Are pico projectors the way of the future?

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With technology constantly advancing devices are constantly becoming more powerful, smaller, and less expensive.  The same is true with projectors.  Many consumers in the personal and business world are looking to projectors as an alternative to televisions for their source of entertainment or work.  Although we are long past the days of large units that reeled film through them there are still two major choices when buying a projector.

Full Sized or Pico.

What are the benefits of a full sized projector over a pico projector?  What about a pico over a full sized.  In today’s post we’re going to be covering some of the main differences between the two to help you make your decision when you’re in the market for a new projector.

First things first, size:

The most obvious difference  between a full sized and pico projector is obviously, the size.

You can get full size projectors as big as something you need both arms to carry:

wonderwall

 

All the way down to something that can fit in the palm of your hand:

p4x

 

This can be a big deciding factor for many people who are going to take their projectors with them to meetings or to a friends house.  Having a projector that can easily fit into your bag alongside everything else you have can be extremely beneficial to some people.  However there are obvious drops in the brightness between the these two projectors which we will cover next.

Secondly, brightness:

Brightness, or lumens as it is called in the industry, has always been where pico projectors have struggled.  Small size means less room to put an optics engine and more heat generation.  In the past we were seeing numbers such as 25 lumens from pico projectors which can work in a dark room with low light conditions but could not come remotely close to the brightness of a full sized 1000 lumen projector.

To give you an idea, 1000 lumens could produce about a 120″ bright image in normal lighting conditions.  As technology has advanced for pico projectors, it has also advanced for full sized projectors.  We are seeing numbers up as high as 5000 lumens for full sized projectors which could basically projector for a lecture hall and 1000 lumens for picos.

 

This means that your average high powered pico projector can produce an extremely usable image for most people that need basic projecting needs.

Cost:

Cost is definitely something that everyone factors into purchasing decisions, and it is one area that pico projectors have always beat out full sized ones.

Your average low-end full sized projector is going to cost anywhere from $800 and up, where as you can get some pico projectors for as low as $120.

There are obvious quality differences between the two however what we are starting to see emerge is a $500-$700 range for high quality pico projectors.  These projectors are outputting upwards up 500-1000 lumens and can definitely compete with some of the larger units.

Some great examples of high powered picos are:

The Optoma 3D ready pico

optoma

 

The AAXA LED android

ledandroid1

 

Or even the lower powered Acer K130acer

 

These are all important deciding factors in purchasing a new projector, however as you can see from the way technology is growing it won’t be long until we start seeing pico projectors hitting the 1,500 lumen range at low price points compared to their full-sized counterparts.  For the average consumer, 1,500 is more than you’ll need to project anything you want in most lighting conditions for small audiences.  Although there will always be a need for full sized projectors in applications like lecture halls, movie theaters, and events.  It is clear that picos are most likely the way of the future for the average consumer.

New All-In-One Projector from ZTE & Sprint

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ZTE Smart Projector Hotspot

Looking for a portable 100-lumen projector?  Check.

Looking for a portable 100-lumen projector that can run Android™ 4.2?  Check and Check.

Looking for a portable 100-lumen projector that can run Android 4.2 and is a 3G/4G LTE Hotspot?  Check, Check and Check.

The new Sprint LivePro is set to launch on July 11th and will be the first of its kind “Smart Projector” that promises to be the ideal product for making boardroom presentations or showing movies for backyard movie nights.  At 4.7 inches x 4.7 inches and only 1.1 inches thick, the Sprint LivePro looks to be a very portable option when you travel for business or for family vacations and outings.

From the product photos and video reviews I especially like the fact that the projectors comes with a 4-inch touchscreen display to use the Android™ 4.2, Jelly Bean OS.  Some additional neat features with the projector is that you can connect up to 8 devices to the wireless hotspot, and the lithium ion battery works as a power bank that can charge smartphones, tablets or other devices using a USB cable.  Check out a first look from CNet.

http://www.cnet.com/products/zte-projector-hotspot/ 

As for how much it costs, it’s $450 if you sign up for a 2-year plan with Sprint, and the cheapest mobile broadband data plan starts at $34.99 per month for 3GB of combined 3G/4G data while on the Sprint network.  So all in, with cost of the projector and the data plan combined it’s about $1,300 after 2 years.  That can be an expensive investment, but if you can use all the features it might be worthwhile.  

