Posted on April 3, 2014 By Art Feierman
The Asus P2B in a Pocket, or mini portable, projector with a maximum dimension of only 5.6 inches and a weight of under one and a half pounds. The P2B has a footprint a little larger than a case for a CD and is 1.36 inches thick, which makes it larger than the tiny Pico projectors so instead I’ll refer to it as ‘Pocket” or ‘mini-portable’. It does have a separate AC power supply similar in size to those used with a laptop PC. The P2B has a built-in battery that, when fully charged, can operate the projector for about 1.5 hours.
For some business travelers the most important feature of the Asus P2B projector will be it’s ability to run for about 1.5 hours on its internal battery. Small pico projectors normally have a battery built in, and the larger pocket projectors are brighter and draw more power, making internal batteries impractical. The Asus P2B falls into a category, shared now by only a few other models, that provide both higher brightness than the typical pico model and includes an internal battery that can power the projector for a reasonable time. For some, this is essential for those occasions where plugging into and electrical outlet isn’t an option.
The Asus P2B is one model of Asus’s P-series of pocket projectors. The lower priced ($449 list price) model P2E appears to be based on the same chassis as the P2B but is a stripped down version that omits the internal battery, the USB and MicroSD card connectors as well as the internal user memory, and does not include the “Media Center’ feature for directly playing video, audio, photo and document files without the need to connect the projector to a computer. Omitting these features decreases the weight to about 1.1 pound, or about 20% less than the P2B model reviewed here.
The Asus P2B is rated to put out 350 lumens in its brightest mode when operating on AC power and 300 lumens when operating on battery power. It has a native WXGA resolution of 1280 x 800 with a 16 x 10 aspect ratio. It lacks a zoom lens while its fixed focal length lens has a specified throw ratio of 1.1:1, meaning that it will, for example, produce a 40 inch wide image when placed 44” back from the screen. The P2B comes with a carrying case, remote control, power supply with power cord, the usual documentation and a mini-VGA to full size VGA cable.
Pocket vs. Full Size Portable: While the Asus P2B has a good set of features that are well suited for the business traveler, the overall performance of this model, as is the case with pico and pocket models in general, can in several respects fall well below the performance of similar priced, lamp-based portable business projectors. There really is a price to be paid in terms of performance for the convenience of having a really small and light weight projector. The business traveler really needs to fully consider the intended role for the projector. If it is needed for on-the-go presentations to only a few viewers that will be seated relatively close to the projection screen/wall/whiteboard then pico/pocket models, such as the Asus P2B, may be a good choice. However, if the audience will be larger and the projector is to be used in a moderate or large conference room, perhaps with moderately bright room lighting, then the lamp-based portable business projectors will be the better choice.
This projector review is included in our 2014-2015 Best Classroom Projectors Report, which is sponsored by Epson America.
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