Do you want a 3D-Ready projector the size of a paperback novel? Are you a student or a professional on the go? Do you need a small projector with connectivity options allowing you to connect to your smart phone, laptop, tablets, digital camera’s, etc.? Look no further than the Vivitek Qumi! We had an opportunity to play with a Qumi while Vivitek was here so we shot a short video of what this LED pocket projector is capable of. (Look for the footage of a cat riding shotgun in a car!)
Whether you’re a college student, a travelling professor or a 10th grade science teacher, Projector People has everything you need to get you back to school with the latest technology.
Without further ado…
Best Projector for K-12 Educators – Casio XJ-M245
This feature-packed projector is ideal for K-12 teachers on a budget. Featuring LED projection (which means no costly lamp to replace!), the Casio XJ-M245’s 1.5x optical zoom allows students to easily see the content. Use MobiShare® to wow your students by projecting content right from your smart phone or tablet computer, then pull out the 3D glasses because the XJ-M245 is DLP 3D-ready… to blow your students away!
Only $1,199! Get the Casio XJ-M245 now »
Best Projector for College Students – Vivitek Qumi
Or as we like to call it: the Mighty Mouse of projectors. College students love the Qumi for its size (wayyy smaller and lighter than your Chemistry book) and ferocious features: it’s 3D-ready, high-definition and includes an LED lamp, so you’ll never have to buy an expensive bulb!
The Qumi can easily be connected to a variety of devices including, but not limited to smart phones, laptops, netbooks and tablets, digital and video cameras. Brighter than most comparable projectors, the Qumi is available in both black and white versions in case you want to color-coordinate with your new iPhone. Sweet!
Only $499! Get the Vivitek Qumi now »
Best Projector for Travelling Professors – Hitachi CPX9
Are you a road-warrior teacher, travelling from classroom to classroom, who needs a light, easy-to-use projector at an affordable price? Hey, we know those adjunct positions don’t come with lots of dollar signs attached, but we’re here to help!
Check out the Hitachi CPX9 – our pick for a “major bang for minor buck” projector. At 3200 lumens, the CPX9 is one of the brightest entry-level projectors and is equipped with an LCD lamp for crisp, clear color reproduction. It’s easy to connect to various inputs and includes a built-in speaker… just another thing you won’t have to carry with you!
The bargain price includes a case and remote to make taking the small CPX9 along in your laptop bag a breeze. And if life on the road is a little hard on your projector, don’t worry—the CPX9 is backed by a three-year warranty.
Only $699! Get the Hitachi CPX9 now »
Best Interactive Projector Mount for Educators – Chief Interactive Mount
We love this mount so much that we already wrote a blog post about it.
Here’s the skinny—if you want a lifetime of interactivity from low-price projectors, make the investment up-front for the Chief interactive mount and you’ll be happily interacting with your content for years to come. The mount works with any short-throw projector and turns any wall into an interactive surface.
Only $1,239! Get the Chief Interactive Mount now »
Best Interactive Projector for K-12 Classrooms – Epson 455WIRM BrightLink
This ultra-short throw powerhouse is perfect for K-12 educators who want complete interactivity without a bulky interactive board.
The BrightLink’s flexible design allows it to project interactive content on nearly any surface including a wall, whiteboard or chalkboard (by mounting with the included wall mount or on a cart) or a table with the optional Copernicus interactive table mount.
The flexibility extends to the projection size, too! Educators can easily adjust the interactive projection size from 59” to 96” to suit their space and needs.
The BrightLink is bundled with RM EasiTeach software, so creating interactive content is a snap. Already using a different kind of curriculum software at your school? No problem! The BrightLink 455WIRM is cross-compatible with existing curriculum software.
While we love all of the features that make the BrightLink easy to use, your budget will love the price! The Epson 455WIRM is priced significantly lower than comparable interactive whiteboards and is just as feature-rich.
Only $2,299! Get the Epson 455WIRM now »
So, what’s your favorite back to school technology?
Breaking news in the pocket projector world! Projector People now sells 3D-ready HD pocket projectors and pocket projectors with built-in camcorders.
Vivitek Qumi pico projector
Exhibit A: the 300-lumen Vivitek Qumi. We first met this little bad guy at CES 2011. The Vivitek Qumi is the world’s first 3D-ready, HD pocket projector. It features native 720p resolution, built-in 1W speakers and a LED light source that lasts up to 30,000 hours. Check out our video of the Qumi in action »
3M CP40 pico projector
Exhibit B is the 14-lumen 3M CP40. This pico projector features a built-in camcorder capable of shooting 720p video. Now you can shoot and share with just the push of a button. No more worrying about cords or hooking up to an external storage device.
Connectivity of the Vivitek Qumi and 3M CP40
Both projectors can hook up to a variety of inputs, including your iPad or iPhone.
By popular demand, we are posting a little bit more about the 3M MPro110 projector. We hook it up to an Opp DVD player and show it with video this time in a darkened, and well lit room.
The video below is just a quick take on what it has, and what it looks like in action.