There are a few good alternatives to look at if you’re in the market for a good portable projector.  For a versatile, battery-powered business and personal projector, check out the AAXA P300:

http://aaxatech.com/store/products/p300_pico_projector_store.htm).  

It has some decent reviews on Amazon and I would think there would be more battery powered projectors that can deliver higher lumens, but interestingly enough there actually aren’t that many.  I’ve used the P300 both in dark and semi-dim rooms and it does a decent job for presentations and movies.  The only drawback is you have to buy the battery separately for around $25.  

 

 

Kindle Fire HD with Pico Projectors

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I’ve been playing around with a Kindle Fire HD that I borrowed from a friend for the past few days, I think tablets are the way of the future now.  I’ve been using it mostly for Netflix and playing games, but I can also see how it could be used for work, there are a multitude of office apps available to play presentations, look at spreadsheets, and edit word documents with.  The fact that it has a Micro-HDMI port on it allows you to easily hook up any device to it.  I’ve chosen a pico projector to use with it, obviously :)

The only annoying part of using the Kindle Fire HD with a pico projector is the cables you need.  It depends on which projector you have though, if you have one that has a Mini-HDMI port, you’ll need an adapter for that as well.  Right now I’m using a P2 Jr review unit from AAXA Technologies, and it’s serviced quite well with the Kindle Fire HD.  It does have the Mini HDMI port so I did need to buy the adapter.

Once I got it setup it worked pretty well, it mirrors what the Kindle Fire is displaying, so I can show anything from web browsing to playing games, or watching movies.  I did notice a little more lag in games than usual, probably due to the extra processing it has to do to get video output to work, it wasn’t too bad though.

I haven’t noticed too much of a battery drain from using it like this, but I’m sure it is draining the battery a little more than usual.  I would expect maybe a 5-10% decrease in life when using it with video output.

Overall, I was impressed with the Kindle Fire HDs ability to do video output and handle high performance games.  This can definitely be useful if you’re looking to make a sort of “portable entertainment center” for your home or to take with you on trips.

If you’re unsure how to set it up properly, AAXA has setup a page specifically for the Kindle Fire HD, so you can know exactly what steps to follow.

http://aaxatech.com/support/faq/kindlefire.php

Here is a demo video I found online of someone using the Kindle Fire HD with a pico projector so you can see for yourself the kind of performance you’d get.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cs60SGWdZHg

Links to some of the products mentioned:

Kindle Fire HD: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0083PWAPW

AAXA P2 Jr: http://aaxatech.com/products/p2jr_pico_projector.html

Mini HDMI Adapter: http://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Plated-Female-Adapter/dp/B004PW1XRS/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1374002194&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=mini+hdmi+adapter

Micro HDMI Cable: http://www.amazon.com/Fosmon-HDMI-Micro-Cable-Feet/dp/B003UH0Z9Q/ref=sr_1_10?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1374002221&sr=1-10&keywords=micro+hdmi+adapter

AAXA P300 Pico/Micro Projector Review

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Pico projectors aren’t what most people think about when it comes to home entertainment and needs. As more and more pico projectors come into the market, they tend to be smaller, brighter, and better resolution with more connectivity.

 

Today for review, I have the P300 Pico projector from AAXA technologies. This small pico projector is very small and fits right in the palm of your hand. This Pico P300 projector has a lot of great features like a built-in media player, long battery life, small and portable of course and it can also connect to devices like iPods, iPhones, cameras, game consoles, laptops, Macbooks, iPad, USB, SD, and pretty much anything with an AV output or HDMI output.

P300 Projector

First up we’ve got the P300 pico projector box. It’s well done, but isn’t too flashy.

 

 

 

 

 

Inside we can find everything packaged well. Comes with the remote, tripod, power cord, VGA cable, AV cable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The P300 Pico Projector itself comes with a dimension of 5.9′ x 3.8′ x 1.5′ inches. On top of the P300 you’ll find a navigation pad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s not much to the back, but just a solid white, and this is where the battery pack goes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the right side you’ll find the microSD slot, power output, AV output, and the HDMI output, as well as the on/off button.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The left side is where you find the manual focus, where you can manual change the focus of the projection.

 

 

 

 

On the front side you can find the LEDs to indicate the power and charging of the P300 projector. You can also see the lens of the projector.

