Pico projectors have slowly gathered steam in the market over the last couple of years or so and in the past have usually featured prices that may not have been suitable to most people’s budgets. While the price has significantly dropped, the features in them have increased, keeping in line with some of the higher end un-pocketable projectors that are available in the market. We recently reviewed the MP180 from 3M and the Portronics POR 315 projectors, both of which are handheld projectors. Let’s see who comes out on top in the battle of the pico projectors.
The MP180 features a design that is rather unconventional when it comes to projectors and this especially due to the fact that it features an LCD display. This screen on the top of the projector can be used to navigate though the different options as well as have the ability to access the different settings.
Easy to carry around
The brand rates the brightness of the projector at 32 lumens which is decent enough for a pocket projector. As far as features go, this device is pretty packed and contains neat attributes such as being Wi-Fi capable and fitted with a mobile browser. The 3M MP180 features a native SVGA resolution of 800 x 600 which was fairly common. Other features found here include the ability to transfer files over Bluetooth, MS Office and PDF file reading abilities, 4GB internal memory and the ability to expand it using a MicroSD card.
The device needs to be connected using the VGA connector and then only can it be synced to a laptop or a PC. Video playback was good and skin tones appeared natural. While viewing presentations there was a lot of detail seen and no other issues were faced during the actual display performance of the device. The brightness levels are quite good and even with ambient lighting on, the content displayed can be seen. Browsing the web on this projector is like browsing on a mobile phone, however, typing on the keypad found here is a bit irritating due to the layout of the onscreen keyboard.
Portronics POR 315
The POR 315 is the latest offering from Portronics and it features some neat features chief of which is the ability to run without a power cable for a duration of two hours. The brand has used LCoS technology for this projector and they rate the brightness levels at 45 lumens. The native resolution found on this projector is 1024 x 600 and supports aspect ratios of 16:9 and 4:3.
The pocketable projector
A neat feature of this pocket projector is that it has an interface like that of an HDTV. There are other interesting features found here such as an HDMI port, an SD card slot, USB port and other connectivity options which can rival many other pocket projectors in the market.
Testing this projector was extremely hassle-free as it can connect to a range of devices using the HDMI connector. This reduces the need for any other supplementary connection like composite, VGA, etc. The video quality was good but there were some issues that put us off like the fact that there were weird anomalies appearing whenever there was a bright scene present. This issue was present only during video playback and not noticed during the running of presentations or any other documents.
Below is a look at both the projectors going head to head specification-wise. (Click to enlarge)
The Bottom Line
After reviewing both the projectors and judging by the specifications on offer, the Portronics POR 315 is a clear winner. Both the devices can be used without the need of a power cable and both brands rate the battery life at approximately two hours. When it comes to the usability of the devices, with the remote control and the on device buttons, the Portronics wins once more. The 3M MP180 was not the most comfortable projector when it came to navigating through the resistive screen as the device lacked a stylus and the keyboard layout was bad overall.
When it comes to the price, the Portronics wins once more as it is priced at almost Rs. 7,000 less than the 3M MP180. Having the HDMI input on the Portronics is a lot more practical than having the mobile browser on the MP180.
In the end of this battle, it is fair to say that the specifications speak for themselves and based on the performance of both the projectors, the Portronics POR 315 easily writes off the 3M MP180. Let us know what you think and which one do you find better and why in the comments below.