There's a new projector gadget in town. It's handy, high tech, and portable. It's called a "pico" projector. Sometimes promoted as iPod projectors, these tiny portable beamers are getting lots of attention these days. So are they a good fit for a professional presentation pitch? Or are they just a gadget? Read on.
How Pico Are We Talkin' Here?
New pico projectors like the soon-to-be-released Optoma PK-101 weigh in well under a pound. The PK-101 weighs just 4.2 ounces. Its footprint is about the same size as an iPod classic or a cell phone. By comparison, the smallest projector would be about 2.75 pounds, and it would have a footprint several times that size. Your pico projector actually slips into your pocket, rather than into a carrying case.
What's Not to Like?
Well, if you are comparing it to a professional business projector, there are a few things that won't cut it. Those include: brightness, image size, input flexibility, and sound. The pico projector is not nearly as bright as any professional presentation projector. Not even close. But it is definitely viewable. The maximum image size is about 60-inches, but the image will not be particularly bright (a dark room will help). You will also have limited inputs (just composite video and stereo audio-in). There is a built-in speaker on the PK-101, but it won't exactly fill up a room with just .5 watts.
One more thing you might not like: the $430 list price. The street price may be lower than that, but since it's new on the market it's not clear how much less expensive it will be. And since we love comparisons, our cheapest professional "ultra" portable (but not Pico) projector is around $500-800. It will weigh more than the PK-101, but it would provide a significantly improved image and might also be highly conspicuous in your pocket.
What's to Love?
If you've always felt like you were a little like James Bond on the inside, or you just like to be the first to have an exotic gadget, this is a very cool toy. It's also great for a plane ride (project on the back of your seat) or a car trip with the youngins' (as long as they don't try and blind you while you drive). Or you can also brandish your pico projector to promote your independent film guerrilla style when you bump into Spielberg in the men's room at Canter's.
So, go Optoma gadget go!
Optoma PK-101 Quick Specs :
Chargeable 1.5 hour battery
Some Ultra Portable Options :
InFocus IN10 : 2.4 pounds ($949)
InFocus IN1100 : 2.75 pounds ($1049)
InFocus IN1102 : 2.75 pounds ($1149)
Mitsubishi XD90U : 2.9 pounds ($1275)
Optoma EP1691 : 3.2 pounds ($999) Widescreen native!
Toshiba TDP-PX10U : 2.9 pounds ($759)
Search for more projectors by weight, brightness, resolution, and more using our Projector Finder.
Top Five Projectors
Panasonic PT-AE3000U $2499*
* (PLUS Panasonic 2-yr limited warranty mail-in rebate.)
Panasonic PT-AX200U $999
NEC VT700 $849
NEC NP200 $649
Casio XJ-S32 $899
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Adding YouTube Video to a PowerPoint® Presentation
Want to look cool, hip, and smart when you give your next presentation? How about adding some YouTube video to your show? You'll have a bigger impact with your adorable kitten videos, dramatic make-over videos, guerrilla marketing videos, or any kind of video you might find on YouTube, including one of your own. A good samaritan has posted a handy YouTube video about how to make embedded PowerPoint video happens.