Optoma PK201 - Image Quality
09/28/2010 - Anthony Arrigo
Optoma PK201 Pico Projector - Picture Quality
I am happy to say that the PK201 has a pretty nice picture for a Pico projector. After reviewing a lot of these projectors I was starting to lose hope that I would not find one that I thought had a decent enough picture to honestly say that one could, for the most part do a presentation. Now, I would not make a Pico my primary projector for doing presentations, but the Optoma PK201 has a good enough picture to make it a decent backup.
The PK201's picture quality make it ideal for use with other very portable devices like smartphones and gaming machines. If you are going on a camping trip and want some nightly entertainment to hook up to a laptop or mini DVD player, a Pico projector, especially something like the PK201 or PK301 from Optoma would be ideal choices. This assumes you want portability and low price. The PK201 is price matched to other Picos in its feature class with a MSRP of $299. If you are looking for more power at just a few hundred dollars more, a typical business projector would be a better choice. Lets delve a little deeper and talk about color accuracy.
The PK201 did a fair job of producing accurate colors. As mentioned in my review of the PK301, DLP projectors have a hard time reproducing accurate reds and yellows. Making certain adjustments to brightness and changing color modes can help a bit, but doesn't always solve the problem completely. With the Pico projectors, you tend to be rather limited when it comes to settings and changing of color. Another factor going against you is the Picos low brightness. All that being said, the PK201 was able to produce some pretty accurate reds and yellows without the colors looking so off as to distract your audience.
It should be noted that the Optoma PK201, along with all Picos are not going to be the right choice for photographers wanting a convenient way to present photos to clients, or engineers wanting to have a very portable way to present drawings out in the field. Resolution and color accuracy just aren't there yet, but if you just want a fun device to take with you on the road so you can quickly show some pictures then you will be happy with the PK201's image.
I was quite surprised at the Optoma PK201's ability to show video. Although the image I set up for projection was small at 33 inches, the video was surprsingly sharp and the contrast was good enough to make out some pretty subtle details in dark scenes. Some might choose to use this as a projector for gaming, and although I can see it being used for that occasionally, I can't recommend it as a dedicated gaming projector. Games require a lot higher contrast and brightness than video content. That said, I could have easily imagined myself watching the Pico in a backyard at night or while on a camping trip for entertainment.
The image above gives you some idea how the projector will look while displaying video. I can say that what you see in the picture is pretty close to what the naked eye sees. This is not always the case when shooting pictures of a projected image, and I like to note that whenever necessary.