Projector Reviews

LG Minibeam PH300 Projector Review – Summary

The LG PH300 is a pocket class projector that offers a lot a features for a modest $449.99 MSRP.  However, like most other pico and pocket projectors it has some significant limitations.  In many ways this becomes a trade-off between size vs. performance.  Larger projectors, especially lamp-based models, can produce a brighter image and offer much better built-in audio quality while the PH300 is far more portable and offers the capability for battery powered, cord-free operation that you won’t find offered on those larger projectors.  The LG Mini-Beam PH300 is being primarily marketed as a portable home entertainment projector, but easily doubles as a road warrior’s super small and light projector suitable for making business presentations to very small groups.

Picture Quality

Considering this a low cost pocket projector, the PH300 is capable of producing some fairly good images with the out-of-the-box picture modes.  In the best such mode, the colors were reasonably accurate and well saturated (even a little too saturated by HD video standards).  Like other pico and pocket projectors that I have reviewed, the image sharpness wasn’t quite as good as with “full size” projectors with the same native 1280 x 720 (or similar) resolution.  The black levels and image contrast were “entry level” for a DLP projector, as is the case with most projectors of this class.  There was no color fringing observed, which indicates the lens doesn’t suffer from chromatic aberration.

Brightness

No pocket class projector can be considered very bright and the PH300 is certainly no exception.  In the better picture modes the measured light output was only 124 lumens, which means you will need to keep the image size relatievely small in order to get an acceptably bright image, especially if there are any room lights to contend with.  LG specs list the screen size as up to 100 inches and I would suggest this isn’t very unrealistic even when the PH300 is operated in its brightest mode (i.e., Vivid).

From a practical standpoint, in a fully darkened room, consider that it takes about 400 lumens to fill a 100″ diagonal screen (one with a gain = 1.0) for movie viewing.  With only 124 lumens available in the best picture mode, the PH300 could provide a similar brightness with a screen size of about 55 inches diagonal.

Therefore, one could consider the LG Min-Beam to be a great starter “home entertainment” projector for today’s millennials who have “cut the cord” no satellite or cable boxes, and instead rely on the internet, and MHL streaming sticks such as Roku’s for their content.  Also with the built-in digital TV tuner, those that live in a metro area where the signals from the local broadcast TV channels is relatively strong, then a small TV antenna can be connected to the PH300 for showing the local TV channels.

Audio Quality

I found the maximum audio volume to be rather low when using my Blu-ray Disc player as the video/audio source.    It would probably be adequate when being used for a one-on-one presentation or in very small room for narrations but quality is poor for music.  External powered speaker(s), a boom box or stereo system  would be needed for use in a moderate size room and/or for a larger audience or where playback of music or movies is important.

Pros

  • Very small and light weight
  • Built-in battery for cords-free operation
  • Hi-def resolution of 720p! (higher than most pico & pocket projectors)
  • Impressive battery life (up to 2.5 hours)
  • Long lasting LED light source
  • Built-in media player for displaying photos, videos, audio
  • Computer-free business presentations by displaying MS Office documents directly from a USB flash drive
  • Good color in best picture mode
  • Support for MHL via the HDMI input
  • Antenna input for reception of over-the-air broadcast TV
  • A good, starter, mobile home entertainment projector
  • Suitable for casual gamers
  • Suitable for small room, small group presentations

 

Cons

  • Not as bright as some competitive models of pocket projectors
  • Remote control has rather limited range and needs to be nearly directly behind the projector to work reliably
  • No network support
  • The mechanical focus adjustment is rather ‘sloppy’ making it somewhat difficult to get optimum focus
  • No mode offered with really low input display lag, as would be desired by serious gamers (i.e., really hard core gamers want 33ms or less).