HOME / PRINT
ACER K10 DLP Projector
This product is officially the smallest projector we have reviewed till date. Recently released, it has been touted by many as a pocket projector, pico projector, and many other names that signify ‘tiny’. When I took it out of the box, I was quite amused and impressed too, looking at this mini projector. It’s obviously an ultra portable model, called ACER K10 projector, and it’s damn cute.
Design and features
There is one thing for sure, you cannot really keep this in your pant's pocket, but the size is small enough to fit on one palm. It weighs only 0.5 kgs. But the cool thing is the design itself is exactly like any projector, so it looks like a little bonsai version. It’s got a rectangular chassis, with grilled sides and a smooth bare top surface. The finish is gloss black, all over, thus fingerprints can be a problem. The top panel has seamless flush mounted buttons also black in color, thus giving a simple and subtle look to the unit. The lens on the front is also smaller in radius as compared, though it has a regular construction with a focus dial on top, which can be rotated a few degrees on either side to attain sharp focus.
This model is a DLP projector, and more interestingly has an LED lamp. This is impressive no doubt, as these last longer and can be brighter. The brightness is rated at 100 ANSI lumens, and contrast is at 2000:1 which is not so bad for pocket stuff. The connections available are minimal, with VGA (Mini D-Sub) for PC, and also a lone composite input. A Kensington lock slot is also provided. The native resolution is 800 x 600, but via the analog VGA connection we can go upto1600 x 1200 on a 9600GT graphics card. There are options to switch between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios.
There is a tripod mounting screw at the bottom, something new in the form of setting up options. It also has regular usual suspect type features found in projectors in general like Auto keystone, and DLP features like Brilliant Color Technology. There is no manual zoom though. Finally, the throw ratio is 1.97:1, and the max recommended screen size is 60 inches. One more small complaint, there are no audio options, and this might be bad for traveling business guys.
There were not too many connection options, thus we went with what we had, and that is analog VGA connection. We connected to our HTPC and lined up Tropic Thunder and Ratatouille for movies besides DVE test Disc and Display mate’s patterns. We kept the unit about 6 feet away, and set up a 16:9 screen about 60 inches wide. We tried taking it ahead, but then brightness/focus was lost. Physically setting up is too easy due to the size, and the focus dial does its job well. Finally keystone was also done automatically, and I must say these small things make setting up projectors easy.
There are 5 presets in the simple menu, quite a straightforward one at that. Out of these 2 are user settings, thus are blank (untweaked) while we have video, data and normal as the others. On user 1 we started calibrating, not too lengthy a process as there is not much control available, barring basic contrast, brightness RGB levels etc. But this product itself is not a high end model, thus so much tweaking might not be needed.
Even after optimal calibration, I will have to say that it’s not so bright. There is this lack of vibrancy in the image due to the brightness, which is surprising as the LDE lamps should be brighter. We used 256 grayscale bars to see that whitest whites were neutral and segregated well enough, but not standing out in the overall sense.
Color temp wise the Grayscale stays in the close realm of 6500 K, which means in that there is not much over saturation of colors, extreme whites and blacks are untainted by any coloration or tinges. The blacks actually were overall quite deep and good, attributing to the DLP chip. Colors were neutral enough except blues in certain places, which can be toned down a notch from the menu.
Motion was clean and nice, no irritating rainbow effect; actually just a little bit is when you strain to search for it. The movies were fun, no real complaints in the projectors performance there, except due to the weak brightness, there was this washed out feel lurking at the back of my mind, it’s like I wanted more light in the room. I guess this is what small pico projectors can offer.
At Rs. 36,673, one has to say it’s reasonable considering it can replace an LCD TV with a larger screen. But this product will work very well for data and presentation work basically, not so well in a home theater environment. It’s cute in size, and anyone with a space/budget constraint who simply wants a projector, can check it out.