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Classroom Projector Report 2013: HB Opto HBP503D

Posted on June 2, 2013 by Art Feierman

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HB Opto HBP503D Projector

Reviewing the HBP503D by HB Optronics was an eye opener. We're talking about a conveniently small and light , but also 300 lumens or so bright pocket projector. Of course it's a bit too large to fit in a normal pocket, except maybe "cargo" style pants or shorts. It measured 5.3 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches and weighs 1 pound. Small! But feature wise, this is no small projector.

The feature set impresses, considering:

  • 300+ lumens
  • Native resolution is WXGA (1280x800) Supports resolution up and including 1080p (1920x1080)
  • The projector can do 3D (not badly either, brightness requires a smallish image, but the 3D does work as advertised, one pair of glasses comes with the HBP503D.
  • Sound as expected from such a small box is very limited, think laptop level sound
  • HDMI 1.4 - two ports - supports Blu-ray 3D, which most education projectors can't do
  • 2D to 3D conversion (an interesting, but minor feature)
  • Full sized remote control
  • LED light source claims 30,000 hour life (60 hours a week for a decade!)
  • There is an optional battery pack that delivers the same brightness as when the projector is plugged in/

It's the optional battery pack that makes this an exceptionally interesting projector for education. Perhaps it's not needed in schools in the US, but there's a real demand for a projector that can run on batteries where electric isn't reliable and that's the case in rural areas in much of the world. Over the years my old company sold thousands of the earliest pocket projectors (25 lumens), for educational, outreach, medical and religious organizations use. This HBP503D is an ideal solution for that aspect of education, and it is because it has a well matched, usable battery capability that is truly rare in projectors over 100 lumens.

300 plus lumens done well, in a very light controlled environment the HBP503D can do a very good job. True, the brightness is no match for today's larger, traditional small portables which all have at least 1500 lumens, but remember, there was a time when 110 lumens was called "auditorium capable" (in a pitch black room). Really it was the early 300 and 500 lumen projectors though that established serious abilities for projectors, and ushered in the end of the slide projector.

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