Mitsubishi PK20 LED, Palm-Sized. Portable, Pocket Projector Review – Overview

Mitsubishi PK20 LED Palm Projector: Physical Tour

Facing the front of the PK20 projector, the small lens (no zoom feature) is recessed on the right side of the projector. On the left side of the front is a grill for the fan exhaust. The PK20 will fill a 50 inch diagonal screen from a distance of 5 feet, 6 inches. (From those numbers you can calculate the distance for any screen size… The PK20 has (like most projectors) some fixed lens shift built in. When you set it up and point it at a screen straight in front of it, some of the image will be below the lens level, but most will be above (assuming you do not adjust the front foot). For that same 50 inch(4:3 aspect ratio) screen, of the 30 inches of image height, 8.1 will be below the lens height and 21.9 above (assuming you don’t tilt the projector. OK, that covers everything on the front of this little Mitsubishi projector.

On the bottom of the PK20 are 3 small rubber feet. One is centered below the front, and two more at the back, on the left and right. The front foot is screw thread adjustable to adjust the angle of the image. In addition, the bottom has three recessed cutouts for the optional battery back. The tripod feature was very nice. To use with a tripod, all you have to do, is completely unscrew the front foot so it comes off, take the black tripod adapter, put it’s metal tab in the back slot, and put the front foot back on, through the hole in the adapter. (the whole thing is about a 30 second operation). Note: that adapter came in very handy. By setting the PK20 up on the tripod, it worked great on the screen in my testing room. Since I was primarily projecting relatively small images it allowed me to put the projector where normally there is no table top, and then projector the image on the screen.

Moving to the top of the PK20 (and looking at it from the rear), there is a recessed focus control just behind the lens. To the right of that, are three LED indicator lights – one for lamp, one for power, and a charge indicator for the optional battery.

In the middle of the top, in a cosmetic ring, are the four arrow keys, for navigating. The Up arrow doubles for Auto Position (when not in the Menu mode), the Left arrow selects the Computer Source, and the Right arrow, the Video source. Further to the back, are three silver buttons, left to right; Menu, Power, and Enter. Everything you need to navigate your menus is there. Menus will be covered in the General Performance section of this projector’s review.

The back of the PK20, also has venting, plus the Infra-red sensor for the small remote, a Kennsington lock slot, and a tiny rear facing speaker (0.2 watts). Of course, don’t expect too much sound wise from such a small projector. The speaker’s sound is along the lines of what you expect from an average laptop (not one of the fancier multi-media laptops with better than average sound.

That takes us to the input panel, which, when nothing is connected, is hidden on the left side (when looking from the front). The door swings open to reveal an impressive set of inputs for a projector this tiny. There are standard S-video and composite video inputs, a standard (analog) computer input (the usual HD15 connector), which can accept component video sources or computer, and two stereo mini jacks, one for audio input, and one for audio out. Considering the limited sound output of the PK20, the audio out is a very nice touch. feed the audio from the projector to a portable powered speaker system (like almost any designed for the iPod), and you can get much bigger sound, and also control the sound volume from the PK20′s remote control.

That’s not all that’s found there. There is a small receptical for power, and “ta-ta-daa” – an SD card slot. Cool. I was able to pop an SD card out of one of my digital cameras, into its standard size SD-card adapter, and slide it into the projector, to view the images. It works!

Since I mentioned the power receptacle, the PK20 uses a small powerbrick, like those for your laptop, but smaller and lighter.

The case is finished in a matte silver, with the front and rear panels in flat black. Strangely, every time I look at the PK20, is looks like a scaled down model of a “real” projector. I almost expect it to be one of those rubber squeeze “toys” for reducing your stress. But, that’s not the case. In reality the PK20 has a very sold feel to it.

So, what we have here is truly a minature projector, tiny in size, and weight, and also in brightness, but as I have learned, there are lots of practical uses for it.

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