HB Opto HBP503D Pocket Projector Review

Appearance

Well, it’s almost square, and just over 1 inch tall.  The length and width dimensions are both under six inches.  Unlike some pocket and pico projectors, this HBP503D projector does look very much like much bigger projectors with traditional light sources.  So it’s sort of a “Honey, Who shrunk the projector” at first glance.

Let’s start at the front.  The recessed fixed lens is located far right (facing the projector). That and the fan exhaust are all you have to look at on the front.  Moving to the side closest to the lens, you will find the Micro-SD card slot.  Switching to the opposite side, there is only the power receptical, a small round type typical of those used with power bricks.  Connect either the provided power brick, or the “Mobile Power Bank” (battery pack) into this connector.

Now let’s consider the top of the projector. Things get a bit busier up there, with a recessed control for focus, located just behind the lens.  Also on top is the control panel.

Now let’s go down under: There are no adjustable feet on the bottom, but the projector’s body slightly clears a table due to fixed feet.  That’s important because the exhaust fan is found on the bottom, and it obviously needs ventilation.

Also located on the bottom, not too far from the center is a tripod screw thread receptacle.  You can mount the provided mini-tripod, a full sized tripod, or the battery pack to this spot.  If you are using the battery pack, you’ll find that it too has a tripod receptacle on its bottom, so that you can have it “both ways”:  Mounting the projector to a tripod with our without the battery pack.  Nice!

Control Panel

The control panel is a simple affair.  It is functional although an extra button or two would make it easier to use.  In all fairness, the HBP503D does come with a full size remote control, which is far easier to use than the control panel.  Viewing the image here on the right, at the top, note the silver, rectangular control pad.  It is a rocker style so that you push down on the top for up arrow, down at the bottom for down arrow, etc.  Pressing the center brings up the menu itself.  Just below that are two blue indicators you can see, the one on the left is the source select button, and on the right is the Enter/back button.

The thin silver button is power on/off.  BTW the thin slot on the side of the projector just elow the control pad, is the micro-SD card slot.

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HBP503D Inputs

The HBP503D projector must be confused.  I suspect an identity crisis.  Why else would such a nice compact pocket projector offer up a selection of connectors that make many far bigger, and more expensive jealous?

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From the left that piece of red hides the IR sensor for the remote control.  Next comes what HB Opto labels:  Earphone/5.1 Surround.

Essentially if you bring in a 5.1 audio source (most likely a blu-ray disc), you can output the full 5.1 from this jack, and feed it to an external surround sound system, for big sound.

Next over is a stereo mini jack that works with the provided cable, to bring in both composite video and stereo audio.

USB is next (PC Free presenting), and then the traditional HD15 connector for a VGA input (standard analog computer input.)

And then to everyone’s surprise, there are not one, but two HDMI inputs.  And if that wasn’t surprising enough, they are HDMI 1.4a, which means compatible with Blu-ray 3D, something few portable business projectors can claim.

The only other input is the microSD card, which as mentioned is on the side.  You can see it in the image below.

Menus

The slightly opaque menus are easy to read.  They do, however eat up most of the screen area.  Shown first is the Picture Menu.  From here you can select the Video mode and customize it as the User mode.

There are both Picture mode and Color Temperature mode controls.

Picture Menu

Mode Option Menu

Noise Menu

Modes Menu

Ceiling Menu

3D Setting Menu

3D controls cover all the basics. Beyond selecting the 3D format, there is a depth control, and the glasses inverse (Swap) adjustment. And as I pointed out elsewhere, this little 3D capable projector can convert 2D to 3D on the fly.

3D Format Menu

Remote Control

I was truly surprised to see a full sized remote, rather than the usual credit card sized or other very small remotes.  Nice remote, buttons have a good feel, and they are well laid out.

Range was great.  The only sensor is in the back of the HBP503D, and I had no problem hitting it reliably at about a 30 degree off angle from 20 feet.

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HB Opto HBP503D Lens Throw

Easy:  Fixed lens without zoom.  The throw ratio is 1.2:1 which works out to a 72″ image from 60 inches.

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