Anker hosted a hardware event in New York City today, and wrapped into other announcements was news of an updated mini projector as well as the release date for one of the company’s Google Assistant-equipped smart speakers.
The company plans to launch its Nebula Capsule II projector on Kickstarter tomorrow with the goal of shipping it by March 2019. This second model in the Nebula Capsule line still runs Android TV, but it now features a USB-C charging port, a higher-resolution image at 720p, a brighter image at 200 lumens, a more powerful 8W speaker, and the inclusion of Google Assistant.
When I reviewed the original Nebula Capsule for The Verge, my biggest gripe was that it relied on Micro USB, so I greatly appreciate the company moving over to USB-C with this refresh. The device can apparently charge completely over two and a half hours through Anker’s fast charging system. These new features make this model slightly bigger than its predecessor with it weighing 24 ounces versus 15 ounces.
The price also jumps by $50 for the Capsule II. It’ll go for $400 on Kickstarter — once early bird units sell out — but it’s unclear whether that price will rise once the crowdfunding campaign ends. Anker CEO Steven Yang tells The Verge that the company went with crowdfunding because it, essentially, helps build hype. In exchange for an early bird discount, backers help to “actually spread the word of mouth,” he says.
The projector will still have an HDMI port, USB, AUX-out, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Chromecast functionality.
Meanwhile, Anker finally has more news on its pretty Model Zero and Model Zero+ smart speakers, which both have Google Assistant built-in. Although the speakers were announced at CES, we haven’t had a price or release date until now. They’ll be released in November for $199.99 and $249.99, respectively. Both devices are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled speakers with 10 hours of reported battery life. The Model Zero+ also has something called “Designed by Scan-Speak,” which Anker says increases its audio output definition and makes the speaker sound better.