Projectors Considered: LED Pocket Projectors 1

We wish to thank Epson America for sponsoring this year’s Best Classroom Projectors report.


Portable LED Projectors Considered

LED Pocket Projectors
Projector Model Image Overview Review Specs Type
Acer K335 acer-k335 Overview Review Specs Pocket projector, Solid state
Asus P2B asus-p2b Overview Review Specs Pocket projector, Solid state
Canon LE-5W canon-le5w Overview Review Specs Pocket projector, Solid state
Optoma ML550 optoma-ml550 Overview Review Specs Pocket projector, Solid state
Vivitek Qumi Q7 vivitek-q7 Overview Review Specs Pocket projector, Solid state

Acer K335

This is one of the new generation of serious “pocket” projectors.  While the K335 is no  match for most traditional lamp based portable projectors in brightness, it’s ability to put almost 700 lumens on the screen makes it a serious projector for many uses, and small classrooms could be one of those.   Still it was a disappointing measurement considering the claim of 1000 lumens.  But, as we have pointed out many times, solid state light source projectors tend not to be all that bright, so there’s more tendency, it seems to “exaggerate” a bit about brightness.  The K335 is a DLP projector with a solid state light engine and WXGA – 1280×800 native resolution.  It can handle higher resolutions including 1080p, through its HDMI input.  Of note, the K335 has MHL HDMI support of MHL compatible mobile devices, be that a Roku stick, some android tablets, or a host of other devices.

Presenting from iOS 5.0 or newer (iPhone and iPads) or Android  works with the occasional adapter and the appropriate app for those devices.

The K335 can even do 3D from computer sources, but not Blu-ray 3D (packed).  For an educational environment that’s probably just fine.

Wifi is optional, and probably makes great sense with a true portable like this one.

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The light engine will almost certainly outlast the usefulness of a portable pocket projector like this one, considering the 20,000 claimed life which is more than 20 years of classroom use at 20 hours a week – and who with a portable projector is going to be running it that much in a classroom setting.

This pocket projector actually does have an optical zoom lens (1.25:1), something many lack.  Warranty is a basic 1 year parts and labor – nothing to write home about.

Not surprising, the Acer can present from both USB and SD cards in its SD card slot.  It’s media player supports Microsoft Office – that is, Word, Excel and Powerpoint presentations along with photos and videos.

Since the K335 has only a very small speaker (typical), it having an audio out is a real plus, so that powered portable speakers can pick up the slack.

Asus P2B

You wouldn’t think of a sub 1.5 pound projector as one of the classroom, and neither would most.  But there has always been demand, around the world for small projectors that can run on batteries.  I the US, that might e restricted for field trips, or maybe some rural situation, but battery operable pocket projectors have been in demand for far ore than a decade, by teachers, doctors, missionaries and others for use around the world.  My last company sold a couple thousand such projectors in the early 2000’s although those projectors were only capable of 25 to 50 lumens.  Here the Asus P2B claims 350 lumens plugged in (it has a separate power brick), and 300 lumens running on the internal battery.

Support for HDMI and MHL are real pluses, (its MHL will recharge many MHL compatible devices), as is support via the sophisticated built in media player that can run Microsoft Office documents – Powerpoint, Excel, Word, PDFs, jpg photos and video files from its USB or micro-SD card slot.  There’s 2gig of internal memory as well.  Missing though, is any wireless/wifi abilities.

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Asus claims a longer than usual 30,000 hours for its solid state light source, although this projector will surely be a dinosaur before anyone puts on that many hours on it.

As is very typical, the P2B did not meet its claimed 350 lumens but instead came in at 271, about 20% lower.  Running on battery, the same bright mode measured a still significant 191 lumens.  That’s enough to do a nice presentation on a 50” screen with some lighting control.  (Consider that in a home theater, 500 lumens is more than enough for a 100” screen (4 times the size), in a darkened room!

The P2B supports computer signals up to WXGA+ (a common Mac resolution of 1440×900), and digital up to 1080p.

Warranty is 2 years on the projector, one on the battery.  That’s’ still definitely better than most pocket projectors.

What is important to note, is that the Asus P2B has very good color, even in brightest modes, whereas many DLP projectors have to give up 1/3 to ½ of brightness to have really good color.  A truly impressive, truly portable projector with a very good feature set, ideal for small room presentations and teaching!

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