Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been replaced by another product. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Optoma PK301 Pico is a valuable mini projector that has good picture quality as well as great ports and features. You are definitely getting your money's worth when you invest in this product. It is one of the smallest mini projectors we looked at, and with a high resolution, lamp life and even a built in battery, your presentations are sure to catch everyone's attention at the next meeting when you use this pico projector.
The picture quality is dependent on quite a few variables, including brightness, resolution and contrast ratio. While the1280 x 800 max resolution and the 2000:1 contrast ratio are both very respectable, the brightness is not as high as we would like it to be. Since the brightness determines how well the pocket projector displays the image in various lightings, we wanted something more than 50 ANSI lumens. For the size of the projector this isn't an unrealistic brightness, but it does mean the room has to be fairly dark in order to see what is being projected. This mini projector does have the largest image size available, 5 to 120 inches using the DLP projection type.
This mini projector has a variety of useful ports, including a universal I/O, mini HDMI, composite video and micro USB. The universal I/O is practical, though it isn't often seen on many devices. We were pleased the product comes with multiple cables that make this port very handy. The mini HDMI port is a great addition and perfect if you want to watch a show with your family or need the extra quality for a big project at work. The composite video cable is just something we've come to expect on mini projectors like this. It is one of the easiest ways to hook up a device to the mini projector. The micro USB is also a handy port, but since it is micro, you can't just plug in your USB drive; you will have to have a cable in order to utilize this port.
When it comes to features, this mini projector has a small advantage over some of the other micro projectors we reviewed. Not only does it have a fairly long lamp life of 20,000 hours, but it also has a battery. Though the battery life is only for an hour, this does make it easy to use, especially if you have a relatively short presentation. You don't have to worry about hunting for an outlet or making sure you have a long enough extension cord. Some of the other features this product has include a built in 0.5W stereo speaker and internal memory with a capacity of 128MB. This is just enough for a presentation or two so you don't have to pack any additional equipment when you travel. This mini projector also comes with a micro SD card slot, making it simple to access your presentation. Another large advantage this mini projector has is the small size and light weight. Measuring only 4.7 x 1.2 x 2.7 inches and weighing only 0.5 pounds (including the battery), this product is marvelous to take with you on the go.
This mini projector is fairly easy to use, even if the user manual isn't the best we've seen. All of the ports are clearly labeled, which makes it easy to hook up all the cables correctly. We also thought that the small remote that comes with the micro projector was valuable. Unlike some of the other products we looked at, this remote is simplistic in design and you're not overwhelmed with buttons. All of the buttons on the remote are also located on the device itself. You can choose which source you want to use and run everything from the device itself instead of the mini projector's remote.
The main menu for the pocket projector consists of four items to choose from: photo, video, presentation and setting. When you select which one you want to use, it will automatically bring up the playable files stored on whatever is connected whether it is the internal memory, micro SD or USB drive.
More on TV
In the settings menu there are quite a few options to choose from to make sure you get exactly the projected image you want. This includes changing the brightness, aspect ratio, contrast, positioning, phase and frequency. The phase and frequency can be used to remove the flickering that can occur when the mini projector doesn't automatically synchronize with the graphic card from the device. Something else we found useful in the settings menu is the ability to change the viewing option depending on whether the pico projector is in front of or behind a screen, or attached to a ceiling. While all of these are useful, the icons used for the various options aren't very intuitive and we occasionally found it difficult to decipher them. However, once we learned what they were all for, it wasn't a problem.
The Optoma PK301 Pico is well designed and packs a lot of punch for its size. We were pleased with all of the extra features, even though the brightness was a little lackluster. This mini projector will definitely suit the needs of anyone who needs to make a presentation but doesn't want the extra weight or hassle of a larger projector.