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Artograph Inspire 1200 Digital Art Projector Review

Iva Mikles
Artograph Inspire 1200 Digital Art Projector Review

Hey there! Welcome to my Artograph Inspire 1200 digital art projector review. I had a chance to try it shortly before it was introduced to retail, and it became my pick for an art projector.

Below is the summary and details of my experience! It takes about 10 minutes to read.

I share my experience on how easy it is to use, focus and control with the remote; how it performs in different light conditions; how easy it is to connect to devices; and how easy it is to work with the grids and keystone adjustment.

Artograph Inspire 1200 Review Summary

Artograph Inspire 1200 is a portable, rechargeable, and powerful digital art projector you can use indoors and outdoors. It is great for scaling up and tracing portraits, landscapes, and murals in the studio, office, home, and outdoors. I’d definitely use it for live workshops in mid-sized rooms with audiences of up to 25 people. With the included USB-C port, I can easily connect it to my iPad Pro or MacBook, which makes it my ideal pick.

ProsCons
➕ Quadcast RGB LEDs (30k hours lifespan)➖ Mounting plate (included) is needed for a tripod
➕ 4K resolution➖ Remote control doesn’t include keystone buttons
➕ Powerful and portable
➕ Rechargeable battery (3h runtime)
➕ 32 built-in grid patterns
➕ Digital focus adjustment with remote control
➕ Vertical keystone adjustment
➕ USB-C port
➕ Solid build
FeatureBenefit
Light (lumens and contrast)
Quad cast RGB LED Technology – four red, green, blue, and yellow LED lights
• 1,200 Lumens when plugged in
• 650 Lumens when on battery
• 2,000:1 Contrast ratio
Amazing color reproduction, thanks to a wide color gamut. This is one of the reasons artists should get this projector.
Resolution:
• Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (FHD)
• Max Resolution: 3840 x 2160 (4K)
Awesome for detailed work. Your artwork and photos will be sharp, even in super high resolution.
Projection image size:
From 16″ (A3) up to 200″ (5m)
Awesome for close-up work on canvas and projecting indoor and outdoor walls for murals.
Grid patterns:
32 built-in grid patterns
These grids are another reason why artists need to get this projector! Some of my students use it to learn composition, perspective, and proportions. And some of my artist friends use it to build unique scenes combining photos from different angles and matching the compositions.
Keystone adjustment:
Yes – vertical
Super helpful for projecting on tilted surfaces and when you can’t get the projector straight.
Throw ratio:
1.2:1
Thanks to this standard throw ratio, the projector doesn’t need to be far from the tracing surface.
Connectivity:
Composite A/V, HDMI, USB, USB-C, micro-SD card slot
This selection of input ports makes it extremely flexible to connect to any device.

Why Did I Choose To Test Artograph Inspire 1200?

Studio mural - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
This would make a nice Ghibli-inspired studio mural – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

As an artist, I realized that standard digital movie and gaming projectors didn’t fit my vision of creating office murals and scaling up my artwork on canvas.

The RGB LEDs and the grid patterns making composition, perspective, and colors perfect are features not readily available in standard digital projectors.

That’s why I turned to Artograph – a company with years of experience producing opaque and digital projectors designed for art purposes. Recently acquired by Studio Designs Inc., their updated models celebrate this long history while introducing advanced features perfect for today’s artists.

So I naturally gave them a try!

I tried Artograph Inspire 1200, released in early 2023, and Artograph Flare 450, released in 2021. You can read the Artograph Flare 450 digital projector review here. Read their direct comparison here.

Who Can Benefit From Using Artograph Inspire 1200?

Both beginner and professional artists can benefit from using Artograph Inspire 1200.

Though because of its price, I can imagine it’s more suitable for professional artists.

Inspire 1200 works great for the following tasks:

If you are a beginner artist learning the art fundamentals (composition, perspective, proportions), Inspire 1200 will be super helpful because of 32 built-in grid patterns.

