Pico Projectors: Video Displays for Anyone, Anywhere
Posted on 06, April, 2018
Last Modified on 18, April, 2018
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What are Pico Projectors?
Pico projectors are video projectors that can fit into the palm of your hand. These small units almost always weigh less than one pound (not including the AC adapter), making them easy to bring your presentations to any location, at any time. Handheld projectors are great for watching movies, playing games, and are especially convenient for the modern, traveling business person who frequently puts on professional demonstrations in different locations. The user-friendly design of the handheld projector is usually matched by an affordable price — and the pico models are much more versatile compared to traditional, bulky devices.
Comparison to Projectors of the Past
Pico projectors are different from traditional devices in more than just size. This variation of the common presentation tool uses LEDs to cast light onto a surface, rather than incandescent or halogen bulbs. Light emitting diodes are known for being more energy efficient, but they also generate less heat and take up less space than incandescent and halogen bulbs. Pocket projectors also run quieter because they don't need a powerful cooling fan to prevent overheating. Before we look at the innovative technologies that make these displays stand out, it's important to know some concepts to get the full picture of what makes up the composition of these lightweight units.
Pico Projector Terms
- Pico - What does this mean anyway? For projectors, it means that they have a small portable design. They typically measure less than six square inches and weigh less than one pound. "Pico" is similar to "micro" or "nano", in that it's also a prefix for small units of measurement, for example picometer.
- Lumen - This is a way to measure luminous flux, the total amount of light emitted by a source. This is important for projectors because weaker light sources require darker rooms for clear images. To compare different models, make sure to review this spec. A product with an output of 100 lumens is twice as bright as one with an output of 50 and so on.
- Throw Distance> - How far does the projector need to be from the surface it's pointing at? Each device has a listed throw distance, such as 3 to 10 feet. It's usually defined as a range, so it doesn't always need to be in the same place for the best definition. However, with a longer throw distance comes a larger projected image — this can be up to 100" on pico projectors!
- Aspect Ratio and Resolution - The aspect ratio is the general shape of the video display. Most HDTVs and newer projectors have a rectangular ratio of 16:9. Older CRT televisions and overheads have a boxy shape at 4:3. Resolution refers to the display's definition by counting the pixels shown. HD is defined as 1280 x 720 pixels or larger.
- Keystone Effect - This is what happens when a projected image is distorted because the source is at an angle. The display will look like a trapezoid, rather than a rectangle or square with right angles. Some pico pocket projectors come with controls for correcting the keystone while others are equipped with keystone correction technology and will self-adjust. *Pro Tip - This is a really nice feature. You’ll be doing yourself a favor if you grab a product with this feature listed on the specifications! Read on to see why.
Pico Projector Technologies and Features
This advanced feature allows the pico projector to adjust the picture and correct the keystone automatically. After placing the handheld display on a tabletop and turning it on, it will adjust the image to the correct dimensions.
TI DLP® Technology
Digital Light Processing technology, created by Texas Instruments, uses LEDs and tiny micromirrors to create sharp images. This also reduces the size of the device and makes it easier to replace the lighting source if needed.
This process in the DLP chip manages image brightness and contrast in LEDs using software algorithms. Like its name suggests, the algorithm analyzes the image in real time and changes the output to suit the environment while reducing power consumption. IntelliBright technology brings clear pictures and a longer battery life.
Modern projectors come with an HDMI port for connecting all types of devices, including Blu-Ray players, game consoles, and laptops. As one of the most popular interfaces these days, most contemporary video sources are compatible. Models with smartphone-compatible ports and adapters like Apple Lightning and the USB family are another convenient solution. Now you can fit a presentation with a 100” screen into your pocket!
Pico projectors with Wi-Fi support can connect to wireless networks. This is a great way to feature content from a computer or smartphone. On phones, play media by simply selecting the file you want to play or by mirroring the screen.
Because pocket projectors are made to be portable, many feature a rechargeable battery for presenting anywhere. Play media for 1.5 to 2.5 hours without needing to plug the device in.
Portable projectors are great for featuring both video and audio. It's easy to set up a full presentation with sound to match dazzling visuals. There are two speakers on each model for playing stereo audio.
Try these handheld projectors on for size...
DLP IntelliBright™ is a trademark of Texas Instruments