A portable projector is the latest must-have gadget for on-the-move businesspeople, but do great things come in small packages? Three IoD members put the latest models to the test
DroidBOX Go Mini Pico portable projector, £214.95
Managing director, Terry Freedman Ltd
My initial impressions were that it was well-packaged, light, small and very portable. I was impressed by the inclusion of a remote control, which uses two AAA batteries. The projector is sleek, modern and minimalist — quite beautiful in fact – and around the same width and height of a large mobile phone, though with greater depth. Setting it up proved tricky. The on/off button is not exactly where the manual says it is – a minor point, perhaps, but that, together with other discrepancies, suggest the manual and on-screen instructions were somewhat inaccurate. The manual states a 5G WiFi network is needed to connect the projector wirelessly to my phone, but my device doesn’t support 5G. The resolution is excellent, and the projection size was easily equivalent to a large television. Showing PowerPoint presentations in the office and videos at home was easy and very successful. In summary, it packs in a lot of functionality and is surprisingly versatile. However, the full benefits are likely to be realised if one has 5G, and you do need to be technically competent to get started.
Terry Freedman is a member of IoD East of England
Optoma ML750ST portable projector, £499
What Optoma ML750ST portable projector, £499
We have been looking for a portable projector to save the hassle of finding hotels with meeting areas, screens and HDMI leads. Although this projector came in a relatively big box, once unpacked it was roughly the size of a side plate. That said, the leads did add considerable bulk. The projector has a smart and compact design and was easy to set up – I managed without instructions. I was able to play video straight from our camera using the micro SD slot. You can also plug your phone in and view a slideshow or any stored media, or you can buy a WiFi dongle (£30) to project wirelessly. I was impressed with the resolution and surprised at how close I could position the device to the wall and still achieve a large, crystal clear image. It projected well over bumps in the wall, and not having to position the device right at the back of the room is a great feature as it means you don’t need a huge room for an impressive display. The device is fairly lightweight (450g) so is easy to add to luggage. I’d be happy to watch a film at home on it and I think it’s well suited to work and recreation.
Alice Todd is a member of IoD London
Philips PicoPix PPX4010 portable projector, £249.99
Founder, Speaking in Public
What Philips PicoPix PPX4010 portable projector, £249.99
This is an amazing bit of miniature kit. Imagine an iPhone 5 folded in half and half the weight, yet solid-looking and gleaming silver. There are only two ports, an HDMI port and a power source (plug socket or USB), and I used the “plug’n’play” action with my laptop. PicoPix sprang into action and with just two controls, brightness and focus, setting it up couldn’t be simpler. Testing in an average-size meeting room, the image comfortably filled half the wall, with resolution, focus and brightness sufficient to make a reasonable presentation. Of course, this is not going to replace a full-spec projector, but having this pocket-sized bit of kit in the bag could be a reputation saver. Not everything worked perfectly: when I started to watch a movie, the sound cut out when HDMI cables were inserted into my laptop. The start guide shows adaptor cables for iPads and mini ports that were not in the box, and when I tried my own connections it stared at me, unresponsively. I could almost hear HAL’s voice from 2001: A Space Odyssey asking, “Ges, what are you doing?”
Ges Ray is a member of IoD South
Would you like to review products for Director? Email us with your name, company, position and IoD region