Projector Reviews

Pico Projectors – More Features Found on Some Projectors, Plus, A Typical Pico Projector Tour-3

Brightness Performance of Portable Projectors, A History - per pound: Last 17 Years

1994 19 pounds 110 lumens 5.8 lumens per pound
1996 17 pounds 330 lumens 19 lumens per pound
2000 5.8 pounds 1000 lumens 172 lumens per pound
2002 3.0 pounds 1100 lumens 333 lumens per pound
2004 2.0 pounds 1100 lumens 550 lumens per pound
2007 3.5 pounds 2200 lumens 628 lumens per pound
2009 3.2 pounds 3000 lumens 937 lumens per pound
2010 3.1 pounds 3000 lumens 968 lumens per pound

Actually, finding more lumens among the lighter weight projectors has gotten tougher. A few years ago, there were a handful of under 2.5 pound conventional projectors. I’m not sure any remain on the market. Manufacturers learned that an extra half to one pound was not an important issue for most shoppers of the lightest projectors, that price, and features were often more important, so there are fewer of the lightest. Now, however, pocket projectors may step into that category, as they achieve fairly respectable brightness from a presentation standpoint.

Brightness Performance: Older Pocket Projectors

2006 Mitsubishi PK20 1.1 pounds 25 lumens 23 lumens per pound
2009 BenQ GP1 1.4 pounds 100 lumens 60 lumens per pound
2010 LG HX300G 1.7 pounds 270 lumens 158 lumens per pound

As you can see, the projector industry started off pretty dim, at least per pound. It continues to deliver more lumens per pound, and per size, but, these relatively new classes of lightweight portable projectors with solid state light soures, while still far dimmer per pound, are improving dramatically, from year to year. For 2010, we’ve reviewed a 50 lumen model that’s definitely a pico sized projector, and it weighs in at 0.5 pounds. I would be impressed if we see a 100 lumen pico (around a half pound) by the end of 2011. see perhaps a 1/2 pound projector with more than 100 lumens… Meantime, the improvement in one year is significant for the pico class of projectors. Note: in fairness, the one pico capable of 50 lumens this year, only can do it on AC, or using the optional external battery. 20 lumens is its max on its standard battery.

Keeping this all in mind, it really is conceivable that we will see under .5 pound (227 grams) pico projectors and perhaps 100 lumens and more in the next year or so.

Going hand in hand with the lumens, however, is power consumption, and power source issues…

Range of this Year's Pico Projectors: Brightness:

Battery Powered – Brightest: Optoma PK301, measured 22 lumens(approximate tie with PK201). It also measured 53 lumens using external battery pack
Battery Powered – Least Bright: 3M MP150, measured 9 lumens
AC Powered – Brightest: Optoma PK301, 53 lumens

The LG HX300G, is an expensive, much larger Pocket projector – it measured 233 lumens at its brightest.