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AAXA’s 720P LCOS LED HD Pico Projector

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AAXA has recently released their latest model of pico projector and we were fortunate enough to get our hands on the ST200 720P LED Projector for a review; and we are impressed with the little titan. Boasting features such as a built media interface, lithium ion battery (allowing up to 60 minutes of run time), and a built in speaker this little machine is ready to go right out of the box. Weighing in at just 11 oz. the ST200 can produce an image up to 100 inches. Getting to those files or launching games on the small projector is a breeze with it’s on board controls and media interface. Allowing you to play media from a range of devices via a USB port, SD card slot, and HDMI input. There is also a port to connect to a portable speakers which makes game play, movies, and music even better.

 

Check out the ST200 in action in the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9gJFR7Zjh0

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Compared to it’s competitors AAXA’s ST200 50 lumens mini projector is featured rich and versatile. It is very user friendly and can be used by anyone. It is priced competitively in it’s class and is something to look into if you’re in the market for a pico projector. Check out the link below for the Amazon listing.

http://www.amazon.com/ST200-Short-Projector-Multimedia-player/dp/B00W1PKXQ8

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Celluon Releases PicoPro Laser Pico Projector

We spoke about how laser projectors may be making a comeback in our last post, this time, we have actual evidence of it!

Celluon is releasing their PicoPro, a small ultraportable projector that incorporates laser projection to provide an infinite focus image that is very vibrant in it’s colors.  The unit is roughly 1″ thick, gives you an HD resolution of 1280×720, and 2-3 hours of battery.

The contrast ratio is what really perks our ears up, 80,000:1, a traditional LED projector is in the neighborhood of 1000-2000:1, so this is a dramatic improvement for sure.

Pricing isn’t announced quite yet but is expected within the first half of the year.

For more information on the PicoPro, visit http://celluon.com/products_picopro_overview.php

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Pixelworks Enters Agreement to License the VueMagic Mobile Presenter to BenQ

BenQ

BenQ has long been known for good quality projectors at slightly higher prices, this will hopefully change with the news that BenQ will now have access to Pixelwork’s VueMagic for their systems.  VueMagic is a display technology that brings enhanced functionality like wireless and streaming to any device.  This is something that has long been sought after by many companies, the idea of putting a portable projector into your bag and being able to stream wirelessly to it, no need for cables.

Features like these will definitely add value to the projectors, which should increase sales across the board for BenQ.  If other companies follow suit, who knows where the features will be in 2-3 years.

“We are excited to announce our expanded partnership with BenQ, a leader in the projection display market, as well as their licensing of VueMagic Mobile Presenter as the basis for QPresenter Pro,” said Graham Loveridge, Sr. Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Business Development at Pixelworks. “The cooperation between BenQ and Pixelworks is targeted at enhancing the projected viewing experience while also improving meeting collaboration and mobile flexibility.”

Does anyone else still use a BenQ Pocket Projector?  We are always looking for new models but BenQ has been making them slower and slower these days, hopefully we get some good stuff as a result of this deal!

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Sony 4k Ultra Short Throw Projector is $40k

Well this isn’t exactly a pocket projector but its worth a post. If you haven’t seen or heard about Sony’s 4k ultra short throw projector then its about time! Sony has created a projector that is completely house inside a modern contemporary piece of furniture. Its sleek, stylish and will cost you around $40,000!

But when you actually see it you’ll wish you had the money to get one. Don’t worry though there will be some ultra short throw projectors coming, they just won’t look as cool and cost as much.

 

the 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector uses an SXRD laser projector. Otherwise, it seems to have the same sort of spec sheet you’d expect on a flagship Sony TV (four HDMI inputs, Triluminos display, 3D support — the whole nine yards).

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TouchJet Debut Their TouchPico Projector

 

TouchJet gave everyone a first look at their new TouchPico Projector at CES 2014.  It is a Android based projector allowing full independent functionality. It gives the portability of a tablet and the functions to match with an included stylus pen that is fully interactive with the pico projector.

