In the incredible shrinking world of electronics digital projectors are the latest to get the treatment. Pico or Mini Projectors are now more than just a toy, with more powerful LED’s and greater battery life the latest generation of Pico Projectors have become valuable business tools and viable portable entertainment systems.
The latest Pico Projector from AAXA, the P4 Pico Projector has reset the standards for projectors that fit in your pocket. Battery powered, ultra bright and Windows CE for fully independent operation. The P4 has set the standard for portable big screen displays everywhere.
At its heart the P4 is a simple device, no moving parts or complicated mechanisms, just a simple light source and a way of generating a picture. The complexity of the P4 comes from those 2 components, the Vibrant Color LED light source and the DLP chip that generates the picture. The combination is able to generate a 1280 x 768 pixel picture with 80 Lumens of brightness, 2000:1 contrast ratio on a screen size up to 80 inches in size, outstanding numbers for a projector that weighs 360 grams including the lithium-ion battery.
Full size projectors are generally rated between 1000 and 4000 lumens, the 80 lumens may not seem like a lot but in the P4s case size is the great equalizer. Full size projectors have to spread the extra light over a much greeter area, often over 200 inches while the P4 shines at 20-40 inch sizes. At these sizes the P4′s picture is very close to that of a full size projector and compared to other Pico projectors which typically have a rating between 10 and 20 Lumens the P4 is leading the Pico pack. As with all projectors the P4 operates best at night or in darkened conditions, still P4 performs well in bright situations, AAXA’s Vibrant-Color™ helps to keep the colors vivid even in daylight conditions.
In spite of the P4′s diminutive proportions – 14 x 7 x 3 cm – AAXA has still managed to fit the full compliment of input/outputs. Additional storage can be added via the SD Card slot, USB 2 Host port or the mini-USB, for that complete music video collection on the go kind of feeling. Mini VGA and Composite A/V inputs allow the P4 to display anything from a computer desktop to your X-Box 360′s latest and greatest game. Manual focus ring is mounted on top within easy reach to allow quick adjustments. Audio is handled by the 1 watt internal speaker but if your serious about your sounds external speakers may be required. 1W is enough to make a noise but it’s not really jump up and down levels of noise. The P4′s integrated Lithium-Ion battery is able to run the P4 for 75 minutes between charges. Long enough for a business presentation or to catch a quick movie in the park.
Also setting the P4 apart is the ability to operate free of a computer. Internally the P4 comes equipped with 2GB of storage and a 750mhz processor to run Windows CE. This isn’t a desktop equivalent by any stretch of the imagination but it is powerful enough to get the job done. Already built into the P4 are applications to display Office presentations, play 720p movie files, audio and slideshows. Third party applications can also be downloaded and installed. While Windows CE was never Microsoft’s most popular Operating System but there are years of applications in it’s back catalog including: Microsoft Office mobile, Adobe PDF viewer, mobile games, and a variety of other applications. A portable keyboard is also available for road warriors. If a more exotic application is required VGA-In has been included allowing the P4 to act as a monitor for a computer or smart phone.
Digital Light Processor – DLP -, the technology behind the P4′s projected picture was invented by Texas Instruments in the 90′s. The DLP chip itself is a marvel of miniaturization and design, with each pixel of the display having a corresponding mirror on the chip, a mirror that can be shifted back and forth, switching the pixel on or off by reflecting or blocking light. The chips resolution of 1280 x 768 requires nearly a million mirrors. DLP chip’s have had many years to be perfected and are now a reliable well known technology used in everything from cheap consumer projectors to high end digital cinema projectors.
The P4′s other clever projector trick is the use of three color LED’s – Red, Green and Blue – as the light source, a trick AAXA calls Vibrant Color Technology. This is an extremely low power approach that works around one of DLP’s biggest down sides. Any DLP projector with a single white light source must use a color wheel with the 3 RGB colors in order to color the picture. The color wheel is divided into three sections, Red, Green and Blue each taking up a third of the wheel each. As the wheel spins it colors the frame using the three RGB filters. Instead of a spinning color wheel the P4 switches between the three colored LED’s, negating the need for any moving parts. Mitsubishi also has a unique way of avoiding the color wheel, by using Lasers. Available in their Laser Rear Projection TV’s. The combination of Vibrant Colour LED’s and DLP chip produces a extremely bright and low power picture as well as being reliable due the absence of any moving parts.
AAXA have tried to solve the worlds display screen inequity problem and in one foul sweep they may have succeeded. Gadgets are multiplying but big screens to display them are not. Displaying a 42 inch or larger picture has been the territory of full sized projectors, LCDs or Plasma. Now the P4 brings the same picture with very little setup or space required, just point it at a wall or flat space and turn it on. Pico Projectors promise convince and portability like no other big screen display. Portable battery powered displays are now not only available but they’re cheap at MSRP $339 USD. The AAXA P4 Pico Projector, a projector for every occasion.
Source: AAXA P4
Max Resolution: WXGA (1280×768)
Native Resolution: WVGA (854×480)
Max Brightness: 80 Lumens
Contrast Ratio: 2000:1
Projection Lens: Manual Focus
Projection Image: Available Size 7 ~ 80 inch
Lamp: Triple RGB LEDs with Vibrant Color Technology
Projection Angle: 33.4°
Audio Output: 1W internal speaker
Stereo speaker/headphone mini-jack
Color: Soft Black
Storage Capacity: 2GB on-board memory
MicroSD/TF card + USB Host reader
Menu Language: English, Chinese, Spanish, German, French
Aspect Ratio Control: 16:9
Operating System: Windows 6 CE Core
Office Suite: View your Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on the go
Battery Life: 75+ minute Li-Ion battery life
Weight: 0.8 lbs
Power Consumption: 12.5w
Power Supply: 9V 2.5A
Supported Formats: MP4/MP3/WMA/OGG/WAV/AVI/WMV/SMV/ BMP/JPG/GIF/TXT
Conformances: CE, FCC Class A
INPUTS / OUTPUTS
Video In: VGA (mini-VGA)
Composite A/V (3.5mm Jack)
Audio Out: 3.5mm Stereo Headphone Jack
USB: Full-size USB 2.0
5 Pin Mini USB 1.1