Projector Reviews

Pico and Pocket Projectors for Business Purposes

While pico and pocket projectors are primarily used for home entertainment purposes, they do have their place in business environments. Their portable nature, coupled with a few key features, makes them useful for presentations – especially those done in tight, “huddle” spaces, or for “road warriors” who do multiple presentations in a day, taking them on the road. On this page, I will discuss the qualities that make pico and pocket projectors suitable for business applications, and mention those projectors included in this report that have these qualities.

Portability and Placement Flexibility

As you know from reading this report, all of these pico and pocket projectors weigh in at just a few pounds, if not under one pound. This is excellent for the traveling presenter, missionary, or even students looking to spice up their presentations. All of these projectors have a pretty short throw distance, too, and some of the brightest projectors included in this report can produce a bright image projecting, say, 40” to 60” diagonal in a tight huddle space.

When I had my nephew over, I hooked up the AAXA P300 Neo, and we projected at my kitchen table at about 24” diagonal. There was some ambient light, and even at around 130 lumens (which is not totally bright), the projector produced a vibrant, bright image. That’s just a little pico, so imagine what’s possible with the pocket projectors that have even more lumens!

Now, let’s talk placement flexibility. I’ve already covered that these projectors have short throw distances, so they can be placed within several feet of the screen or wall surface and produce a rather large image, or a smaller, brighter image for tighter spaces. But, as they all have fixed lenses with no zoom or lens shift (typical), they have to be placed at the right height and distance Many of these projectors come with the ability to attach a tripod to the bottom so that you can adjust the height and position of the projector and image.

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All three AAXA projectors included in this report have tripods included. The Acer C200, Optoma ML750, and Optoma ML750ST have a screw thread for a tripod, but no tripod not included. Amazon has some low-priced table top tripods though, like the one shown above. You can always get a regular sized tripod intended for DSLR cameras, which would give you even more placement flexibility because they are more adjustable than using a tripod on a table.

Wireless and PC-Free Presenting

The AAXA models all have the same type of menu and features that allow for PC-Free Presenting. They accept JPG images, video, and audio via USB or SD card. The Optoma ML750 can do a little more – it can read Microsoft Office documents and PDFs, along with photo and audio files.

With an app called EZ View, you can also project content from your smartphone or tablet. The Acer K138ST can do wireless presenting as well, though you need a separate dongle for that – either WirelessHD Kit or WirelessCast. Personally, I’d choose the Optoma ML750 or ML750ST for my business purposes if I wanted to present wirelessly, as they don’t need a dongle to do so, they work with an app, and can project Microsoft Office – such as Word and PowerPoint – and PDF documents.

Alternatively, if you only need to present JPGs, video, or audio, the AAXA M6 may be a better choice, as it has more lumens. If you do need to project a PowerPoint presentation on your M6, you can export as ordered JPGs and easily cycle through them. That’s a good choice should you need the extra lumens. It is definitely the brightest of the bunch!

I wouldn’t recommend the Acer K138ST for business purposes, as it truly is a gaming projector, and in case you will also be using it for gaming, those features are a waste. If you are splitting your time between home and business, though, it might be a good option – if you’re also willing to buy that dongle. In my opinion, you’d be better off with one of the other ones I mentioned, though.

Projection Unplugged – Battery Life

Battery powered projectors are great for those presenting on the go, as it allows them to set up the projector wherever – without the need to find an outlet, or else bring an extension cord. Many pico and pocket projectors have the ability to be run unplugged, with decent enough battery lives to get through a whole presentation, perhaps more.

Battery powered pico and pocket projectors have long been used in second and third world countries. Art mentioned to me that back when he sold projectors, he sold a couple thousand to church missionaries. This was about around 2000 to 2003, and large Evangelical groups would buy hundreds of 50 lumen Mitsubishi projectors to equip their missionaries. All of the projectors in this report have more than 50 lumens, to be sure!

There are several projectors in this report that have an onboard battery with respectable lifespans. The Acer C200, though not a winner, has the best battery life I’ve seen on a pico or pocket projector at 4.5 hours! Next up is the AAXA P300 Neo, which has a battery life of 2.5 hours! 4.5, 2.5 – either is plenty for business purposes. The AAXA M6 has the next best battery life, at 90 minutes, and then the AAXA M5, at 70 minutes.