You should never take a video projector camping — it completely defeats the object of the great outdoors. Unless you have kids. Then it’s handy to beam a movie onto the side of a tent to keep them quiet while you drink.
Perfect for the job is Sony’s $350 MP-CL1 — a small, battery-powered pico projector. Not much bigger than an iPhone 6+, it beams a surprisingly sharp and bright image that belies it’s small size.
Hook it up to your iPhone via a HDMI cable and adapter, and you’re off to the woods.
Like most things that come in small sizes, pico projectors have always been a big disappointment.
Called “pico” because of their portability and battery power, the diminutive projectors in this class have typically been underpowered and underwhelming. Almost by definition, projectors need to be big and bright enough to throw a lot of light at the screen.
So it’s a big surprise that Celluon’s new featherweight pocket-size PicoPro is a heavyweight champ. I was prepared for it to suck — but was surprised and delighted when it turned my living room wall into a 150-inch cinema screen.
AirPlay also turns that Apple TV into powerful and extremely portable presentation system that’s a great fit for the classroom or the board room. The only challenge is that the Apple TV’s only output option is an HDMI port, which can be a big problem for connecting to older display technologies including many projectors and computer displays – a problem solved by cable and adapter maker Kanex.
Although Android has an overall lead over iOS in smartphone marketshare, there are IT departments that remain hesitant on the platform. Unlike the iPad and iPhone, which are beginning to be seen to be as business tools rather than consumer-oriented entertainment devices, most Android phones have yet to prove that they offer a business feature that can’t be found on other platforms. Samsung’s newly announced Galaxy Beam smartphone may be the first Android phone to solidly offer something powerful and unique for business users.
The Galaxy Beam is Samsung’s new handset that includes a 15-lumen pico projector. Although Samsung’s press release for the phone offering a lot of personal entertainment uses, this is a device that has clear business potential.