The Rise of the Mini Projectors

The main thing that makes TFT and Plazma more popular than projectors is
the high cost of replacement lamps. However, a projector can produce a
bigger image and with modern LCOS and DLP displays a superior image in many
cases.

Traditionally projectors have used Ultra High pressure lamps and this is
the problem! UHP Lamps cost between 2 and 4 hundred to replace. They
normally have a average life span of 2,000 hours, produce a LOT of heat and
use a lot of electricity, so the cost of running a projector can be quite
considerable.

However, emerging onto the Market now are projectors that use LED lamps,
offering a superior 20-40,000 hours of lamp life, a much lighter power
usage and a lot less heat! Not only that, due to the lower heat, LED
projector require less cooling and so, the projector can be made a lot
smaller and lighter.

The first wave of LED projectors were launched a couple of years ago,
mostly in pocket size, pico format, but they failed to impress, with lumen
ratings as low as 8 lumens, they were useless in all but a “pitch dark”
room. LED projectors are now evolving fast and getting brighter by the
month, in fact, Casio now produce an LED/Lazer projector with a full 2,500
lumens of light!

Still it’s the Pico projector market that interests me, ultra portable
projectors are great for “on the go” presentations and places where a fixed
system is not an option. The first Pico projectors were, more or less,
useless, but now, they are actually getting some quite usable
specifications and I am sure the future lies here.

A pocket size projector that can throw a 100+ inch screen is a lot more
convenient that transporting a screen or monitor, it is also great for
smaller offices and occasional home cinema, but what projector do you go
for?

In steps European Company MicroJekt with it’s popular LED mini projector
range, with up to 150 lumens of light and high Quality LCOS displays, the
problem is solved! 150 lumens may not sound much, but I am more than happy
with the results of my MicroJekt Classic LED projector. It has a new type
RGB LED lamp and produces very crisp clean images, It can manage 50 inches
in ambient light and up to 120″ in a darker environment, from a very small
package. It also has a built in USB host and SD reader that can play movies
and presentations directly from an SD card, USB stick or USB hard disk, a
very handy feature.

Microjekt projectors offer reasonable quality, but are a little cheaper
than other brands, although offering more feature and brightness. The
Microjekt Classic LED pico is about the same size and weight as the Acer
Pico, but boasts 50 lumens more light and a lot more features. A friend of
mine has a Microjekt 35 lumen pocket power, again a true pocket size
projector, in darker environments that is quite impressive too, but still a
bit of a “big boys toy”, the classic is a better choice for serious use.

If you are thinking of buying a projector, then consider the running costs
and track down the latest LED models, they are more than just toys these
days! I am sure that as LED technology continues to develop, we are going
to see the projector make a big comeback, with much much lower running
costs, they offer an attractive alternative to Plazma and TFT screens.

Many other companies are now jumping on the LED projector band wagon,
including Acer, Samsung, Optoma and more. I am more than happy with my
MicroJekt, but excited by what may come next!

Mark, the technology geek

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