FEA­TURE STAR

THE POCKET PRO­JEC­TOR FROM 3M HAS SO MANY FEA­TURES, AT TIMES YOU FEEL IT IS TRY­ING TO DO TOO MUCH

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - TEST BENCH - TEXT BY NANDAGOPAL RAJAN & PHO­TO­GRAPH BY RA­JWANT RAWAT

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.

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