Ultraportable projector group test
We test and rate 9 of the best portable presentation devices around.
A good projector will make a world of difference to your presentations. A bright, high-quality, quiet projector that’s easy to use will keep your audience focused on your message, not the projector. And if you make presentations in a variety of locations, you’ll want an ultraportable.
As expected, the majority use DLP technology, since it allows for smaller projectors than LCD technology. With DLP, light from the lamp passes through a spinning colour wheel and is reflected off a DMD (digital micro-mirror device) chip covered in thousands of microscopic pivoting mirrors, one for each pixel. Depending on which way each mirror is pivoted, light is directed towards the lens for a lit pixel, or away to create a black pixel. The colour wheel (traditionally with red, green, blue and white segments) creates alternate colours to send to the screen, giving the impression of a full-colour image. Not only is DLP more compact, but it also boasts better contrast ratios and lower prices than LCD.
However, some of the projectors use LCD technology, where light is split into three beams by a prism (red, green and blue) and directed through three tiny LCD panels. Since there’s no white element, colour saturation is often better, but contrast ratios aren’t as good. While not as compact as DLP, efficient LCD projectors give a brighter image for a given lamp power and don’t suffer from the “rainbow effect”, which some people notice from DLP’s alternating colours.
Running costs are another consideration. Lamps last between 1500 to 4000 hours and often cost more than $400 to replace. This equates to a price per hour of 11c to 33c. The range of interfaces is potentially important too. BenQ’s projector adds Wi-Fi, and the Hitachi can make presentations from flash memory devices, eliminating the need for a notebook altogether.
Finally, don’t miss our tips and tricks
for creating a better presentation and avoiding the classic pitfalls.
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This Group Test appeared in the February, 2007 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine