The pocket projectors category includes the latest technology in ultra-portable projectors, micro projectors, and pico projectors for laptops and device integration. See below for a list of pocket projector reviews and information pages.
Pocket projectors earn their name from being small enough to fit in your pants pocket, and weigh above 0.75 lbs. (but really over a pound). These projectors are extremely convenient and are ideal for portable use.
However, when compared with the smallest size class, pico projectors, bulk is the real difference as opposed to weight. Though a bit larger in size than their tiny competition, pocket projectors pack more punch.
Broadly speaking, pocket projectors are under 2 lbs., use a solid state light source (LED or laser), and have a small physical footprint.
Pocket Projector Resource: The 2010 Pico Projector and Pocket Projector Report
Pocket Projector Reviews
About Pocket Projectors
Recently, pocket projectors and pico projectors have been sort of lumped together, but pocket projectors are a distinct breed of their own. Pocket projectors (also known as mini projectors) earn their name because they can fit into a shirt or pants pocket. To put size perspective, a pocket projector is typically about the size of a thick paperback book, though the proportions vary depending on the model. Pocket projectors typically use an LED light source and are smaller than conventional projectors.
If you're tired of fiddling with a heavy and cumbersome projector for your presentations, pocket projectors and pico projectors are excellent options. Neither can provide the same brightness or image quality as a standard projector, but they're suitable alternatives.
Compared to the smaller pico projectors, pocket projectors are the more capable choice. They are far brighter than pico projectors, offering 100-300 lumens compared to the current pico maximum of 50 lumens. A pico, therefore, is not bright enough to handle a typical office space, but a pocket project can. Pocket projectors are also higher resolution than pico projectors. These factors make them better suited for presentations.
Pocket projectors normally have a separate power brick with some real weight. One thing to consider about the larger pocket projector is that, while the projectors themselves are always under 2 lbs., the power bricks can approach one pound in weight depending on how large or bright the pocket projector is. Therefore, the required power bricks should be factored into the total weight.
Originally, pocket projectors such as the Mistubishi PK20, which is now several years old, were battery powered like the modern pico projector. Because of their convenience, pocket projectors were very popular with missionaries abroad. They made presentations easy when traveling, for example, across Africa from village to village. Recently, though, we have seen a resurface of the original battery powered pocket projector in addition to the current power brick.
We have seen some big changes in pocket projectors in the second half of 2010. Pocket projectors are moving up to the same resolution as many portable business projectors, including SVGA, XGA and WXGA (with the last two seen in 90% of business projectors). Also, pocket projectors are now as bright as the early portable projectors of 15 years ago, and are definitely capable of projecting a 4-5 ft. diagonal image in a conference room with moderate lighting.
The capabilities of pocket and pico projectors are constantly expanding. Recently, we have seen the emergence of HDMI and mini-HDMI jacks. All but the least expensive models now seem to have computer inputs as well, and even the ones lacking those have media players that allow for presentations.
We are also now seeing card slots, USB inputs, S-video inputs, and VGA in addition to the standard composite video source. Let's examine the differences in input panels between a pico and pocket projector.
Above is the LG HX300G pocket projector, which accepts HDMI, VGA, composite video, DC, audio input, and USB input.
Above is the Optoma PK301 pico projector, one of the better-equipped pico projectors. It includes VGA, mini-HDMI, DC, micro USB, audio input/output and a MicroSD card slot.
Pocket projectors typically run from $350-800, but the smaller pico projectors are usually around $200-400, with the least expensive starting at $100.
- Smaller and more portable than conventional projectors
- Brighter than pico projectors and therefore better suited for presentations
- 100-300 lumens that, while not as bright as "full-sized" projectors, are competent
- LED light source with no replacement cost
- Higher resolution than pico projectors, from VGA (640x480) to wide XVGA in its most common form (1280x800)
For information on pocket projectors and their competitors, pico projectors, check out The 2010 Pico Projector and Pocket Projector Guide and Reviews