3 tiny projectors light up the big screen

They're small and light, but do ultraportable microprojectors measure up for business presentations?

Powered by LEDs, the projector uses only 6 watts of power, about the equivalent of a child's night light. It can run on its 1,050 milli-amp hour battery for 49 minutes between charges, or about 20 minutes shorter than the Pico Projector. Unfortunately, it lacks a battery gauge.

The least expensive of the bunch, the MPro110 comes with a disappointing 90-day warranty; 3M doesn't offer an upgrade to three years of coverage, but Office Depot offers a three-year warranty for an extra US$135.

This projector gives an inkling of what's possible when you think small. Business users will love the MPro110's size and weight, but will ultimately be turned off by its image quality and brightness.

Dell M109S Projector

It may not be the smallest or the lightest of these puny projectors, but Dell's M109S is still tiny compared to a conventional projector, and its output puts the other pocket projectors to shame. To my thinking, it is an excellent choice for mobile mavens who want to travel light.

Looking like a one-quarter scale model of a traditional projector, the black and silver M109S is only 1.5 by 3.6 by 4.1 inches. At 12.8 ounces, it weighs more than the other two combined, and its travel weight is 1.4 pounds. Still, it's much lighter than a traditional projector.

The M109S comes with a single multi-input cable that does it all by connecting to a VGA or composite video source as well as its AC adapter. There's a nice padded case, but the AC adapter doesn't fit inside. A big bonus is that it uses the same adapter as Dell's Latitude E series notebooks, which allows you to carry one charger. Like the others, the M109S lacks any way to protect the fragile lens.

The M109S uses a 0.45-in. DLP imaging engine that produces native 858-by-600 resolution, making it the sharpest of the group. Dell specs the M109S with an 800:1 contrast ratio. It's capable of producing images between 15 and 60 inches (measured diagonally) at a distance of around 2 to 8 feet from the screen.

While the others get by with just on-off switches, the M109S has a control panel with an array of adjustments that rivals its bigger brothers. In addition to brightness, contrast, whiteness and color temperature, there are a variety of modes for viewing different material.

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Brian Nadel

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