Aiptek V10 PLUS Projector - Physical Tour
7/19/2009 - Art Feierman
The Aiptek V10 Plus is HUGE, but only compared to other pico projectors. In reality it's bigger in every direction than the Optoma, and is a bit longer, and wider than the 3M.
OK, let's start at the front of the V10 Plus projector. The front houses the recessed lens, which is a fixed focal length (no zoom). The focus knob for the V10 Plus, is off to the left, and mostly recessed. It actually sits on the corner of the left side (looking from the front). The focus was the best of the pico projectors so far. It's smoother, and easier to get a sharp focus than the other two.
Moving to the top, the Aiptek V10 Plus is the only of the pico projectors I've reviewed so far, to have a control panel. The others only have an off on switch.
Also located on the top, just to the front of the control panel, are the two sets of perforated areas. At first glance I presumed these were for the speakers, but futher attention leads me to believe they are primarily there to vent heat. Some sound comes out of thes two areas, but far more comes out of the perforated areas on the left and right of the unit, so I consider those the locations of the speakers.
Looking from the back of the V10 Plus, the left side has the min-jack for composite video and sound, as well as a covered area (rubber) that hides the SD card slot.
The opposite side (the right, when looking from the back, has the infra-red sensor for the remote control, the other speaker, and at the very front, the focus dial.
The back of the Aiptek projector has only the USB connector, which (as with the Optoma Pico) is used only for plugging in the power supply to recharge the battery, or run the projector off of AC.
There is also a Kensington lock cut out, in the back right corner. I guess you can use that to put the V10 Plus on a keychain. Afterall, considering that the Aiptek is an extremely portable projector, it's hard to imagine applications where you would leave it on display, and need to use a security lock, when it can so easily be stuffed into a pocket, or locked drawer.
There is no fan, but there are vents at the bottom, as well as the perfed area at the top, to allow air to circulate.
Also on the bottom is a recessed, threaded hole for connecting the Aiptek V10 Plus to any tripod, that uses the standard tripod threading.
Like the 3M MPro 110, the Aiptek V10 Plus cannot recharge the battery, while the projector is on. If the projector is plugged in, to charge the battery, you must turn the projector off.
To power up the V10 Plus, just hold down the Power button for three seconds. (marked with a red Power indicator). Just further to the back of the projector is an "M" indicated the Menu button, which, when pressed, brings up these choices: Tools (symbol - a wrench and nut), Movies, Photos, Music, and finally, Memory.
Navigation is straight forward. The V10 Plus as the usual four arrow keys, and an enter (labeled "OK") button in the center of them. When you are not using the menus, the Up and Down arrows are your up and down volume controls. The left and right arrows let you go back (left) or forward (right) when in slideshow mode.
The control panel is backlit by a white LED, but the cutouts for the symbols are greenish yellow, so that's what you see. The Power symbol, however is red, and therefore glows red when powered up.
Aiptek V10 PLUS Inputs
There is a mini-jack (three connection type), for composite video, and left and right audio. The V10 Plus comes with a short adapter cable - with the mini-jack on one end, and splitting into three color coded RCA jacks (the usual Yellow, for composite video, Red, and White, for right and left audio. There is also a mini-jack to mini-jack cable provided for those devices that use that scheme for output (my old Sony mini-dv camcorder uses that connector, as one popular example).
The SD card slot is accessible by pushing the tethered rubber protector out of the way. The slot is officially compatible with SD, SDHC, MMC and MS Pro (Memory Stick Pro - from Sony?) memory.
Bottom line - you can project source material from devices, via the composite video (plus stereo audio) jack, or project compatible contents from the memory card slot. There is no computer input, or USB input.
Aiptek provides a disc with ArcSoft slideshow software, which can convert
Aiptek V10 PLUS Menus
Unlike other pico led projectors we've tested, there are actually menus and image controls on this projector. Selecting the Settings menu option brings up menus to control the image: menu Language, Brightness, Contrast, and color Saturation.
In addition, there is a Slideshow Speed option, allowing you to set the time for each image to one of these: 3, 5, 8, or 15 seconds. There are built in transitions between slides. There are several different ones, and there doesn't seem to be any control to change or turn off the transitions.
Each of the menus - for Movies, Photos, and Music, are basically file directories that allow you to select the folder where your images are, on the memory card, or internal memory. Finally, the Memory menu option tells you how much memory is on any SD or other card, as well as the internal (4 Gigabytes) of memory, and how much of each is used.
The Videos menu allows you to select video files to run. Photo allows the selection of JPEG images to show, and the Music menu allows you to select MP3 files to play.
Note please, that the supplied disc, provides more information than the very basic, printed Quick Guide. That extra information includes additional information on playing videos, pictures, music/sound, as well as Powerpoint presentations or Acrobat PDF files, converted to JPEG format.
There is also a digital zoom feature accessable by holding down the Menu button for two seconds. One minor disadvantage, is that the media player doesn't have a way to let you rotate an image. That was a feature we found particularly useful when we reviewed the 3M competition, the MPro110.
A repeat function is also built in, for repeating the same videos, music or group of images.
The up and down arrow keys double as volume controls (up and down), when not in the menu mode. This image shows the overlayed volume menu, when you press one of those arrow keys.
The small credit card type remote control basically mimics the control panel. It has a red power button at the top left, four arrow keys with the OK (enter) button in the center, a Menu button, but also an Exit button.
Finally, there are two volume controls. It works as advertised. I found the remote to effective as far as about 15 feet. Keep in mind that where you are when using the remote, comes into play, because the IR sensor is on the right side (when looking from the back of the projector), rather than the front, or back of the projector, where it is usually found on larger projectors.
Aiptek V10 PLUS Lens Throw
The lens is fixed - it has no zoom capability. If you want to fill a 35 inch diagonal screen (28 inches wide), the front of the projector needs to be 6 feet from the screen (or wall) that you are projecting on. If you want to calculate based on the distance from the screen, one foot back from the screen gives you a 6.4 inch wide image - which works out to 8 inches diagonal. This amount of throw distance to image size is virtually identical to the Optoma Pico and the 3M.
The basic formula is this: distance is 1.9 times image width. Thus, for a 40 inch width (50 inch diagonal), the distance is 1.9 x 40 = 76 inches.
There is there no adjustable lens shift, and there is no lens offset either. The correct placement of the projector to get a nice rectangular image is to have the projector lens even with the center of the screen (both horizontally and vertically). I should note that this is the same type of lens design that the other pico projectors use (no lens offset). Because of the 0 offset, if you set the projector at the end of a table, half of the projected image will be above the lens height, half below. If you tilt it up, which of course, you can, then the image will keystone - be wider at the top than the bottom, as you can see from a couple of the images in this Aiptek V10 PLUS review.
While it really doesn't relate to lens shift, the V10 Plus comes with a mini tripod, which will be helpful in having the projector raised off of a table top, to help limit the amount of keystoning of the image.