No lap­top!

Finweek English Edition - - TECHNOLOGY - Value for money: Price: Simon Din­gle

carry-on bag.

I tested the MP410 with an iPad, us­ing Ap­ple’s HDMI adapter, and found that the 1280x800 res­o­lu­tion re­lated quite well. The com­bi­na­tion of the two makes for an ul­tra­portable pre­sen­ta­tion so­lu­tion.

One of the things that most in­ter­ested me about the MP410, how­ever, is the prom­ise of be­ing able to leave the iPad or lap­top be­hind and just load pre­sen­ta­tions on to an SD card or, bet­ter yet, the pro­jec­tor’s in­ter­nal 1GB stor­age.

Thing is, the MP410 only sup­ports cer­tain photo, video and au­dio f iles for play­back – so Pow­erPoint or Key­note pre­sen­ta­tions must f irst be con­verted into a com­pat­i­ble video for­mat, or se­ries of im­ages, be­fore be­ing played di­rectly on the pro­jec­tor.

3M also has an op­tional wire­less USB ac­ces­sory and apps that will en­able you to trans­mit pre­sen­ta­tions from an iOS, An­droid or Black­Berry de­vice – but th­ese need to be con­verted f irst us­ing the free PTG Soft­ware the com­pany pro­vides.

For gen­eral use the MP410 is truly ex­cel­lent con­sid­er­ing its tiny size. Im­ages are crisp and bright and set-up is easy.

A tad ex­pen­sive, but price­less for those who need it

R8 000 The in­ter­nal speak­ers aren’t amaz­ing, but should suf­fice for small meet­ings if you need sound. The cool­ing fan on the pro­jec­tor is rather loud, but didn’t bother me. Its LED bulb is good for 20 000 hours of us­age be­fore it needs re­place­ment.

The MP410 can also be mounted on any stan­dard tri­pod or 3M’s own of­fer­ing, sold sep­a­rately. This would be a handy ad­di­tion, as I did have one or two oc­ca­sions where the pro­jec­tor needed to be propped up and I had to use a book for the pur­pose as the de­vice does not have ex­tend­able legs.

Hav­ing a por­ta­ble pro­jec­tor this small is price­less and it’s also use­ful in the home en­vi­ron­ment for quickly get­ting sports games beamed into kitchens or braai ar­eas – or con­vert­ing spare rooms into movie cinemas for kids at par­ties.

The MP410 is eas­ily the best pro­jec­tor in its class, but is rather ex­pen­sive, es­pe­cially when the inf lated South African price is com­pared to what it goes for else­where. For those who need it, how­ever, the price tag will eas­ily be jus­ti­fied.

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