At just 140mm wide, 126mm deep and 59mm high, the Toshiba FF1 is much smaller than most business projectors. The FF1 is clearly aimed at business users and comes with a range of accessories designed to make this the only tool you’ll need to give presentations. It comes with a carry case large enough to carry the projector as well as a small laptop. It also holds the portable screen, which folds in half when not in use.
The screen is 572mm diagonally – easily large enough for about 10 people to see – and is finished in semi-reflective silver, which makes the image appear much brighter than merely projecting onto a convenient wall. There’s also an accompanying remote control.
The FF1 has a USB port on the side that’s compatible with virtually any USB flash drive – mini hard disks and MP3 players excluded. You can navigate to
a specific folder using the menu system and the FF1 will display any JPEG files it finds. Save your presentation as JPEG files and you can present using nothing more than a flash drive and the FF1.
The included battery is the second important selling point. It clips firmly to the back of the unit and we tested it by looping a PowerPoint presentation (converted into JPEGs) from a USB flash drive. We don’t press the word amazing into action very much at PC Authority, but the FF1’s battery performance was exactly that. With the slides set to change every 30 seconds, the FF1 worked for an incredible three hours, almost exactly as long as Toshiba’s optimistic-sounding claim.
Not surprisingly, for its price and size, the FF1’s maximum resolution is 800 x 600. There are other drawbacks that you’ll need to consider before splashing out too. Although Toshiba doesn’t quote a lumens rating (although it does quote 400 lux), the FF1 isn’t the brightest. So long as you use the screen, you shouldn’t need to turn off the lights in a presentation room, but projecting a larger image onto a plain white wall had our audience complaining of eye strain in just half an hour. Colour reproduction was excellent, though. Our colour ramps were duplicated accurately and without banding, and our test films and photographs looked pleasingly realistic.
Projectors driven by LED lamps rather than standard mercury arc lamps will have significant brightness problems for some time, and this isn’t a projector you’ll be able to use to present to large groups without those at the back straining their eyes. But the FF1 will handle itself admirably when presenting to a medium-sized group. Add to this the important fact that you could give a presentation without needing anything other than the projector and a USB flash drive, and the FF1 clearly has some significant advantages over other business projectors. Its limited brightness still makes it a bit of a niche product, but it’s an appealing one nonetheless.
This Review appeared in the October, 2006 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing