Our last blog covered the 2nd generation micro projector from 3M, the MPro150. For this blog, we’re reviewing their latest micro projector, the MP180. The MP180 is noticeably bigger than its predecessor but also comes loaded with more interesting features, namely the touch-screen control panel. This control panel allows you to access 4GB of internal storage; built-in playback of all sorts of file types; a 2-hour battery; Bluetooth; a web browser. Quite simply, this is the most all-round practical micro projector yet.
The whole form of the MP180 feels natural, actually. Its finish is tactile and just ‘rubbery’ enough to stop it slipping too easily through our eternally clumsy fingers. The lens is at the front and the main connections are at the rear, which helps the projector maintain balance and a straight line at the wall/screen better than if it was forever having its petite form pulled sideways by side-mounted connections. This micro projector is equipped with 30lumen opticals at 800×600 resolution with 20,000 lamp life.
Connections are straightforward and remarkably flexible. The projector’s back end houses a simple but tight-fitting DC input, a mini USB port, and a VGA/AV port that can take a variety of different connectors via adaptor cables. Supplied as standard are a D-Sub adaptor and a composite video/stereo audio adaptor. Plus you also get a USB cable, a soft carry pouch, a battery, three Female RCA adaptors (giving you a means of extending the very short supplied composite/stereo audio cable), a soft carry pouch and even a surprisingly robust little desktop tripod.
Optional cables include an Apple iPhone/iPad/iPod connector, a car charger, and a component video adaptor.
There are a couple more interesting connections down the projector’s side, namely a slot for adding a microSD card, and a headphone jack. The latter of these is self-explanatory – but actually the best way to get really good sound out of the MP180 – while the former lets you add extra storage capacity to the already impressively large 4GB built into the projector’s chassis.