THE POCKET PROJECTOR FROM 3M HAS SO MANY FEATURES, AT TIMES YOU FEEL IT IS TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH
Pico projectors have been around for a while, but only recently have they started doing things beyond basic projection. The MP180 from 3M is a pocket projector which stands out from the other small projectors on the sheer number of features available.
The projector is the size of a torch with a length of 5.9 inches and a weight of around 350 gm. The unit has a LCD resistive touchscreen, using which you can choose from a wide range of sources. While you can plug the projector to a VGA cable to connect it to a PC, it is the Microusb slot and the inbuilt 4GB storage that will be of more use to the target audience for this device. The touchscreen can be used to access the video (.mov & .mp4) and picture files and the same can be played directly using the device. It can also open and project a range of documents from Word files to PDF and Excel sheets.
The unit has Bluetooth and WI-FI connectivity and saving files on to the device is a hassle-free exercise. However, getting the PIN set up for Bluetooth pairing can be a bit of a pain. An added feature is the ability of the device to use the Wi-fi network to access the Internet directly. Users can click the web icon in the menu and open pages using the touchscreen keyboard. But this is a tough task as it is really difficult to click the keys you want on the small screen. It took us a couple of minutes to just write “google.com”. But this is still a unique feature and will come in handy if you are on the move.
Despite all these features, the MP180 falls short in one basic aspect: its projection. Yes, it a pocket projector and cannot be compared to larger units, but the 32 ANSI lumens really leaves you wanting more. Though the throw area is much smaller than for other projectors this size, once you start blowing up the picture beyond 20 inches, you start to see something amiss. And there are no picture modes to adjust the image, maybe make it a bit brighter. Adjustments are limited to the focus wheel just below the bulb.
If you are looking for a projector to impress your clients with presentations, then look no further. But if you were planning to buy the MP180 to rig up a home theatre, then maybe you should search for other options. But then you don’t also get a projector with so many features for 29,900.