Projector Reviews

2018 Best Pico and Pocket Projectors Report – Non-Winners

This is the final page of our projector report, where we discuss the non-winners that were considered. These include models from Optoma, AAXA, and Acer. Below, you’ll find a brief overview of each, and a nice chart showing their specifications. Though they didn’t win any awards, they still have their merits, and you may find that you want to do more research on these models. Enjoy!

Optoma ML750ST

Optoma_ML750ST

The Optoma ML750ST is one of the few projectors I did not personally review for this report. It was reviewed by Lisa Feierman, Art’s daughter, who, at the time, lived in a small New York City apartment. In those kinds of small spaces, a projector isn’t always an option – unless you get a short throw portable or pocket projector. This was one of two Optoma models Lisa reviewed – the other was the longer throw ML750 – and the one she deemed most appropriate for her apartment.

It is truly similar to the Under $500 winner, the Optoma ML750. This 700 lumen projector has WXGA resolution (1280 x 800), which is the business and education world’s 720p. Its LED light engine has a rated lifespan of 20,000 hours. The ML750ST is short throw, as is indicated by the “ST” in its name, and can project 32” from just 25” away. It can, of course, produce a much larger image the further back you place it. I would’ve given this projector the award over the Optoma ML750 for the Under $500 Award, but I couldn’t find it below its list price of $549, unless you wanted to get it refurbished. I thought that would be cheating, so the award went to the ML750. Bottom line, if the short throw lens serves you better than the ML750s standard throw lens, go for it!

AAXA M5

aaxa-m5

I really like AAXA projectors. As the company specializes in pico and pocket projectors, they generally do a great job. The $499 M5 is a solid pocket projector, and is quite similar to its $599 M6 counterpart in all but a few ways. It has WXGA resolution, claims 900 lumens (but measured 790 in its brightest mode), the LED lamp is rated at up to 20,000 hours in ECO Mode, and its battery power last 70 minutes. It has decent color, but not as good as the M6’s.

All in all, it’s a decent projector, but for one fatal flaw. When I reviewed it, on some source’s content, the projector squished the image so that people were tall and skinny. I reported the issue to AAXA, who assured me they’d get their engineers on it right away. I am assuming they’ve fixed it by now, over a year later, but I haven’t confirmed so I didn’t award this projector the Best in Class – Under $500 Award. I liked the Optoma ML750’s color better, so I would’ve given the award to that projector over this AAXA anyway, even without the squishing issue.

Acer C200

Acer C200 Front

The Acer C200 is the lowest priced projector included in this report. This $199.99 pico projector also has the lowest resolution – 480p. That’s standard definition, if you are unfamiliar, and the quality is what you can expect from a DVD. If you’re wondering, the difference between this projector and the AAXA P300 Neo is the difference between DVD and Blu-ray. Should you not mind the lower resolution, you might consider the Acer C200 for the lower price.

It’s not terribly bright, either. The Neo, though it measured considerably under claim, came in at just over 200 lumens – the C200 measured at 137 lumens in its brightest mode, 105 in its best mode. Though this is quite low, if you’re projecting a smaller image, the brightness with stretch further, allowing the projector to be viewed in slightly less ideal conditions. Still, if you do end up going with the projector, you’ll want to make sure you can mostly darken your room, or else plan to use it exclusively at night.

Non-Winners Spec Chart

Optoma ML750ST AAXA M5 Acer C200
Price $999 $599 $199
Technology DLP with LED light source DLP with LED light source DLP with LED light source
Brightness 700 Lumens 900 Lumens 200
Contrast 20,000:1 2,000:1 2,000:1
Resolution 1280×800 1280×800 854×480
Weight (lbs.) 0.8 lbs 2.0 lbs 0.77 lbs
Audio (Watts) 1.5 W Mono 2.0 W Mono N/A
Wireless Optional Wireless No Optional Wireless
Lamp Life 20,000 Hours 20,000 Hours 20,000 Hours
3D Yes No No