Optoma PK301 - Review Summary
A bottom line summary of the Optoma PK301 Projector's pros and cons and capabilities.
09/02/2010 - Anthony Arrigo
Optoma PK301: Bottom Line
Overall I have to say the PK301 is an impressive Pico projector and would definitely be a contender if I was in the market for a small projector that I could have handy if I need to quickly convey an idea to a small group. The brightness when plugged in of 50 lumens was enough power with lights off to produce an acceptable image. If you just bring your charged projector along, using just battery power will lower your lumens to 20 and a room with controlled lighting will become a must.
The PK301's price point is on the more expensive side with a MSRP $399. Although you can get Pico projectors for a lot less money, you generally don't get as many features, and brightness is usually much less. Not to mention the resolution of the cheaper projectors is often so low that they can tend to be almost unuseable if the signal is coming from a laptop.If you just want to connect iphones or PDA like devices, then lower resolution Picos are going to be acceptable and cheaper. Often in the $100 to $200 price range depending on the lamp technology used.
The dimensions of the PK301 are on the larger side compared to other competing Pico projectors, but this isn't surprising with all the different inputs and the full featured control panel on the top of the projector. Also, the projector comes with a remote so that is another extra, but have to say it would not sway my decision for or against this projector since remotes are generally not needed when using a Pico. This is just due to the fact that you are so close to your presentation since it really is designed for a small group huddled around a small conference table.
If you get the XP8000 external battery pack, it's slightly smaller footprint and lesser height allow you to nicely set the PK301 on top, or not. With a total weight of just one pound, I strongly recommend PK301 owners to add the battery pack to their "package".
Since the XP8000 is also capable of charging other USB devices like an iPhone or iTouch, and we presume most android phones, etc., it should prove handy for more than just the PK301, and therefore easier to justify!
Optoma PK301 Projector: Pros
- Higher resolution than most Picos at 854x480
- Has a microSD card slot for loading presentation slides
- Accepts HDMI Has a USB port to read files from
- 21 measured lumens with internal battery, 52-53 lumens!!! with AC power or XP8000 external battery pack
- AVI, MOV, MP4, 3GP (Common video formats are converted using Optoma Pico Video Encoder*)
- Has a fairly long battery life of 1.5 hours (low power)
- LED light source rated at 20,000 hours
- 16:9 native aspect ratio and supports 4:3
- Software to convert PowerPoint slides into JPG or BMP files.
- High contrast at 2000:1
- Most capable of the small pico projectors to date
Optoma PK301 Projector: Cons
- Not particularly bright at 20 lumens when using just battery power (get the battery pack)
- Battery lasts only about an hour with Standard Mode
- Not as small as most Pico projectors.
- More expensive than other Pico projectors
Optoma PK301 Projector: 20 Questions Answered
1) What is the native resolution and what is the max resolution?
Native Resolution is WSVGA(854x480). Does not accept higher resolutions signals from a laptop.
2) Largest image you can project and how far do you have to be to achieve it?
You can achieve a 120 inch diagonal image and you must be 8.2 feet from the screen.
3) Standard battery life?
Less than one hour in Standard Mode. .
4) Does it have internal memory, and how much?
Yes, has a 28MB internal memory. The microSD supports up to 16MB cards.
5) What light source technology does the projector use?
Uses LED light and lasts an estimated 20,000 hours.
6) What is the native aspect ratio and does it support other aspect ratios?
16:9 but does support 4:3 aspect ratios.
7) What is the throw ratio?
8) Does it have a remote control?
Yes, it comes with a full featured remote control. .
9) Does it have a full featured control panel on the projector?
Yes. You can control all the projectors functions.
10) What type of warranty does it have?
1 Year limited parts and labor. 90 days on the battery.
11) Does it have a focus adjustment?
Yes. However does not have a zoom adjustment. Must be physically moved to produce a smaller or larger image.
12) What inputs/ouputs does the projector have?
One input for video signal that accepts a VGA cable, a RCA cable. Also accepts HDMI through a mini HDMI port.
13) Is it compatible with smartphones? Which ones?
Yes, with optional cable. Project images from your PDA or iphone.
14) What files types can be used for a presentation. Document?
Projector comes with software to convert your presentation slides into JPG's or BMP's. Also can play video formats such as AVI, MOV, MP4, 3GP.
15) What light source technology is used in the projector?
The light source is LED technology rated to last 20,000 hours. Most likely will have next generation model before needing to replace.
16) Will it accept HD video sources and what is the highest resolution it will accept?
The highest resolution it will accept is 1280x800 through the VGA adapter. HD video sources are accepted via the mini HDMI port and will accept a 1080i signal.
17) What cables does the projector come with, WHAT might I need?
The projector comes with one VGA cable to connect your laptop and one RCA cable wiR audioth L/. For S-video you will need an optional cable. Also, a special cable is necessary to connect an iphone, or ipod device. Check with your sales representative before purchase since not all cables are supplied depending on your geographical region.
18) How much outboard memory can be used by the projector?
The projector can accept up to 16GG microSD card.
19) What is the highest brightness in standard mode with just battery and brightness with expansion pack or AC?
Highest brightness is 20 lumens. With expansion battery pack or AC it can produce 50 lumens in Bright Mode.
20) What environment is this projector best suited to be used in?
Dark environments with no ambient light for best viewing.
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