[ UPDATE 11/12/2008: We recently learned that there will not be a large release in the USA for this projector. It will be available at Apple stores in Japan, and may be available in select consumer electronics stores. However, if you are looking for a small portable projector for presentations rather than a gizmo, we do offer several “palm” sized projectors that are MUCH brighter and also are not limited to composite only inputs. Projector People will demo the PK-101 projector soon, and provide some feedback for Optoma and for our blog readers. Stay tuned! ]
There’s a new projector gadget in town. It’s handy, high tech, and portable. It’s called a “pico” projector. Sometimes promoted as iPod projectors, these tiny portable beamers are getting lots of attention these days. So are they a good fit for a professional presentation pitch? Or are they just a gadget? Read on.
How Pico Are We Talkin’ Here?
New pico projectors like the soon-to-be-released Optoma PK-101 weigh in well under a pound. The PK-101 weighs just 4.2 ounces. Its footprint is about the same size as an iPod classic or a cell phone. By comparison, the smallest projector would be about 2.75 pounds, and it would have a footprint several times that size. Your pico projector actually slips into your pocket, rather than into a carrying case.
What’s Not to Like?
Well, if you are comparing it to a professional business projector, there are a few things that won’t cut it. Those include: brightness, image size, input flexibility, and sound. The pico projector is not nearly as bright as any professional presentation projector. Not even close. But it is definitely viewable. The maximum image size is about 60-inches, but the image will not be particularly bright (a dark room will help). You will also have limited inputs (just composite video and stereo audio-in). There is a built-in speaker on the PK-101, but it won’t exactly fill up a room with just .5 watts.
One more thing you might not like: the $430 list price. The street price may be lower than that, but since it’s new on the market it’s not clear how much less expensive it will be. And since we love comparisons, our cheapest professional “ultra” portable (but not Pico) projector is around $500-800. It will weigh more than the PK-101, but it would provide a significantly improved image and might also be highly conspicuous in your pocket.
What’s to Love?
If you’ve always felt you were a little like James Bond on the inside, or you just like to be the first to have an exotic gadget, this is a very cool toy. It’s also great for a plane ride (project on the back of your seat) or a car trip with the youngins’ (as long as they don’t try and blind you while you drive). Or you can also brandish your pico projector to promote your independent film guerrilla style when you bump into Spielberg in the men’s room at Canter’s.
So, go Optoma gadget go!
Optoma PK-101 Quick Specs :
- 4.2 ounces
- LED technology
- Chargeable 1.5 hour battery
- 0.5-watt speaker
Click here for mores specs and info
Some Ultra Portable Options :
- InFocus IN10 : 2.4 pounds ($949)
- InFocus IN1100 : 2.75 pounds ($1049)
- InFocus IN1102 : 2.75 pounds ($1149)
- Mitsubishi XD90U : 2.9 pounds ($1275)
- Optoma EP1691 : 3.2 pounds ($999) Widescreen native!
- Toshiba TDP-PX10U : 2.9 pounds ($759)
Search for more projectors by weight, brightness, resolution, and more using our Projector Finder »
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