Singapore-based company Touchjet unveiled a new $500 projector and sensor at CES 2014 called TouchPico. This all-in-one portable gizmo can download apps from Google Play and project them on a wall or other flat surface using infrared tech. Basically, it takes an app from the confines of a smaller screen to a 60-inch space on an obliging wall or table.

[www.cnet.com]

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Fingerink by Fugitsu Makes Touchscreen with Cameras and Pico Projectors

The digital age is here and new technology by Fujitsu debut its new Fingerlink Interaction System. This technology puts together a camera and projector and will turn any surface into a digital touchscreen. The pen and paper may soon become historical artifacts as pico projectors are playing a bigger part in many different aspects of our lives.

 

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AAXA’s P2 Jr vs 3M’s MP225

3M + AAXA

Time for another showdown, this time we’re comparing two ultra-portable units, which are both value priced but pack in lots of features.

Let’s talk about 3M’s MP225 first.  Amazon has this projector for $199, and it has a pretty clean look to it, which gives it a nice look.  I’m not crazy about the look of the buttons, they almost look like buttons on a children’s toy or something.  A plus on this design is that it has a built-in stand, which I found to be incredibly useful while using it.

The brightness on the MP225 is rated at 32 lumens, which is good, but it won’t be a replacement for your full sized projector by any means.  32 lumens is great for watching movies in your room when it’s dark, but it won’t be great for in a lit room.

As for inputs, the MP225 falls a bit short, providing only a combined VGA / AV port which required a 3M cable for every output it supports (RCA and VGA).  The exclusion of HDMI makes me wonder what they were thinking when they decided not to put a HDMI port on it.  VGA gives it lots of options, but if you wanted to plug in a newer laptop (one with only HDMI out) you might be out of luck.

The MP225 is a pocketable addition to any everyday carry, and we think it’s good, but the lack of HDMI kills it.

 

AAXA’s P2 Jr is fairly new, but has been on the market long enough to earn a reputation for being a good portable projector.  Priced at $199, it equals the value of the MP225, but how does it compare in terms of performance and inputs?

The P2 Jr weighs in at just 0.3 lb, compared to the MP225’s 0.65 lb, that makes it half the weight, and it is slightly smaller as well, coming in at 4.2″ x 2.9″ x 0.8″ vs the MP225’s 5.9″ x 2.5″ x 1.2″.

The P2 Jr stacks up well in terms of performance, offering a 55 lumen output in terms of brightness, which is almost twice as much as the MP225.  The performance is surprising considering the product’s weight and size, you might think it would fall short, but it doesn’t.  Color reproduction seemed good, nothing spectacular (it’s a tiny projector, what do you expect?), sound was okay, but nothing mindblowing.

As for inputs, the P2 Jr has a good amount of them.  The one major thing the P2 Jr has over the MP225 is HDMI, which is a life saver if you need to plug in anything that doesn’t support VGA.  The HDMI port is a mini HDMI port, but a simple adapter can turn it into a full sized one.  In addition to the HDMI port is a VGA port (mini VGA using a proprietary adapter, sadly), and an AV jack for RCA video.

The other thing the P2 Jr has over the MP225 is a full sized USB port, and a MicroSD Card Slot.  This allows you to load movies or photos onto a USB drive or MicroSD Card and play them directly off of the projector.  I think this is where the P2 Jr really shines, instead of having to use a laptop or some other device to play content, you can just play them on the projector.

 

We think the best bang for your buck is the P2 Jr over the MP225, it provides more inputs, a brighter display, and a smaller size.  We recommend both, but if you want your moneys worth, the AAXA provides a better value.

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Best Projector for the Classroom

Chemistry Teacher with Students in Class

There are many choices when it comes to projectors for the classroom, full size ones, portable ones, or even new “Pico” projectors.  What you need will vary depending on how you intend to use your projector.   There are many different factors that play into what projector you should use in your classroom.  One factor would be portability, useful for taking the projector around to multiple rooms so it is not stuck in one particular class.  Inputs are also important, you want to be able to present off of anything, and if you have more inputs, there are more options for how you present.  Brightness is probably one of the most important, brightness is key in making sure even the kids at the back of the class see what you’re showing.