 

 

 

 

The backside you can see the VGA output, USB output, and the output for earphones.

 

 

 

 

Overall the build quality is excellent, seems sturdy well made, lightweight, but it is slightly bigger than what I would expect to be a pico projector.

Picture Quality

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall the picture quality is excellent, and these were taken with the projector at a distance around 3-5 feet. For how small the projector is, I am still surprised at how bright the 300 lumen projector actually is.

There are a few things that I really like about this projector, the first being the picture quality. I also like the fact, that I can use use external sources as well with the P300 pico projector, at the present time you can hook it up to a laptop, iPod, game console, iPad, and almost anything that uses HDMI, VGA, or AV.

Conclusion

The AXXA Technologies P300 Pico Projector is a great product overall, and it works as advertised and it truly surprised me by it’s quality of not only the build but the output as well.

There are some concerns I do have for it, size and pricing, but it’s not that big of a deal if you look at the big picture.

I’ve had fun with the p300 Pico Projector, and I will continue to do say, and I will continue to use the pico projectors for entertainment. I can honestly say with the small size and many features that comes along with it, it is really inexpensive for what you get.

Pros:
– Light/Portable
-Really bright
-High Resolution
-Well Made
-Easy to use
-Easy to connect to external devices
-Built in media player

Cons:
-More of a micro projector than pico
-Fan can be loud in quite environments
-Glossy surface picks up fingerprints

Specs:

Check out the AAXA site for the Specs


AAXA launches the world’s brightest battery powered HD projector P300 pico projector

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AAXA Technologies has just released the world’s brightest battery powered HD projector. A pico projector is supposedly a projector that is very small in size/weight, and supposedly unable to produce crisp imagery. Unfortunately, the P300 is not the case. It will smash and make you re-think of whatever conceptions you may had on pico projector.

This particular device makes a huge leap in lumens in the pico projector departments. Most competing pico projectors will produce lumens from 50-150 lumens. Some of the better pico projectors may produce up to 200 lumens. But the P300 has a staggering punch at 300 lumens with 1280×800 native resolutions.

At its core is a robust ARM processor capable of internal high resolution 720p video, picture, and picture slide-show, it definitely will change the people’s perception on pico projector with home entertainment. Connectivity is also further enhanced with a VGA adapter, composite video input, and high-resolution digital HDMI connection which make connection with Apple products, computers, and external devices extremely easy.

Launching at a price of $419, the product is being hailed for its small pico projector with a very bright punch. With it’s all in one package for $419, and the numerous amounts of uses for the projector, it’s definitely something worthy to check out at P300 Pico Projector!

Samsung Galaxy Line Updated; Smartphone with a Pico Projector included

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The Samsung Galaxy S 2 was well received with the community. It seems that the same momentum that is carrying them might help them push the Galaxy Note and the brand new Galaxy Beam. The Beam is a very nice nod to the future of cellular smartphones, we’ve been predicting this addition to cellular technology for quite some time mainly because it’s just going to work. Although tabs do indeed help out with sharing and displaying information, it’s still inconvenient for more than 2 people to be huddling around one screen. Projectors will indeed be changing the field when they are introduced to consumers in the very near feature.

This phone is a powerhouse without the awesome inclusion of a 15 Lumen pico projector. It is a dual processor phone clocking in at 1ghz and contains an LED 15 Lumen lamp said to deliver up to a 50” screen. The phone is only going to be able to GSM networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile with no plans for a CDMA version of the phone.

The product is said to be launching with a lot of projection apps said to help the user find the value in the projector as a gadget and less as a professional tool. Planned for launch are constellation apps, virtual pets, and other oddities that should help bring in casual users. If there is ever any doubt as to the validity of needing a projector in a cellular device

there are multiple reasons. Primarily apps and games could change in the way that the whole phone could possibly be used as a controller while the media and visuals are taken care of on screen and not on the device itself. Another one is for obvious sharing – instead of holding the phone out or crowding around a tiny 4 inch screen you can now project it so that anyone can use it without causing too much invasion of personal space.

 

AAXA P4 Grabs Great Reviews

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AAXA Technologies released a ground breaking new product recently the P4. When we took a look at it about 4 months ago we knew it was going to be a game changer for the market. The current models would have to go straight up against a battery powered 80 Lumen projector with very strong features such as the multiple outputs and various formats the media player could play on top of its small form-factor.