If you are a professional landscape or portrait artist painting large canvas paintings and murals, Inspire 1200 will also help you save a lot of time with these built-in grids!

I’d definitely use it for live workshops in mid-sized rooms for up to 20 – 25 people.

It also feels durable enough to carry around and to project artwork, slideshows, and videos in galleries and art shows.

Unboxing The Artograph Inspire 1200

What’s included in the box? Let’s find out below …

Tripod Mounting Plate

Tripod mounting plate - Artograph Inspire 1200
Tripod mounting plate – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

When you open the box, you will find the mounting tripod plate, which you must attach to the projector to attach the tripod. It’s a small extra step and didn’t bother me at all.

The Accessories

All accessories - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
All accessories – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

As with any electronics, you get the user manual to learn how to use the projector and troubleshoot if something goes wrong.

Then you get the charger to charge the battery or use the projector in Boost mode. It comes with a US plug in the US, and if you buy it internationally, it will include an adapter based on your country.

Then there is the A/V cable, which, I think, you can use when projecting videos with sound.

Then you get an HDMI cable and a small USB key containing sample images and manuals.

You also get the remote control with AAA batteries, a must for any digital projector.

And the screws for the tripod mount plate.

And that’s it for accessories.

The Projector

And here is the projector. You can see that Inspire 1200 is the right size, neither small nor big.

I can hold it with one hand, but it doesn’t fit into my palm, such as Artograph Flare 450.

Size - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
The projector in my hand – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

In the front, you have the lens with LED Lights.

Lens detail - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
Lens detail – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

Then you have the touchpad on the top. The back side includes the on and off switch.

Projector and Remote control - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
Projector and Remote control – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

On this side, you have the headphones port, port for the microSD card, and, most important for me, USB-C port. This helps me to connect to my MacBook and iPad Pro directly.

Ports incl USB-C - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
Ports including USB-C – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

On the bottom, you attach the mounting plate. Here I see the battery. Which, I guess, based on the screws, is replaceable. That’s always nice!

Bottom side - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
Bottom side – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

On this side, we have the DC port for the charger, HDMI, and USB port. I would prefer if all the ports were on one side, but I think this will do.

HDMI and USB port - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
HDMI and USB port – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

Ok, that’s that for unboxing. Let’s turn it on!

Using The Artograph Inspire 1200

Turning on Inspire 1200

The “on and off” switch is in the back. Once you toggle it to the “on” position, wait a few seconds, and it turns on quickly. The battery is precharged, and I could use the projector out of the box.

Attaching Tripod Mounting Plate

How to attach tripod mounting plate - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
How to attach tripod mounting plate – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

When I first unpacked Artograph Inspire 1200, I wondered what the extra mounting plate was for.

It turned out it was for attaching the tripod because the projector doesn’t have the tripod female thread.

I found it very easy to attach. I could tighten the screws with my fingers, which already held quite well. To make it safer, I used a screwdriver.

And it’s more or less “attach it and forget it” because if you don’t really need to, you don’t have to detach it at all. The mounting plate adds an extra height to the projector, which is sometimes helpful.

Focus

Digital focus - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life

Artograph Inspire 1200 uses digital focus, and I found controlling the focus with the remote very easy.

I naturally used the + and – buttons on the remote control, but you could also use the buttons on the right side of the projector.

And tada, from blurry to focus in seconds! 

Remote Control

Remote control buttons - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
Remote control buttons – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

The infrared remote control is pretty easy to use. It’s similar to a remote you would get with your TV.

Just point it at the front of the projector. It’s pretty accurate and works very well.

It has a button to access the grids and digital focus directly without the need to find them in the interface. That’s pretty awesome. I wish Studio Designs included keystone adjustment buttons, too. It would make the remote perfect ☆!

