PROS / This mini projector has high brightness and a useful on-screen display menu.
CONS / This device is on the heavy side for being a mini projector.
VERDICT / This product has high visibility and a lot of available port options.
The Acer K11 is a heavy mini projector that is well worth the extra weight. With a high brightness and variable resolutions, this mini projector is sure to suit whatever needs you might have. This portable projector not only has a high picture quality, but there are also plenty of features that make it useable in a variety of situations, which is why we've given it our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award. The manufacturer, Acer, has been around since 1976 and has long been heavily involved with IP products around the globe.
Several factors contribute to the picture quality, including projection type, brightness, image size, aspect ratio, resolution, contrast ratio and refresh rate. This mini projector uses the projection type DLP. What really sets this product apart is the brightness. We were really pleased to see that it has 200 ANSI lumens, which is brighter than any of the other products by a large margin. This means that you don't have to worry about the brightness of the room quite as much because the image that the mini projector is projecting will still be bright enough to show up. The image size is decent, with a maximum of 80 inches. The default aspect ratio is 4:3, and we were pleased to see that there is the option of changing it to 16:9 if you need it. The native resolution is only 858 x 600, but it is equipped to handle upwards of 1440 x 900. The contrast ratio is also good at 2000:1, and we were pleased to see that the refresh rate is 60 hertz. All of these combined make for a great picture that can be viewed even in moderate lighting.
This mini projector has a variety of ports to maximize the use you can get out of it. The three ports available give you a plethora of options for connecting devices. The composite AV can be used to hook up a DVD player or even an iPod or iPhone if you have the right adapter. The VGA is a great way to hook up a laptop or you can use an HDTV adapter. There is also a full-size HDMI port that can be use to connect any other device with an HDMI port. The last port available is a USB port. You can use a data cable to connect another device to the mini projector or you can just use a USB driver and play your presentation without needing to worry about bringing along another device.
There are several key factors that this product has that make it worth looking into. The 30,000-hour lamp life is by far the best we've seen on comparable mini projectors. This means if you have a 15-minute presentation, then you can make it through roughly 120,000 presentations. Even if you want to watch full length features it can play 15,000 two-hour movies. Having a longer-lasting lamp really saves you money in the long run.
This mini projector also has a built in 1W speaker, so you don't have to worry about packing external sound equipment with you. Not only does this laptop projector have a USB port, but there is also a SD card reader. You can play music, display photos and put on presentations without ever needing to hook up another piece of equipment.
Another feature we found useful on this product is the various projection modes. There are four different choices: front, rear, desktop and ceiling. Front and rear apply to where the projector is in relation to the screen. The rear setting means you can reverse the image and have it project from behind on a translucent screen. The desktop and ceiling modes mean that you can have the projector mounted upside-down on a ceiling and the image will still appear right-side up.
One of the small limitations of this mini projector is the size. It is the heaviest mini projector we looked at, and while it isn't incredible large, it isn't pocket sized either. It comes in at a hefty 1.3 pounds, which is more than twice as heavy as the majority of the other pocket projectors. However, this weight really isn't much, and the unit can still be easily slipped into a bag when you need to transport it.
Ease of Use
This mini projector has a lot of things going for it, including how easy it is to use. The projector comes with a remote, making it simple to control your presentation, even when you aren't near your devices. The remote is clearly labeled, and we liked all of the accessible features, including how quick it is to change between the sources and the aspect ratios. Many of these buttons are also available on the top of the projector and are clearly labeled. If the mini projector is hooked up to the device, it should automatically identify which port is being used. We thought this was a very useful feature.
This mini projector doesn't have a quick shut down, but it isn't bad. Because of the nature of the lamps used in the majority of projectors, it can take upwards of two minutes for the projector to complete a cool-down cycle. If the projector doesn't complete this cycle before the power is removed it can damage components. Two minutes isn't a very long time, but it is something that you have to remember every time you use the mobile projector.
The other option that really made this mini projector easy to use was the onscreen display menus. Here you can fine-tune all of the projector's display options, including brightness, contrast, color, saturation, tint and even wall color. While going through all of these options every time may feel overwhelming, the projector has built in modes that make it easy to switch between preset options.
Though it is a little on the heavy size, you can't go wrong with the Acer K11. The highest brightness available definitely makes this product one of the best choices. With the easy-to-use navigation through both the unit and the remote, you are sure to breeze through the next presentation you have to give without a problem when you use this mini projector.