The Bigger Picture

Portable projectors bring the big screen to your room. Are they bright enough to merit purchase?

Written by Pranay Parab | New Delhi | Published:June 8, 2012 2:19 am

Portable projectors bring the big screen to your room. Are they bright enough to merit purchase?

Dell 4610X

A full-size projector,Dell 4610X,is a stellar performer with a laudable lamp quality. At 2500 hours,the 4610X may seem short-lived,but even when the screen was placed directly under a light source,the display was bright and colours well-reproduced. The downside of the lamp is that the projector heats up quite a bit.

BenQ Joybee GP2
Rs 39,167

One of the latest to enter the portable projector segment is BenQ’s Joybee GP2. The trapezoid projector is fairly light too. The word ‘projector’ almost sounds intimidatingly technical but the Joybee GP2 is anything but that. It looks like a friendly little device waiting to turn your wall into a big screen. For someone setting up a projector for the first time,the Joybee GP2 should not present much of a problem. For those who find themselves unable to operate it,there is a handy manual for instructional pictures. There is almost no text in the manual.

The projector has all the common connectivity options such as VGA,mini-HDMI (with a handy HDMI converter),USB,SD card,iPod dock and mini-USB. That should cover most devices,whether it is a laptop or even a media streamer. The Joybee GP2 has 2GB internal storage,which is a bonus for those allergic to plugging in devices repeatedly.

The controls are simple with touch-based buttons on top of the projector. Although navigation is easy because of well-designed menus,the buttons are not very responsive. Luckily,the box has a fairly basic remote which does its job well.

Rated at 200 lumens,the Joybee GP2 is not very bright. But,watching movies or presentations should be a good experience as it has decent colour reproduction and brightness in a dark room. However,the clarity diminished significantly when ambient light entered the room. The sides of the screen appear slightly blurred when compared to the centre. This can be an irritant for those making presentations.

LG HW 300G
Rs 55,990

Another of the newly-launched portable projectors is the LG HW300G. If one were to go by what is printed on its box,the projector’s LED lamp should last around 30,000 hours. Portable projectors tend to have LED lamps as opposed to conventional cathode ones. These consume much less power,generate less heat and have a longer lifespan as a result. At 780 gms,the HW300G is really light. It comes packed inside a carry bag,along with the power and VGA display cables and a remote. The carry bag is of very good quality.

The projector looks good and is easy to set up. The remote works well too. Once users experience it,they will not want go back to the projector’s buttons. It greets users with an easy-to-use menu when powered on. The default resolution is 1280×800 pixels while the maximum is 1680×1050 pixels. High definition movie buffs should not be too disappointed with the resolution.

This unit also has a more advanced feature set. Worth mentioning are options for changing the keystone,which “tilts” the video. So now you know which settings to change the next time a projector’s display looks more trapezoid than rectangular.

The projector has several connectors at the back. Among them is a USB port which lets you play popular file formats straight off the projector. It also has the standard VGA,HDMI and audio ports.

Once plugged into the source of your choice,the LG HW300G gives you various colour mode options. The movie mode was not ideal for movies as it took away some of the colour from the video. While this may not bother most users,movie buffs are better off sticking to normal mode. Those looking to give presentations on this projector should use a large font size. No matter how much the focus knob present just above the lamp is adjusted,the text did not look crisp. It was a little blurred,sometimes without the most accurate colour reproduction too. The text was sharp on some parts of the screen. The projector reproduced darker colours well,which is good for those who rely on black-and-white presentations.

In a dark and also a semi-dark room,the projector’s overall performance was good. But in brighter conditions,the HW300G’s display was less than satisfactory. This is probably the best of what portable projectors can offer today,but the price of the HW300G is steep.

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