Posted on November 6, 2015 By Lisa Feierman
I know, it’s not the most intuitive combination, given that “millennial” is almost synonymous with “streaming content on screens the size of credit cards.” I’ll admit, I was definitely skeptical at first–how could a projector, those things my dad reviews, actually fit into my mobile, busy, on-a-budget life? Well, it turns out that having a projector has been one of the best things to happen to my living situation.
When I moved into my new apartment in New York City, I realized I didn’t have the proper setup for a TV—my front door swings all the way open, so it could easily hit the wall that the TV would go on. I was stumped… Was I stuck without a TV? Then I remembered that, luckily, Art Feierman is my father and surely we could come up with a creative alternative…
As a millennial, I was used to viewing content in one of two extreme ways: 1) Watching in darkened sorority TV rooms or pricey movie theaters, which meant surround sound, larger screens, and total darkness, or 2) streaming movies and TV shows on my MacBook Air in bed in college, with less than perfect audio, an unreliable WiFi connection, and a constant slew of distractions. In my real adult NYC apartment, I wanted something that would conveniently fit my mobile lifestyle, but had the quality of something more grownup. And I didn’t want to have to keep passing the laptop back and forth between my roommate and I while surfing the web or watching Netflix. That’s no fun.
Enter: Optoma’s ML750 pico projector, which has turned out to be pretty much perfect for me for several reasons.
It has all the convenience I wanted: small (palm-sized), super lightweight (less than 1 lb.), comes in a soft carrying case for easy portability (great for taking to a friend’s apartment or to the office), and quick power-up (less than 15 seconds). Optoma refers to the ML750 as a “ultra-compact LED projector,” but for all intents and purposes we’ll call it a “pocket projector,” though it could also be classified as an even-smaller “pico projector” since it weighs less than 1 lb. They’re often all lumped together.
The ML750 also gives me the quality I desired; it’s impressively bright for its size (700 lumens), has remarkably good color (and I’m particular, growing up in a house where projectors are almost always professionally calibrated), and has a high enough contrast to maintain its depth on my white walls, which are often washed out by ambient light.
Perhaps most importantly for someone my age, it’s easy on the wallet. With an MSRP of over $1000, street price is almost HALF THAT ($564.81 on Amazon Prime), and even less if you go for the 500-lumen version. Also, its long-life LED light source means I don’t need to worry about the brightness deteriorating or paying for replacement lamps—normal projector concerns. Nice.
NOTE: I predominately consider this projector for entertainment/home uses, but I’ll also briefly touch on how you can use the ML750 for business and education uses, since it’s also well-suited for those!
We wish to thank Epson America for sponsoring this year’s Best Classroom Projectors report, in which this projector is considered.
This article is the 1st of 4 describing my life with the Optoma ML750, so I’m only going to touch on one major use for the projector… The most obvious being watching movies and TV! The next 3 installations will discuss other ways I’ve been able to use a pocket/pico projector as a millennial, ranging from professional, to fun, to portable!
As a 23 year old person, on a budget, living in debatably the most expensive city in America, there was no way I was paying for cable. But thanks to the ML750’s connectivity, I don’t miss it at all. It has inputs for Universal I/O (VGA), HDMI with MHL, microSD and USB. Sound like jibberish? Basically it means I can stream content from a number of sources a number of ways! I can hook up my laptop with a VGA adapter or an HDMI cable, I can pop my Olympus DSLR camera’s microSD memory card in to show a slideshow of photos, and I can plug my boyfriend’s Chromecast right into the USB slot. Theoretically, you can use anything from a desktop or a smart phone to a Bu-Ray player or an Xbox with this guy. Talk about versatility.
Setting up the ML750 could not be easier. It comes in this great soft carrying case which, surprisingly, fits right in my tote bag/large purse. All the cables (power cable, Universal I/O cable) are also inside the case, along with the tiny credit card-sized remote control (awesome touch, makes me feel like more of a grownup with a real entertainment system).
It comes with a Quick Start card to guide you through the process, but for most tech-savvy young people, it’s so intuitive you won’t need it. Plug the power cable with the brick into the DC in connector on the back of the projector, then plug the Mickey Mouse power cord into the power brick, then plug into your wall socket. Once you’re connected, the little power button on top of the projector should flash a dim red, to show it is receiving energy. If you hit the power button, it’ll turn blue and the projector will power up. 3-5 seconds later, you’ll see the screen light up with the Optoma logo, and within another 5, you’ll be all powered up. Then, depending on what you’re projecting, get going with your microSD, USB, HDMI, Universal I/O, etc.
The ML750 has an adjustable focus, so you can make sure the picture is as sharp as can be. I’ll note that, occasionally, after focusing the projector to be crystal clear, I find the picture can still be fuzzy around the edges of the screen. But if you’re like me, that doesn’t make much of a difference.
Speaking of things that can distract from your image, the ML750 has vertical keystone correction to combat any warping to your image that may result from projecting on an angle. Basically, if you’re pointing your projector against your screen/wall in any way except head-on, the shape can get distorted. You you can use the keystone correction to help balance the image out into a more typical rectangular shape.
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