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Optoma PK301 - Review Summary

Posted on October 2, 2013 by Art Feierman
A bottom line summary of the Optoma PK301 Projector's pros and cons and capabilities.

Optoma PK301: Bottom Line

Overall I have to say the PK301 is an impressive Pico projector and would definitely be a contender if I was in the market for a small projector that I could have handy if I need to quickly convey an idea to a small group. The brightness when plugged in of 50 lumens was enough power with lights off to produce an acceptable image. If you just bring your charged projector along, using just battery power will lower your lumens to 20 and a room with controlled lighting will become a must.

The PK301's price point is on the more expensive side with a MSRP $399. Although you can get Pico projectors for a lot less money, you generally don't get as many features, and brightness is usually much less. Not to mention the resolution of the cheaper projectors is often so low that they can tend to be almost unuseable if the signal is coming from a laptop.If you just want to connect iphones or PDA like devices, then lower resolution Picos are going to be acceptable and cheaper. Often in the $100 to $200 price range depending on the lamp technology used.

The dimensions of the PK301 are on the larger side compared to other competing Pico projectors, but this isn't surprising with all the different inputs and the full featured control panel on the top of the projector. Also, the projector comes with a remote so that is another extra, but have to say it would not sway my decision for or against this projector since remotes are generally not needed when using a Pico. This is just due to the fact that you are so close to your presentation since it really is designed for a small group huddled around a small conference table.

If you get the XP8000 external battery pack, it's slightly smaller footprint and lesser height allow you to nicely set the PK301 on top, or not. With a total weight of just one pound, I strongly recommend PK301 owners to add the battery pack to their "package".

Since the XP8000 is also capable of charging other USB devices like an iPhone or iTouch, and we presume most android phones, etc., it should prove handy for more than just the PK301, and therefore easier to justify!

Optoma PK301 Projector: Pros

  • Higher resolution than most Picos at 854x480
  • Has a microSD card slot for loading presentation slides
  • Accepts HDMI Has a USB port to read files from
  • 21 measured lumens with internal battery, 52-53 lumens!!! with AC power or XP8000 external battery pack
  • AVI, MOV, MP4, 3GP (Common video formats are converted using Optoma Pico Video Encoder*)
  • Has a fairly long battery life of 1.5 hours (low power)
  • LED light source rated at 20,000 hours
  • 16:9 native aspect ratio and supports 4:3
  • Software to convert PowerPoint slides into JPG or BMP files.
  • High contrast at 2000:1
  • Most capable of the small pico projectors to date

Optoma PK301 Projector: Cons

  • Not particularly bright at 20 lumens when using just battery power (get the battery pack)
  • Battery lasts only about an hour with Standard Mode
  • Not as small as most Pico projectors.
  • More expensive than other Pico projectors

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