3M MPro110 - Performance
7/11/2009 - Art Feierman
3M MPro110 Projector Brightness
Well, the MPro110 isn't the light cannon of these pico projectors. Actually, the MPro110 projector measured a blinding (ok, yes, I'm trying to amuse), 8.8 lumens. That's still about 28% less than the Optoma Pico's 11.3, but a bit better than the similar Aiptek V10 Plus'es 8.3 lumens.
When comparing the 3M MPro 110 to the brighter Optoma think this way. You would have the same relative brightness if the Optoma was shining on a screen about 14% larger diagonal. That's really not that much. To get the same brightness as the 3M produces on a 30 inch diagonal screen, the Optoma can work with a 34.2 inch screen.
Of course if you are really concerned about brightness, projectors like the MPro110 aren't the solution. You need to move a size up, to projectors like the recently reviewed BenQ GP1, which is about three times the weight, palm sized, and over 100 lumens (but not battery powered). Even the earliest portable projectors, back in 1994, were 110 lumens to 190 lumens. Of course, those early portable projectors were 19 pounds (Proxima DP-2800) or more, and big enough to stash about 50 or maybe 100 of these 3M projectors inside.)
The MPro110 is VGA resolution, and that will be the first limitation in terms of image sharpness. Of course VGA is just fine for composite video. For those feeding it a higher resolution computer signal, the MPro110 will handle up to XGA (1024x768), but in the compressing of the image down to VGA you'll pick up some softness, as would be expected. From a lens oriented perspective, the MPro110 does rather well. The focus dial is fine enough to allow the maximum sharpness to be tuned in, but like the Optoma PK101, it is course enough to make you work a little at getting the maximum sharpness.
Overall, I'd say sharpness is good for a small VGA projector. Note, even if you are willing to go dim, to get a really large image, the 3M will only focus out to images as large as 38.4 inches wide (about 48 inches diagonal).
None! Other than the image coming out of the lens, the only other light is the green LED on the top of the projector that indicates power on. It's not bright enough to be an issue.
Completely silent. No fan, no moving parts other than the focus dial.