Optoma PK301 - Image Quality
09/02/2010 - Anthony Arrigo
Optoma PK301 Pico Projector - Picture Quality
If you have read this review from the beginning then you know that I have mentioned a few times that I haven't exactly raved about picture quality when it comes to Pico projectors and the more specifically the Optoma PK301. Part of this inability to rave about it comes from the fact that I have seen so many great projectors that are designed for boardrooms and conference halls that are only a few hundred dollars more than the some of the Picos on the market. That being said, the Pico serves a purpose. It has a niche, but one has to know if the limited capabilities of the projector outweigh the convenient size and long life.
The Optoma produces a satisfactory image for the Pico category of projectors. Contrast is actually not bad at rated 2000:1. When actually viewing the projector I would have to say that the reality is far from the specified contrast ratio. One would not be satisfied if they were looking for a dedicated home theater projector for movies or gaming.
If you plan on just having a quick to setup, very tiny projector to convey an idea quickly to a small group in a dark room then having the Optoma PK301 would come in handy. It certainly would be a conversation starter based on its actual micro projector appearance.
Colors were fairly accurate, and true to what you might expect from a projector of this size, but because the projector only puts out 50 lumens when using AC power and 20 lumens when using just battery power, there just aren't enough lumens to produce true colors. DLP projectors are notorious for having issues producing yellows and reds. Usually on DLP projectors of the non Pico category, there are an assortment of video settings that can be adjusted to give you better more accurate colors.
The Pico PK301 has no controls for adjusting color. What you see is really what you get with the Optoma PK301.
The Optoma PK301 does accept an HDMI signal with an optional mini HDMI to mini HDMI cable. It comes with a standard A/V cable to accept RCA video. Was not able to test out the projectors ability to handle HD, but from my experience with the projector using the AV cable, the lack of brightness would not have help create a watcheable image for a long length of time regardless if it was a little clearer.
If video is your primary use for a projector, then the Pico projectors are not going to do the job. If you just need to sometimes convery an idea using video and you don't want to carry around a large projector, then given you have dark rooms to present in, the video would suffice, but certainly consider a more expensive standard projector with much higher lumens.