PICO PORTABLE POCKET MICRO PROJECTOR
THE PORTABLE P4 POCKET PICO PROJECTOR

Months after the release the P4 has garnered some really great reviews and since we’re going out on a limb we might as well call it our 2011 Projector of the Year, a hefty title but not too far-fetched considering Projector Central thought “AAXA P4 is an impressively capable pico projector, packed with nearly every feature you can think of.” More impressively Slash Gear agreed that “Being labeled the “Worlds brightest pico projector” gives it some big shoes to fill — and it didn’t disappoint. ”

If you were thinking of grabbing one these portable, pico projectors now’s your chance as the $399 price tag has been slashed to a mere $329 as of writing on Amazon: AAXA P4 Pico Projector on Amazon.

Bright, Portable, with a long lasting bulb that makes replacing bulbs a thing of the past, the P4 by AAXA Tech. really changed up the game as far as features, brightness, and clarity go.

AAXA P4 Pico Projector The World’s Brightest Battery Powered Projector

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AAXA P4 Pico Projector: The World’s Brightest Battery Powered Projector


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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From AAXA:

AAXA Technologies is excited to announce the release of our P4 Pico projector – the world’s brightest battery-powered pico projector.  Weighing less than 1 pound the P4 Pico projector features a powerful 750mhz Windows CE mobile processor and employs a dazzling 80 lumen high-contrast optical engine powered by Texas Instrument’s DLP.  Combined with AAXA’s Vibrant-Color™ technology the P4’s next generation HD optical engine utilizes 15,000 hour LEDs  and can deliver high brightness and deep colors for a rich viewing experience up to 80”*

AAXA also offers an optional keyboard for $49.99 which is a great accessory for the P4.
It offers:

  • All-in-one wireless keyboard & mouse solution
  • Includes wireless USB adapter
  • Backlit for dim lighing presentations
  • Long lasting battery included
  • Control your P4 from 6+ feet away

Our review:

The Good:

  • Performance: The resolution and brightness for a pico projector are amazing.  This truly must be the World’s Brightest Battery Powered Projector.
  • Long Life: Unlike conventional Lamp-based projectors, the P4 LED lamp never needs to be replaced. (15,000 hours)
  • Onboard media player: We found that the built-in media player had no problem handling common media formats such as AVI and MP4 video, and WAV and MP3 audio. The P4 was able to play files directly off our USB and Micro-SD cards without a hitch
  • Portability: Small enough to fit into small bags/briefcases and even your pocket.
  • Value: at $339 this product outshines its rivals in both price and brightness

The Not so Good:

  • Menu: Was a little clunky but still very simple to navigate through.

 

 

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Aaxa Tech M1 Ultimate X micro projector

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[button link=”http://www.aaxatech.com/store/products/m1_micro_projector_store.htm” type=”big” newwindow=”yes”] Click here to pick one up![/button]

 

FROM AAXA: The AAXA M1 micro projector is the brightest “ultra-portable” projector in its class. With its 75 lumen output the M1 projector is capable of producing high resolution images greater than 100″ in dark areas and up to 40″ in lighted areas. The M1’s advanced light engine eliminates rainbow issues by removing the color wheel and is optically enhanced to provide improved color quality, sharpness, and uniformity over other projectors in its class.

Our review:
The Good:

  • Performance: Aaxa’s M1 Ultimate X boasts a powerful 75 Lumens.  To me this is one of it’s best features, mostly because there is finally a micro projector that is extremely usable with out making sacrifices due to the size!
  • Image Quality: We were rather impressed with how sharp and vibrant the images were.
  • Onboard media player: supports popular file formats and lets you share movies, videos, photos with friends and family. as well as the onboard speaker for multimedia playback.
  • Portablilty: I was quite impressed with the size of this little guy… (about the same size of 2 iphones stacked on top of each other…
  • design: Aaxa’s M1 Ultimate X is housed in a sleek brushed aluminum case  with a backlit tough sensitive keyboard on top for you to navigate the menu with.  It was built to last –a very durable product.
  • Value: $250…. At that price, this is a SUPER value.

The Not so Good:

  • The user interface: Unfortunately… i have yet to find a projector that has a perfect one.
  • Fan: was a little loud at times.