LG HU715Q UST Laser Projector Review

hcc_recommendedLG's new UST laser projector is smart, compact and bright. Steve May, who is none of those things, takes a closer look

If you invite the neighbours to watch Turning Red on your new LG 'CineBeam' HU715Q projector, will they leave an envious shade of green? I reckon so. The Korean company's take on the (slowly) evolving 'laser TV' market is delightfully impressive.

Clearly hoping to muscle out sector rivals including Optoma and BenQ, the model combines the unquestionable convenience of all-in-one Ultra Short Throw (UST) beaming with the TV smarts of its WebOS platform, plus minimalist design sensibility.

The key appeal of any UST projector is that it can deliver a huge image into virtually any space, with no impact on physical infrastructure or line of sight. Living rooms, dens, lofts and even bedrooms can benefit.

Wherever it ends up, the HU715Q will probably be used with a white wall, but for those with the space and inclination, an ALR (Ambient Light Rejection) screen would be the icing on the cake. However, LG isn't following the Hisense route in bundling the projector with a screen (see the Hisense 100L9GTUK, HCC #331), so buyers will need to shop around.


LG's ultra-short-throw (0.22:1) lens fires out of the top- panel vent

Using a wall, setup will only take a few minutes, with just a bit of shuffling required to size the image – you'll get a 100in picture from a distance of 22cm. There's keystone correction with progressive 4-, 9- and 15-point adjustment to combat distortion, and it's at this point most users will probably realise that their chosen surface isn't ruler flat.

Usability is generally great. LG's laser light engine starts up really fast (compared to regular lamp models), with the projector reaching full brightness almost instantly.

When it comes to design, LG steers clear of flashiness. The unit, which measures just over 50cm wide and 30cm deep, has a white matte finish to blend with pretty much any decor. Even the handset, one of LG's 'Magic Remote' jobs, is finished in matching white and backlit for home theatre duties. The forward-facing stereo speaker array, meanwhile, is clad in tasteful grey Kvadrat fabric.

Rear connectivity is generous. There are three HDMIs, one of which is 2.1 eARC/ARC and supports Auto Low Latency Mode for gamers. There are also two USB ports, one optical digital audio output, and an Ethernet LAN to complement Wi-Fi and AirPlay 2.

Dynamic Snap
While it's not a native 4K model, instead using TI's micro mirror flipping technique to deliver pixel-dense images, the HU715Q looks convincingly UHD. It's also reassuringly bright – LG quotes a 2,500 Lumens output for its laser source (plus a worry-free lifespan of 20,000 hours), and it's certainly potent enough for daylight viewing. Even in a sunlit room, the picture has appreciable dynamic snap with excellent colour fidelity. Playing a role here is LG's Brightness Optimiser, which can make automatic adjustments according to ambient light conditions.

Indeed, the PJ looks its best with bright imagery, and animation in particular, making time with Disney+ well spent. Turning Red is this CineBeam's happy place. The vivid primaries of Pixar's 'toon hit are nothing less than stunning, particularly in a dark lighting-controlled room.