3 tiny projectors light up the big screen

They're small and light, but do ultraportable microprojectors measure up for business presentations?
  • (Computerworld)
  • — 09 December, 2008 09:26

It also has one thing the other two can't match: automatic keystone correction for squaring the image. Unfortunately, its focus ring is crude, and there's neither an optical zoom lens nor a remote control.

The proof of any projector is in its light output, and the M109S delivers 68 lumens to the screen, about eight times more than the others and above Dell's listed specification of 50 lumens. While this is much less than even the lowest-output conventional projector, it's enough for a good-quality presentation to a small group.

With excellent focus uniformity, images were sharp and viewers could read eight-point type from 5 feet away. On the downside, the output had a dark zone in the upper-right corner, and some of its blues were rendered as purple while others showed up as gray.

The M109S was able to start up in 18.7 seconds and shut itself down in 17.3 seconds, the slowest of the three. Unlike the other two pocket rockets, the M109S has no battery and uses 33 watts at full power. It's a lot compared to the Pico Projector or MPro110, but a pittance next to a traditional projector. The M109S has a fan to cool its parts, making it the loudest of the bunch. It also lacks either adjustable feet or a tripod mount underneath for aiming the projector.

At US$500, the M109S is the most expensive of these pocket projectors. It comes with a one-year warranty, which can be extended to three years for US$115.

All in all, the M109S is a tiny projector that delivers just enough light to be worthy of a place in your bag.

Optoma Pico Pocket Projector PK-101

Easily the smallest projector of our roundup, the soon-to-be-released Pico Pocket Projector PK-101 sets the standard for mobility with a device that's smaller than many flashlights. Unfortunately, it's about as bright as one and is suitable for presentations only in a dark room.

So small and light it might be mistaken for a cell phone, the Pico weighs 4.1 ounces, which rises to 7.4 ounces with its AC adapter. It measures just 0.7 by 2.0 by 4.2 inches, and like the others doesn't have a lens cover. Like the MPro110, the Pico has a tiny threaded tripod mount underneath for properly aiming its image on the screen. It comes with a padded case, but like the M109S's pouch, the AC adapter doesn't fit inside.

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Brian Nadel

Computerworld
Topics: projectors
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