Some of the competitors in this space are the Acer C120, the Optoma PK320, and the AAXA P4-X.  Each has their own benefits and drawbacks; some are brighter than others, while some offer better inputs.

Portability is one of the biggest points of any pico projector, and it matters especially if you will be taking the projector around to multiple classrooms, sharing it between teachers, but that portability shouldn’t mean it’s underpowered.

The Acer C120 is the smallest of the bunch, but it gives some crucial tradeoffs to get that title, the case seems flimsy and cheaply made, and the focus wheel never seemed to get the picture 100% in focus.  The AAXA P4-X is slightly heavier than a few others but gives a much sturdier case construction, and an included tripod, great for propping up the projector when giving a class demonstration.  The Optoma on the other hand is very small, and has a shiny black case, which looks good but grabs fingerprints!  The 3M MP220 is the heaviest of the bunch, weighing almost twice that of some other models, which puts it a step down in the portability category.

Inputs are a vital part to any projector, being able to plug in any device to a projector is very handy, especially with the number of devices people are carrying with them nowadays.  The C120 definitely takes a hit in this department, offering only USB connectivity to a PC.  The AAXA P4-X has a variety of inputs, everything from Mini-HDMI, VGA, and AV connections, offering teachers and students multiple ways to plug in devices.  The Optoma includes everything the AAXA P4-X includes except for VGA, missing a crucial connection that teachers might use to connect a PC to the projector.  The 3M MP220 has a combined VGA/RCA/Apple plug, but no HDMI, losing access to plug in a BluRay player, or other high definition sources.

The last, and arguably most important part of a projector for a classroom is brightness, being able to see the screen from across the room is vital to learning and keeping kids engrossed.  The Acer C120, the AAXA P4-X, and the Optoma KP320 all have brightness ratings of around 100 Lumens, which is a good brightness for an average room environment.  The 3M MP220 only has a brightness rating of 65 Lumens while on battery power, we were not given a rating for it when it is plugged into AC Power.

Overall, these are all good projectors for a classroom environment, but in our opinion, the AAXA P4-X is the best all around, providing great variety of inputs, good brightness, and portable enough to carry around from classroom to classroom.

Links:

3M MP220: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2379831&CatId=23

Acer C120: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7757866&CatId=4298

AAXA P4-X: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2323101&CatId=1755

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Micro Projector Round-off: Optoma ML500 vs AAXA LED Showtime 3D

 

We are comparing today the Optoma ML-500 and the AAXA LED Showtime 3D. The ML500 is priced at slightly over $500 (Buy here) while the LED Showtime 3D can be found at under $500 (Buy here). Both projectors are a tad pricey for what is considered pico projectors since most picos are priced under $400. These projectors fall in the range of regular, traditional lamp projectors but stand out in that they are built with LEDs. These projectors will give you a longer shelf life and will save you money in the long run when you have to replace your projector’s lamp bulbs.

Appearance

At a first glance both the ML500 and LED Showtime 3D look fairly the same. However, the ML500 is a little bit larger in size in comparison to the LED Showtime 3D. The ML500 is measured at 8.7” x 1.7” x 6.7” whereas the LED Showtime 3D is measured at 5.9” x 5.2” x 1.4”. Both projectors are designed to be seen as simple projectors which will blend in with your media devices when using it at home.

The Technology

Both projectors use DLP imager technology. The Optoma ML500 is recorded to have 500 lumens while the AAXA LED Showtime 3D is not ranked yet. Both claim to have a light source that last over 20,000 hours which means there will be no change of bulbs needed. Below are images of the ML500 and LED Showtime 3D, respectively. From our review, we found that the ML500 was brighter than the LED Showtime 3D. However, the Showtime 3D made up for its brightness due to its rich color contrast. The Showtime 3D has richer and deeper colors than the ML500 and gives you a better image quality but lacks in brightness and power.