Main Menu - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
Main Menu – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

The main menu is pretty understandable and easy to use. You get the following menu items:

Videos and Photos

You can select your artwork, photos, and videos from the USB key here.

BTW, when you go to the samples photos folder on the included USB key, there is a photo of a cute cat. Make sure to check it out 🙂

Overlays (Grids)

The overlays are grid patterns. This is where you will find all 32 grid patterns. There are actually 34, but two are smaller and bigger versions of the same pattern. 

Settings and Inputs

Then we have settings and inputs.

In settings, you can adjust picture, sound, and input settings.

In inputs, you select your source. As mentioned, I only used the mirroring screens feature when I connected my iPad Pro with the USB-C data cable. 

Brightness

The brightness adjustments are similar to Artograph Flare 450, going from Eco to Standard to Boost mode (which only works when plugged into the power outlet and should only be used for one hour to avoid overheating).

When you use the Inspire 1200 on the battery, you can use Eco and Standard brightness modes, which are pretty good in almost all conditions other than direct sunlight. But what projector ever performs well in direct sunlight?

See below how the projector performed in the dark and with daylight coming through …

Keystone Adjustment

First, I wasn’t sure how to find the keystone adjustment control because there are no buttons for it on the remote control.

Once I found it, it was pretty easy to use. Push the “grid” button on the remote control and arrow up. Then use the left and right arrows to adjust the keystone.

Artograph Inspire 1200 Key Decision-Making Criteria

Light (Lumens and Contrast)

Artograph Inspire 1200 light uses quad-cast RGB LED technology.

Four individual red, green, blue, and yellow LEDs produce your image’s colors.

Compared to the triple RGB LED in Artograph Flare 450, the additional yellow LED delivered a wider range of colors, especially in the green-yellow-red spectrum. I noticed that my artwork felt more natural and lifelike and had more vibrant colors.

Dark room performance - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
Performance in the dark – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

I then researched that Quad-cast RGB LED technology was developed to produce high-quality images for professional applications such as photography, videography, graphic design, and fine art. 

Perfect for our artistic needs!

Additionally, Quad-Cast LED technology projectors have a longer lifespan, require less maintenance, produce less heat, and use less power than traditional projectors, making them more energy-efficient.

I am conscious about being kind to nature and the environment, so I definitely appreciate that!

Lumens

Then I was mostly concerned about how well the projector performed in different light conditions, or how bright it was.

Regarding lumens, Inspire 1200 is less powerful than bigger digital projectors for movies and games. Despite that, I felt it performed very well in a darkened room, even with some daylight coming through the blinds.

Light room performance - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
Performance with daylight- Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

This was quite important because I prefer not to work in complete darkness.

Contrast

Artograph Inspire 1200 has a contrast ratio of 2000:1. It’s the minimum recommended contrast ratio you will find in digital projectors for movies and games.

Combining more powerful quad-cast RGB LEDs and a 2000:1 contrast ratio makes Inspire 1200 perform well in the dark and during the day when using blinds.

Resolution

Artograph Inspire 1200 supports FHD and 4K resolution of your images.

I usually work with close to 4K canvas resolution in Procreate, and my artwork came out sharp, and I could see fine details without pixelation.

This is quite important for me because I like to include interesting details in my landscapes and would be sad to miss them.

Projection Image Size

With Artograph Inspire 1200, you can scale up your artwork on smaller canvases of 16″ (A3) up to projections big enough for a 200″ (5m) wall!

This is excellent for projecting on a bigger canvas and indoor or outdoor murals. And if 200″ (5m) is not big enough, you always have the option to project in sections.

Grid Patterns

Perspective grid - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
One of the great perspective grids – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

Artograph Inspire 1200 includes 32 built-in grid patterns! That’s so awesome.

I found all the perspective grids, even the sphere grid, and some interesting ones I’d need to research because I wasn’t sure what they were for.

Another interesting grid - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
Another interesting grid – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

You can overlay them on your projected images or project them separately on the surface you are tracing and painting.

