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Projectors and Millennials - The Optoma ML750 Projector Review - Phase 2 pg2

Posted on May 14, 2016 by Art Feierman

OPTOMA ML750 LED PROJECTOR - REAL WORLD USE: Business and Education, Fun Features, Summary

How I Use the ML750 #3 – In the Office

Switching gears to something far less fun, but no less important than sports: work!  The source for this section is actually my roommate, Stephanie, who found herself in a tough spot regarding a presentation she needed to give at work. She found out the night before that the conference room she was assigned for an upcoming presentation was one that did not have any AV equipment. Luckily, the Optoma ML750 came to the rescue! She told me about her experiences, which I’ll relay here:

Optoma ML750 pocket projector

Optoma's powerful, but tiny ML750 LED projector

Stephanie had worked diligently to prepare for her presentation, which consisted of a professionally-made PowerPoint presentation complete with stylized backgrounds and fonts, colored photos, elaborate graphics, and animations. There weren’t any video or audio elements; just the text and photos, which needed to be spot-on in order to clearly convey her key points and overall vision to her team.

At the time, her (Fortune-sized) company was renting a temporary space in New York City while their permanent offices was being renovated, and that temporary office had a limited number of larger conference rooms that were actually equipped with projectors, screens, TVs, or the like. Because her presentation was for a group of 6 people, it was unsurprising that Stephanie was assigned to a smaller, no-frills room. The space was a small breakout room with a table and 6 chairs, typically used for small in-person meetings, calls, and collaborations. There were no windows (so no ambient light concerns, though the ML750 would have fared fine with some ambient light), and the lights were off for the presentation so the picture was bright and vivid. No screen – just perfectly white walls to project straight on to. She simply had to walk in, pull the little 0.9-lb. projector out of its soft carry case in her purse, open up her MacBook Pro, connect them via HDMI cable, plug the projector into the AC outlet, turn the projector on (which takes less than 10 seconds with instant power on/off), point the little guy at the plain white wall, focus, and go! Took under a minute to get complete set up and start the presentation.

So, was it a crowd pleaser? All signs point to yes. Stephanie said the ML750 “looked great and really helped out in a pinch. It turned a very basic small conference room into a place where we could give a professional presentation.” She added, perhaps most importantly, “It also really impressed my boss that I had it handy on a moment’s notice!”

Preliminary conclusion: A pocket projector might be more than just a means of entertainment – it could be the millennial’s secret weapon in their corporate tool kit, which can be important, as we millennials are at the bottom of the food chain, thus the most likely to be shafted to the bare-bones presenting space or denied state-of-the-art AV equipment. Promotions, here we come.

(NOTE: Apologies for the lack of photos - I couldn't exactly ask my roommate to extensively document her presentation at work. But hopefully I painted a good picture for you.)

How I use the ML750 #3 – Education

While I’m no longer a student myself—nor do I work in the education field—, I’m confident the Optoma ML750 is a great choice for education users as well, especially if you’re looking for portability and affordability.

I’m sure educators could really benefit from having their own pocket projectors, especially younger ones just starting out who might not have the resources or institutional knowledge to obtain AV equipment through traditional channels. After graduation, several of my peers joined Teach for America, AmeriCorps, and other teaching fellowship programs that included frequent travel and limited school equipment resources. Other young people I know traveled abroad to teach English in their first years out of school. Still others began tutoring, college counseling, or substitute teaching while they worked their way through graduate school. In any of these education-oriented roles, a projector is definitely an invaluable tool for communication, preparedness, and professionalism!

As far as my own personal experience: As soon as I received the ML750 for review, I found myself imagining how helpful it would have been to have my own projector as a college student; there were definitely many times when I found myself in a situation that a projector could have been a lifesaver. On more than one occasion, I remember arriving with my laptop to give a presentation in discussion section, only to discover a major problem: the AV equipment in the classroom didn’t include an HDMI adapter for my MacBook Pro. So, I would have to scramble to export my presentation to a thumb drive or email it to my TA/another classmate, eventually opening it up on someone’s PC laptop that didn’t require the same adapter. If I had just had my own projector, I’m sure I would have had the correct adapters on hand and could have brought them myself… Or, I could have just brought my own projector to avoid the hassle entirely! Similarly, I recall once also arriving in an alternate classroom one day because of construction, only to find out the new room didn’t have any AV equipment at all, and I had to give my PowerPoint presentation straight off my laptop just sitting on a desk in the front of the room—talk about hard to be engaging!

And the uses go beyond academics for students. My sorority found itself needing a projector to show a slideshow and video during recruitment one year, and my dad, Art, kindly shipped us one (with a portable screen) at the last minute to borrow.

Countless other student organizations I was part of—from Dance Marathon to student government—all used projectors at some point for external events or internal meetings, but we were always restricted to what the university had on-hand. That meant a lot of waitlists, uncertainty, and many frustrating limitations regarding when/where a presentation or a club movie night could take place. If I had the Optoma ML750, or any other ultra-portable pico or pocket projector for that matter, as a student, I guarantee things would have been a lot easier!

Fun Features of the Optoma ML750

Super Bowl viewing on the Optoma ML750

Super Bowl viewing on the Optoma ML750

As you can see, the ML750 fits into my life in a number of diverse but equally valuable ways. From its entertainment uses to its professional ones, it’s clear that a bright, fast, and portable projector is the perfect accessory for any millennial.

This list of fun features was in the first installment of this series, but we will include it again for good measure. Here are a few fun things to note about the ML750:

  • 3D ready – you can buy optional DLP Link 3D glasses and show 3D content on this little guy – pretty cool
  • 20,000 hour LED light source life – don’t worry about it burning out
  • Remote control – am I the only one excited about this?
  • 12 languages for the on-screen display – who knows when this will come in handy!
  • Built-in media player and native office viewer – display Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, photos and video without connecting to your computer – shows how serious this projector is
  • 5GB of internal memory
  • Compatible with an app called EZ View for wireless, cable-free presentations from iOS and Android devices
  • Instant power up and power down – SO NICE.

A Note on Battery

A quick bit on the battery factor. The Optoma ML750 doesn’t have a battery, so that can make-or-break this projector as a choice for some of you out there who require battery operation. That said, we reviewed the AAXA P700 pico projector this winter, a direct competitor of the ML750, which is WXGA, offers 650 lumens, and has a built-in battery. If battery operation is a requirement for you – perhaps you want to use the projector in outdoor settings or on the road where you won’t have an outlet – there are plenty of options out there for you.

Final Thoughts on the Optoma ML750

Ultimately, the Optoma ML750 has a lot going for it: its price, its portability, its quick/easy setup, and its impressive picture for its class. However, as a fairly standard throw projector it lacks a zoom lens for placement flexibility.  Also not being a bright as traditional, large, heavier, lamp based projectors, it isn’t likely to be called on to work in larger rooms. 

Special_Interest awardAs mentioned, Optoma has taken back the ML750, replacing it with the ML750ST - the difference being a short throw version, which in my apartment environment is an advantage. Short throw is likely to be favored for portable use in a conference room, for small groups, as it can sit closer to the screen.

We'll give the ML750 our Special Interest Award for now, and see how the ML750ST fairs... Will it earn the Hot Product Award? Stay tuned for the next installment of my ‘Millennials and Projectors’ series, which will review the ML750ST. That’s expected to publish early June 2016.

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