The dominant technology in business and education projectors has been the Epson 3LCD class of projectors. These projectors provide a great balance of brightness, resolution, and value to most professional users. A new comer to the projection arena has been the LED Pico and micro projectors. When these projectors first started out they were extremely poor products – no better than toys at 10 lumens and 320×230 resolution. Today the micro projector has matured to become a serious contender in the business and education projector market. But how far has it truly come? We compared an Epson 3LCD projector (the EX3220) with a new comer, the AAXA technologies P450 micro projector, The EX3220 coming in at 3000 lumens is definitely going to be a lot brighter than the 450 the P450 has to offer however we’re excited to see how these projectors will stand against each other considering the massive size difference..
The first thing you notice about the AAXA projector is that it is small. It’s actually something that you can carry in your purse, briefcase, or even in your pocket (no skinny jeans!) Whereas the Epson 3LCD projectors are something you still need a dedicated backpack for.
The main difference between the new Pico projectors and the traditional projectors such as the Epson, Optima, Acer, or Benq projectors of the past is that the new Pico projectors use an LED light source instead of the traditional UHP light source. What this means is that the LED projectors can turn on instantly, and can turn off instantly. No more warm-up and cool down times. Another important benefit of the LED light source is the lifespan which typically last anywhere from 15,000 hours to 20,000 hours. This basically means you could run it for 4 hours a day for about 14 years, long after the projector is obsolete.
Of course the size aside, picture quality and picture usability is important. Traditionally micro projectors have produced unusable images due to the lack of brightness. Today we are testing just how good 450 lumens is compared to Epson’s 3LCD projectors.
As you can see, our results were surprising. Naturally the 3000 Lumen Epson projector dominated the AAXA projector in terms of brightness. However this doesn’t tell the full story. The AAXA p450 actually had a usable image in a bright room – a huge improvement over the first generation Pico projectors. Interesting enough the in dark areas of the p450 really shined, the brightness differences was LESS noticeable and both were able to deliver a fairly large sized image (about 100”) in a dark room. However the differences were very apparent the larger the picture size. At about 150” the P450 started to look a bit faded whereas the Epson EX3220 still had a fairly bright image.
We then took the P450 and did a few medium and dark area shots. Definitely usable.
In conclusion the Epson EX3220 does what we expect it to – a great value projector that isn’t lacking in brightness, you can find it for purchase here: http://www.staples.com/Epson-EX3220-SVGA-3LCD-3000-lumens-projector/product_220803. But we were pleasantly surprised by the AAXA P450. In a David versus Goliath battle it “held its own” against the much brighter and larger Epson EX3220 and was reasonably usable in both bright areas and great in dark areas. In short if you’re tired of carrying a large projector and don’t need to present to a large group of people definitely consider the AAXA P450, which can be purchased here: http://www.staples.com/AAXA-Technologies-P450-Ultra-Bright-HD-Pocket-DLP-Pico-Projector-WXGA/product_IM1VQ9007. If you need brightness and have a big audience Epson has a full line of great projectors purchasable: http://www.staples.com/epson/directory_epson?fids=142883&rpp=18&pn=1&sr=true.