Posted on July 11, 2009
The 3M MPro110 projector is the second tiny pico projector we are reviewing, the first being the Optoma Pico PK101, which published just two months ago. I also have the similar, but slightly larger Aiptek V10 Plus “PocketCinema” projector in house, and it’s review will publish just a few days after this one posts.
With three of these pico projectors in-house, it immediately becomes clear that these early pico projectors tend to be separated not so much by actual performance, but by features.
The 3M MPro110, for example supports both a composite video input, and also a VGA input. By comparison the Optoma Pico PK101 projector we reviewed only handled composite video. The Aiptek has a built in media player allowing you to use the projector from an SD memory card, so that you don’t need to drag around a computer, or source device like a DVD player.
The MPro110 is a bit larger pico projector than the Optoma, anif you can call any projector about the size of a pack of cigarettes large. The MPro110 is both larger and heavier than the Optoma we reviewed, while it is a touch smaller than the V10 Plus.
The 3M projector is better suited for doing a one-on-one presentation (or one-on-two/three), than most other pico projectors thanks to the VGA input ability. With other pico projectors, you can present – the Aiptek can take your presentation on the road using its media player, but there’s always a loss of capability when converting to use with a media player. The Optoma Pico can do a presentation converted to jpg files and fed through the composite video port. All considered, though, the MPro110 solution is the easiest to deal with if you are bringing your computer with you.
In other words, if your primary purpose is to hook one of these little projectors up for a business type presentation the 3M is likely the strongest solution. Because of this particular strength, it qualifies for our Special Interest award.
The MPro110 lacks a speaker (the Optoma and Aiptek both have a speaker). Many portable devices will still be able to output audio through their own speaker, while sending video (or computer signal) to the 3M projector, but, definitely not all. The iPhone is one example where you will have an issue. The iPhone assumes that when you are sending video to a display device that it also has sound, so the iPhone’s speakers are disabled. Bottom line – you definitely can show pictures or even YouTube videos from your iPhone, but you won’t have any sound, and that sure takes the fun out of YouTube videos.
I do believe, that, despite the MPro 110 having a VGA port, the majority of pico projectors sold will be for folks who want to use them with an assortment of portable devices, including camcorders, digital cameras, portable game machines (ie. Sony PSP), iPhones and other picture and video capable portable devices including other phones and MP3 type devices.
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