From PicoPros

Advantages and Disadvantages

These two projectors are priced at a range where it falls between small, pico projectors and the traditional lamp projectors. Like pico projectors, the ML500 and LED Showtime 3D uses LEDs rather than a lamp which means there are no need to change out the bulbs every year or so. Both projectors produce a large enough display where you feel as if you were in a home theater. The AAXA LED Showtime is smaller than the ML 500 but it loses its strength in the fact that it is not rated in lumens yet. Through our test, we made sure to make note of this difference but saw no such drawback in the missing lumens rating. Both seemed to be on par with each other in brightness, color, and contrast.

The disadvantages with these two projectors are that they are pricey for a projector with those lumens rating. For the same price, you can purchase a traditional projector with 4x the lumens rating. However, you would be losing out on portability, and lifespan of your projector.

Conclusion

If you are in the market for a small projector that is capable of showing rich images and videos on-the-go, you cannot go wrong with either the LED Showtime 3D or the ML 500. Depending on what you need the projector for, the LED Showtime 3D will be great to place in your suitcase or luggage since it takes up the least space. As for the ML500, it would be a great use for it to be placed at home or in a small office since it’s small enough to be space efficient.

Optoma ML500: http://www.optomausa.com/products/detail/ML500

AAXA LED Showtime 3D: http://www.aaxatech.com/products/led_showtime_3d_micro_projector.htm 

 

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Picking a Projector of the best and bright pico projectors

Pico projectors are the tiniest handheld projectors that are currently out there on the market. Its portability and easiness to use is highly efficient for entertainment and business purposes. Unfortunately, pico projectors aren’t as small as your typical handheld device like an iPhone, it still is considered very small, and won’t even weigh down a briefcase or purse by more than a pound. Some pico projectors even weigh less than half that.

 

Projector/Specs Price Brightness Size Weight Resolution (Native) Battery Power
AAXA P300 $419 300 Lumens 5.9×3.8×1.5inches 1.3 lbs 1280×800 75 min
Acer C120 $229 100 Lumens 4.7×3.2×1 inches 0.5 lbs 854×480 60 min
Optoma PK320 $375 100 Lumens 4.7×1.2×2.7 inches 0.6lbs 854×480 90 min
3M MP220 $450 65 Lumens 6.2×1.3×3.2 inches 0.9lbs 1024×600 120 min

 

Pico projectors have become credible business tools as technology improves, unfortunately they are still not powerful enough to display in large rooms. This shouldn’t be the main entertainment device that you use, but it definitely is a useful tool for constant travelers.

 

At the end of the day, depending what you are looking for, you can definitely make a decision on what fits your needs the best. If you are looking for a brighter projector, you would probably look for the AAXA P300.  If you’re looking for a cheaper model the Acer C120 ould be a better fit. If you are looking for higher quality pico projector, the P300 would be the best fit as well, being the brightest and highest native resolution out there. There are many differences and similarities with each pico projector; you just have to take a look at what fits your needs, and what doesn’t. Below are some pros/cons of each projector.

 

Pros/Cons:

 

AAXA P300:

–          Pros:

  • Brightest pico projector by far
  • Able to connect with USB/VGA/HDMI/Composite AV/SD/Headphones
  • Highest Native Resolution

–          Cons:

  • A bit pricey

Acer C120:

–          Pros:

  • Inexpensive and high brightness

–          Cons:

  • Least versatile out of the group

Optoma PK320:

–          Pros:

  • Really Bright
  • Relatively long battery life
  • Able to connect with USB/VGA/HDMI/Composite AV/SD/Headphones

–          Cons:

  • Expensive for a pico projector

3M MP220:

–          Pros:

  • Highest native resolution
  • Longest battery life

–          Cons

  • Expensive
  • Low brightness