LG Minibeam PW800 Projector Review

The LG Minibeam PW800 is a LED powered single chip DLP pocket-class projector.   It is one of several models of pico and pocket class LED projectors being offered by LG with brightness ratings ranging from 100 lumens to 1000 lumens. With a rated 800 lumens, the PW800 falls toward the higher-end, in term of rated brightness, of the LG offerings.

The LG PW800 received our Hot Product Award for, in part, packing a lot of home entertainment features into a small, reasonably priced package that offers both good performance and good value.  But this should not be considered just for home entertainment use.  It is also a viable alternative for business or education uses when a highly portable model is needed for use in conference rooms or classrooms that do not have a permanently installed projector.

Overview

The PW800 is a very small, light weight pocket projector that packs a lot of features into very little space.  This model is marketed by LG as both a home entertainment projector and as also a business projector and it includes features/capabilities aimed at each of these uses.  The PW800 could also be used in the classroom where a permanently installed projector is not available.  It includes a built-in media player with the processing to display photos, videos and playback audio files, of specific types, from a USB memory drive.  It can also display Microsoft Office documents without the need for connecting to a PC or Mac.  This makes this projector a good choice for the “road warrior” needing a highly portable projector for making presentations to relatively small audiences.  Likewise, teachers/instructors could also find the PW800 a good choice for use in the classroom, or other venues, not already equipped with a projector.  It also includes a built-in DTV tuner and antenna connection for receiving and displaying over-the-air broadcasts as well as both a HDMI w/MHL input and a analog computer input for connection to a wide range of video sources for home entertainment, business and education applications. Overall performance is very good considering both the size and price of the PW800.  Although I was not able to verify LG’s claimed 800 lumens of light output, the projected image should be bright enough when used with subdued room lighting and not going too big for the image size (perhaps 50 to 75 inch diagonal, depending on the room lighting and the specific screen surface).

The PW800 can also be used for casual gaming and, with its MHL capability, for connection to MHL enable mobile devices.  Thus, the PW800 could be considered for use as the video and audio functions as part of a highly portable personal home entertainment system.

We wish to thank Epson America for sponsoring this year’s Best Classroom Projectors report, in which this projector is considered.

Highlights

  • Long lasting LED light source
  • Pocket projector packing a lot of features in a small package
  • Built-in Media Player
  • Supports computer-free business presentations from MS Office files stored on a USB flash drive
  • MHL support via HDMI for use with mobile devices
  • Built-in DTV tuner with antenna input for receiving over-the-air HD broadcasts
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