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Elmo BOXi T-200 Pico / Pocket Projector - Summary

Posted on January 6, 2014 by Art Feierman

Let's start by saying that the BOXi T-200 has all the elements to be a very practical tiny projector.  It's bright enough, with about 150 lumens maximum, and 120-130 lumens in the best looking modes.  It has a very respectable picture quality that makes it very suitable for both small group presentations, and for home entertainment, including gaming.  It may also work commercially as a small digital signage solution, and the fact that it is pretty short throw, and can do rear projection as well as front, and be ceiling mounted if needed lends it to a number of signage opportunities.

The trick, when choosing among pico and pocket projectors, is to understand what trade-offs you are making relative to bigger, "traditional" projectors.

Of course, those traditional projectors are far, far larger, but not always far heavier.  Do you want the the lightweight, tiny footprint of a projector like this, or will you be happier, with a projector that might weigh 3-4 pounds, be huge by comparison, but have 2000 lumens.

BTW, when we're talking weight, although this BOXi T-200 projector from Elmo, weighs about 2/3 of a pound, it also has a brick type power supply (like many laptops) that weighs about as much as the BOXi, so figure you really are working with a "practical" weight between a pound and a pound and a half.  That's still far less than traditional projectors.

And of course, the T-200 DLP projector runs on an LED light source (R,G,B) which should easily outlast the practical life of the projector.  I have yet to find a lamp life rating for the Elmo solid state light source, but most likely is between 10,000 and 20,000 hours.   Even using the lower 10,000 hours estimate, that's 20 hours a week, for roughly a decade!

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BOXi T-200 Produces A Good Picture

That really is the key.  We've been disappointed more than once with pocket and pico projectors that, despite interesting feature sets, that just didn't have a quality looking picture.  That's not the case with the T-200.  Color is pretty darn good, even for movie watching.  Certainly the color is great for business or classroom presentations.  The rest of the elements of picture quality, such as sharpness, are also pretty good.  I do wish the T-200 was a little quieter though.  It's not really loud, but it is pretty high pitched, call it a whine.  Nothing serious enough to be an issue in a presentation, but still more noise than is ideal!

Oh, no problem, there are much larger WXGA projectors that really do look razor sharp, but as the photos show, even small type is very readable.  Folks, that's what you need.   Better than this at sharpness, for most people's use is nice to have, but hardly necessary.  Certainly any small type and other small objects will look a lot sharper here, than on a bigger, but lower resolution projector.  For example, 800x600 projectors dominated K-12 purchases until just a few years ago.  This pocket projector will be far easier to see small objects with and read small text than the hundreds of thousands of those lower resolution projectors still in use in US classrooms.



The feature set of the T-200 projector is missing some features found on other pocket projectors.  Most notably, there's no media player.  Many other pocket and Pico projectors allow you to run presentations without a computer, view slideshows of photos off of USB thumb drives or SD cards.  Basically a number of other small projectors are in that sense, smart.

On the other hand, you aren't paying for that if you don't need it.  When you consider brightness, and price, the media loaded ones tend to cost more.  If, when you use it you are using traditional sources, like computers, tablets and smart phones, you don't necessarily need that.

Let's talk portability for a second.  I'm a believer that one things that goes well, with a tiny projector is the ability to run it on batteries.  I've reviewed many pico projectors, with batteries, and a couple with battery packs, although none have been able to do more than 100 lumens.  But there are one or two pocket projectors that do offer a battery pack.  The HB Opto reviewed a few months ago is the primary one.  But it's also hundreds more expensive.  So, again, it's "what do you need" in your planned pocket projector purchase.  And by the way, HB Opto is new in the US, just setting up shop, recent pocket projectors from LG and Viewsonic do not have a battery pack option.   The reason battery pack options are rare, is that these projectors are bright enough to need a significant amount of juice.  4 amp at 12 volt in this case.

Now if you really have a need to run a projector in the field, the fact that the input is 12 volt, will make creating a battery solution a pretty possible Do-It-Yourself effort.

The one watt speaker does offer respectable volume, enough to watch a movie with.  Of course, there's no real bass, so the sound is a little tinny, but it does have some muscle.  An audio out let's you instead, plug into a bigger audio system, but, unfortunately, plugging something in turns off the internal speaker.  Better to make turning it off a menu option, so you could leave it on and connect a fairly tiny powered subwoofer.  OK, this is a minor complaint, and one that is true of most of the pico and pocket projectors we've worked with.


The BOXi T-200 supports ultra-thin, ultra-light smart HDMI cables, something more pocket projectors should do. It saves dramatically on weight and bulk!

One great feature, is that the BOXi works with Redmere designed HDMI cables.  Those are super thin, but I've only encountered one other pico or pocket that will work with them.  With regular HDMI cables weighing probably more than the projector, they also have a tendency to pull on the lightweight projector, turning it or tilting it.  No such hassle, and almost no weight to the Redmere type cables.  Many cable companies now sell them, from Monster on down.  I always travel with one, so finding a pocket projector that allows use of them, is something I appreciate.

The fold under front feet (5 or 10 degree tilt), and the tripod hole are real plusses.  I honestly don't know why some pocket projectors don't have a tripod screw hole, yet many lack one.

Note, the BOXi T-200 projector doesn't come with any sort of carry case, or even a sleeve.  Of course you can find something if you think one necessary, but many pico/pocket projectors do come with something.


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For those of you who count yourselves as real gamers, know that the input lag times are excellent, with over 90% of our test image shots indicating 0 lag time when compared to the MacBook Pro we use as our reference display. Very fast!

BOXi T-200 Win Special Interest Award

I've just finished mentioning some of the features I like, most notably the picture quality and a reasonable amount of brightness for a pocket projector.  Then, there are some I miss, like a battery pack option or media player.  I really like the price point, and the value received, and I believe if it also had either of those two features, the BOXi T-200  would have received our higher Hot Product Award.  Understand, the difference is that the Special Interest award also indicates a quality product, but one that just won't meet the needs of as wide a range of potential users.

The one year warranty is pretty much the standard for pocket projectors, and many entry level small portable traditional projectors.  Some of the pico projectors only have 90 day warranties, but pico projectors too, typically now come with the one year parts and labor.

All considered, the BOXi has a nice feel, and works well, for a very reasonable price compared to many competitors.  There are more powerful pocket projectors with 2-3 times the brightness, but they typically sell for $200 - $400 more.  It comes down to whether it has the features you need.  After all, it can work well in the home, as a portable presentation projector, and even as a field - portable classroom projector in certain environments!

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