4 AA batteries

 

Review

Finally, here’s a good option for those looking for a lower-priced planetarium projector device – one that will not break the bank. In a nutshell, The Smithsonian Optics Room Planetarium and Dual Projector is a budget-friendly planetarium projector. It comes with an impressive suite of sky images and up to 50 combinations of images.

As impressive as it sounds, this product ranks as second to the last in my list of home planetariums – find out why in the review below.

 

Scope of delivery

The Smithsonian Optics Room Planetarium and Dual Projector was delivered to me in good condition. It came packed with the following items: the planetarium projector itself, 3 changeable slide discs, a star background slide, and a manual.

The batteries to operate the device are not included in the package. To get it running, you will need 4 AA batteries that are not provided by the seller.

 

Start-up

This home planetarium is a user-friendly device that can be operated without further instructions. Once you’ve unboxed it, turning it on becomes an intuitive process.

For starters, you will have to put in the batteries in its correct placement in the projector. After this, you can simply push the On/Off button to enjoy your at-home planetarium. Of course, don’t forget to choose an image disc first.

 

Functionality

This model has dual functions that give you the nighttime sky as well as a view of the rotating star patterns in the Northern sky. Aside from this, however, the Smithsonian Optics Room Planetarium and Dual Projector does not particularly boast of other special features.

To get started, you need to locate the slot for the slide discs on the surface of the device. You will be provided with 3 changeable slide discs with the box – choose the disc you want to view first. Once you’ve loaded the disk on the slot and have switched on the device, a white LED will be illuminated to show you various images and patterns of different planets, moons, nebulae, celestial bodies, and even astronauts and space crafts.

The star pattern rotates to give you a supposedly better and more exciting experience.

There will be a total of 24 HD space images for you to explore. The Smithsonian Optics Room Planetarium and Dual Projector brings us to up to 50 image combinations in all. Simply load the disk for these images on to the projector’s disk slot to start your planetarium adventure.

Overall, in terms of handling and use, I believe that this Smithsonian product deserves a kudos. It is not complicated and does not come with multiple buttons and switches that may confuse rather than excite most users. Its simplicity and straightforward design can be attributed as one of its best features.

 

 

Quality 

I know that I loaded the device with quality batteries to power it, but the brightness of the projector still seems a bit dim for me. However, the make of the device is, admittedly, of good quality.

As a final takeaway in terms of built and material, the Smithsonian Optics Room Planetarium and Dual Projector may not be so bad. However, the brightness and the crispness of the images that it projects does leave some room for improvement.

 

Service / Support

If you do need to have your product replaced or refunded, you may contact the seller on their Amazon page directly. I haven’t gotten around to requesting a change in product, so I may not be the best authority to determine their responsiveness and availability of their support team.

As for the warranty, they do not readily give out the information, so I’m assuming that the legal stipulation of refunds and exchanges of 14 days applies here.

Price Performance

One of the best things about the Smithsonian Optics Room Planetarium and Dual Projector is that it is cheap. However, as with most things that are on the lower end of the price spectrum, we cannot expect top-notch quality from this at-home planetarium projector.

I’d say that the price to performance ratio is pretty good only because it does not set the bar of expectation too high anyway. As I said, it’s a cheap projector, so be sure to manage your expectations accordingly. If anything, this device is the very embodiment of the phrase “you get what you pay for.”

 

Pros

  • very low priced
  • shows the Northern Sky mit 24 Space images
  • 50 combinations of images possible
  • suitable from 8 years

Cons

  • poor workmanship
  • low quality of the projection
  • too weak light source

 

Conclosure – Smithsonian Optics Room Planetarium and Dual Projector

On the whole, the Smithsonian Optics Room Planetarium and Dual Projector is a projector suitable for its price point. It’s cheap and accessible – more a children’s toy than a collector’s item for a hobbyist like you and me if I were to put it bluntly.

While it does offer an impressive suite of images and combinations, the execution does need improvement. The images are not crisp (a bit hazy, really), and I feel that the manufacturer still needs to work on bettering this product.

This device can’t even seem to work well as a light source as well. It may be used as a night lamp at best, but I still would not recommend this as it has proven to be an energy guzzler. I’ve burned through multiple battery packs just to properly investigate it, to be honest.

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