How to Choose the Right Pico Projector

Trying to decide on the best pico projector for your needs may be a daunting task. The pico projector market has been growing rapidly, which means more options, but more things to consider when searching for the best pico projector for your needs. We can help steer you on the path of picking out a pico projector best suited for you.

Top things to consider when searching for a pico projector are:

  • How much are you willing to spend?
  • What type of content will you display?
  • Will you be travelling with your projector?
  • How will you connect to the projector (HDMI, VGA, etc)?
  • Do you need onboard memory to save content?

Smaller Projectors:

If price is important to you, consider a few smaller pico projectors such as the Optoma PK-102, the Aaxa P1 Jr, or the Cinemin Swivel, all priced in the sub $200 price range. While these budget friendly choices do offer some great connectivity options, they do have a limit on image quality due to a lower brightness and lower resolution than some larger and more expensive options. But for a lightweight travel projector, these choices will certainly make most happy for what they need this type of projector for.

If you still want something ultra-portable, but require something with more powerful, expect to the the Optoma PK-201, selling now for $299 USD, which offers 20 ANSI lumens of brightness via Texas Instruments DLP technology. The 3M MPro150 also offers good value at only $249 USD. For $50 less than the Optoma, you'll get about only 15 ANSI lumens, albeit with strong reviews.

For many people, pico projectors in this price range will be ok in many situations, although all require manual focus to reach the clearest image. Currently, the only ~$300 USD projector not requiring manual focus is the Microvision ShowWX line of projectors, done through a laser based PicoP display engine. They offer a ~$300 USD ShowWS giving 10 lumens, and the ShowWS+ for ~$400 USD.

Also for ~$400, check out the Aaxa L1 v2 laser pico projector or the Optoma PK-301 (offering a whopping 50 lumens when plugged into a wall).

Larger Projectors:

If you're willing to sacrifice the portability of the smaller projectors, consider spending some extra cash on a brighter projector that is still portable, although not as much as the previously mentioned projectors.

The Optoma Neo-i projector dock packs a powerful 50 lumens together with 2 8W speakers. What's more incredible is how this projector is iPod ready. Essentially a docking station for your iPod/iPhone, it's able to display images/movies staight off that device without cables, etc. This projector goes for ~$400 USD.

If 50 lumens doesn't cut it, and you need to prosent with more ambient lighting in a room, consider some even more powerful near or att 200 lumen projectors such as the Aaxa M2 and ACER K11, both around @350/$400 USD. Also think about the iPod friendly Neo-i, which makes displaying iPod/iPhone content a breeeze, although it comes with a higher price tag.

Next Generation Pico Projectors:

Lastly, we have what we call 'next-generation' pico projectors. One of them is the 3M MP180 ($449 USD) and the MemoryKick Vision tablet (mid-$500 USD range). These offer vast connectivity options, with touch screens, WiFi, and even Bluetooth (things you rarely see in a pico projector). Both have a touch screen with Wifi and Bluetooth capability. The MP180 is pumping out 33 ANSI lumens to the Vision tablet's 10-15 lumens (final configuration not available), although the Vision tablet offers USB & HDMI input and 500GB of memory to 3M MP180s 4GB.

Please contact us if you would like to know more about any of these projectors at:

admin [@] picoprojector [.] org