3D sphere grid pattern - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
One of many interesting grid patterns – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

These grid patterns will help you get the composition, perspective, and proportions right every time. The patterns are also useful for creating unique landscapes when you combine images from different angles.

To learn more about using the grid overlays, get the guide on using grids on the Artograph Inspire 1200.

Keystone Adjustment

Keystone control - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
Keystone Adjustment – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

Artograph Inspire 1200 has a vertical keystone adjustment feature that allows you to align the projected image with the angle of your surface.

It is accessible from the main menu or with a little “hack” – push the grids button, then arrow up and use the left and right buttons to adjust it.

Throw Ratio

Too close - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
Closer than A3 won’t work – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

Artograph Inspire has a standard acceptable throw ratio of 1.2:1. This means that if you want to project your artwork in size of 200″ (5m), the projector needs to be around 165″ (4.2m) away from the surface.

I don’t have enough space in my studio to try it from more than 120″ (3m) away, but I am quite confident it would do from an even longer distance than the specified 200″ (5m).

If you need it to perform from a short distance, it can easily project the 16″ (A3) size. As you can see in the image above, any closer and the projected image gets blurry. Please note the surface is shiny, so the projected light reflects more than it would on canvas or a normal wall.

Connectivity

Direct connection with my iPad - Artograph Inspire 1200 - ©Art Side of Life
Direct connection with my iPad – Artograph Inspire 1200 – ©Art Side of Life

Artograph Inspire 1200 has the following ports: composite A/V, HDMI, micro-SD card slot, standard USB, and USB-C.

Thanks to the USB-C port, I could project the images from my iPad Pro within minutes of turning the projector on. This is very important because I am used to this fast user experience as a Mac user.

I think the mirroring screens feature is useful for projecting and tracing artwork and for live drawing and painting in workshops.

Remember, for mirroring the screens, you need a USB-C cable, which allows data transfer. The one you use for charging is not good enough.

Should You Get Artograph Inspire 1200?

To conclude, if you are an advanced or professional artist looking for a portable digital art projector that supports your tracing, drawing, and painting needs, Artograph Inspire 1200 could be for you!

My Pick
Artograph Inspire 1200 Digital Art Projector

Best digital projector for artists, tracing, canvas painting, and murals

Quadcast RGB LEDs with 30k hours lifespan || Throw distance from 16″ (A3) to 200″ (5m) || Throw ratio 1.2:1 || 32 built-in grid patterns || Portable || 3h rechargeable battery run time || 4k resolution || Vertical keystone || Many connectivity options including USB-C

Artograph Inspire 1200 and Flare 450 are the only digital projectors I found that are made with artists in mind. They use RGB LED technology and include built-in grid patterns and keystone adjustment.

When I first unpacked Artograph Inspire 1200, I was impressed with its size and sturdy appearance.

It holds pretty well, and It’s neither big nor small. Although it fits into my backpack, I’d carry it separately in its bag because then I can’t fit my iPad and Macbook in it.

The next thing I noticed was that it wasn’t even five minutes, and I was already projecting from my iPad Pro. I appreciate this because I am used to these bursts of creative ideas when every second is precious. I want to start working with the least delay possible when the inspiration comes.

With its performance, Artograph Inspire 1200 also felt similar to digital projectors for movies and games, and I can totally imagine using it for entertainment too.

I think Artograph Inspire 1200 is an amazing digital art projector, and when you choose it, it will greatly aid you in creating amazing artwork and murals.

Happy tracing!

Iva

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am a full-time self-taught artist behind Art Side of Life® and a Top Teacher on Skillshare. I have 15 years of experience in the creative field as a concept designer, illustrator, art director, and now freelance artist, content creator, and art instructor. My goal is to help you get your creative groove on with Procreate and make awesome art through practical classes, tutorials, Procreate brushes, and guides on art tools, supplies and resources. About me »

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