[ read a projector central review of the 3M Mpro110 ]
Pocket projectors hit the streets just a few months ago, and have already created a buzz in the tech world. From the the incredible creative potential of the DLP pico projector kit we discussed a couple weeks ago or the LCoS version we tweeted a few days ago – a large quantity of digital bits have been dedicated to the products on tech blogs.
But what has yet been left out of the conversation is the answer to the question “How do the LED pocket projectors compare to slightly larger – but similarly priced – LCD and DLP variety of portable projector?”
So, today we are whipping out our demo pocket projectors from 3M and Optoma and throwing in a sub-$600 portable projector for some comparing.
3M MPro 110 Pocket Projector
The 3M MPro 110 projector is one of the few new pico products manufactured by a brand you’ve heard of. There are a few phone makers that have integrated the pico technology into their cell phones, but for those dedicated to projection alone, Optoma and 3M look to be two of the major players. Although I did just stumble across a lesser known brand that has on board content like MP3 files, etc. which is a nice idea. I have not heard of the company however, and without the telephone function, who knows if it will catch on.
Ok, back to the 3M MPro 110. What’s cool about this unit, other than it’s tiny size and nice looking LCoS iamge, is the VGA connection. The VGA functionality makes it more friendly for use with a laptop, and with the additional input for composite video, it also means connectivity flexibility with some other portable video sources.
The 3M also has a slight offset, which means the image will project below the direct line of the projector lens. So, if you shoot your projector at a screen, your image will show up slightly below the line of the lens, rather than straight ahead as you might expect. This might be useful in some situations, and inconvenient in others. It probably won’t make a difference to most users.
3M MPro 110 pocket projector in action with a small rear projection screen.
Video found on YouTube.
Optoma PK-101 Pico Projector
We have already shown some video and posted news about the Optoma PK-101 projector, and by my non-scientific tally, this unit has received the most press from the category. There is some good reason for that. It’s initial target users was the iPhone/iPod user, and was first released in Japanese Apple stores. While the PK-101 lacks a VGA connection like the 3M model, it does have a small (1 watt) speaker on the unit. We have our on-the-fly video of the PK101 in action on a plane. (see video)
Video : Pocket Projectors versus a Cheap LCD Projector
Okay, now that we have discussed our two pocket projector players, let’s get on to our video comparison between the small wonders and their big daddies.
Note : I should mention that our demonstration is a challenge for a video camera, even a good one like the Panasonic DVX100B profesional camera we used. So, in person, the pocket projectors actually looked a little brighter, particularly after your eyes adjusted to the room. However, the dramatic difference in brightness is captured well in the video.
If you watched the video, what you saw was not entirely fair. It’s a little like a big brother stuffing his little sister in the dryer and turning it on for a couple minutes – at least that’s the memory it returned for me. However, some day soon, little sis is going to grow up and get her revenge. While the pocket projectors may not be the brightest now, the next generation of pocket projectors will no doubt be bigger, stronger, prettier, and better.
So, if you like being the guy or gal with the coolest tech gadgets, the one that had the first home theater on the block, or the home automation system, you might consider getting your hands on one of these projectors ASAP. They are in limited supply, and have a pack a nice WoW factor.
If you’d rather wait for the pocket projectors to become the standard for portable projection, and even home theater, you might not have to wait long. With energy efficency, lamp life over 20,000 hours, battery opperation, and their size, they have too much going for them not to continue to advance the technology. Here is a quick take on some advantages of LED based pocket projectors like the Optoma PK-101 and the 3M MPro110:
Advantages of Pocket Projectors :
- Very small. Can be slipped into a pocket.
- Very light weight at just a few ounces
- Wider color space & good color saturation
- No “rainbow” on DLP variety (LCos does not have rainbows)
- 20,000 – 30,000 hour lamp life
- Battery opperated – no power cords required for presentations under an hour
- Turns on in seconds. Instant turn off with no cooling time required
- Environmentally friendly with LED lamp’s low power consumption
- LED lamps are 100% mercury free
Disadvantages of Pocket Projectors :
- Not bright enough for medium or large groups
- Must be close to screen/wall surface
- Fewer connectivity options
- Serious audio limitations
- Low resolution
Is It Pico or Pocket?
We have also been asked if the proper name for these tiny beamers is “pocket” or “pico.” It seems the industry is yet to standardize on one term, but this blogger believes “pocket” will eventually take the prize.
Why? Because pico projector is an industry term that has been used to describe projectors under four or five pounds, AND, pocket gives the end user an immediate sense of exactly how small these projectors are. There are some ‘pico’ projectors that would make for a very bulgy pocket. So if you’re shopping for a pocket projector, don’t be confused by the pico’s already on the market. No disrespect to some very good, very small pico projectors (like the Mitsubishi PK20), but the pocket projectors are indeed small enough to slip into your pocket. Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe they will ultimately be called ‘micro’ projectors, or ‘bitty beamers’, or ‘video pointers’, or ‘petit projectors’…