Posted on August 23, 2010 Art Feierman
If you are reading this you are obviously in the market for a projector and these little tiny units seem like just the thing if you’re a travelling presenter. Please read on though, there is in my opinion a very specific use right now for these projectors and in most cases it is not to going to be the Pico that will wow your audience. However, they might be slightly in awe by its size. That will soon fade though when they are straining to see your presentation.
Pico’s are pretty amazing in general. To pack a projector into a small package the size of a cell phone is pretty impressive. This does come with a serious loss of power though. The Pico, by AAXA, known as the L1 does not use the typical lamp found in most portable projectors, it is actually powered by laser light. At first thought it would seem that laser light would be sharp, brilliant and above all else bright, but the L1 produces an advertised 20 lumens of brightness. In the performance section of the review I will go more into actual light output. 20 lumens is not that bright considering projectors over 12 years ago produced 100 lumens or more. Basically, these are projectors for rooms with nearly no ambient light.
If you want to understand more on the history of the Pico projector I would recommend reading the beginning of the review of last year’s Optoma PK101 projector. Art does a great write-up on the history and various Pico technologies that exist.
Pico’s from what I have been able to observe are not for the presenter that wants to give a stellar presentation to a large audience. They are for people who want to do a quick presentation to a small number of people. Usually they are gamers or portable device users who need another portable device to have a little fun with. A good example would be sharing the contents of your iphone or really quick slide show of pictures to a few friends. Keep in mind that the max image you will often project is about 50 inches diagonal and the lights are going to have to be off with little to no ambient light to be effective. Another use might be for those traveling who want to have some form of portable entertainment for the kids at night. Just remember, you will need a AC power source since the battery will run out in about an hour and a half.
Below you will find some highlights, then I will list out the specifications and follow that up with some special features. The rest of the sections will dive into more performance and specifics.
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