Are pico projectors finding an audience?

Pico_pj With CES 2010 looming in the next few months, I just had a random flashback to last year's show and the "hot" product that everyone seemed to be showing off. Pico projectors were supposed to be the next big thing and they were going to be everywhere and affordable, but so far the jury is still out on both fronts.

Nearly a year later, there are a few devices available to purchase, like the MPro110 and MPro120 from 3M and the Pico PK100-series from Optoma. Also, the promise of integrated modules has been seen in various prototype cell phones and media players, as well as the Nikon Coolpix S1000pj digital camera.

Besides price, which usually is in the $250-$450 range, the other shortcoming that hasn't helped the adoption of these tiny projectors is the dismal performance from the LED lightsource. They are supposed to be convenient, but when you need to hunt around for a pitch black room to use them, it defeats the purpose somewhat.

I have a Toshiba TDP-FF1AU that I purchased a few years back; it suffers from the same brightness problems and is larger than the latest generation, but it's definitely still useful to me. I'm glad to see them getting smaller, and hopefully both the light and battery technology can keep improving.

So is anyone using one of these regularly, and are you satisfied with the performance? Chime in with your comments or experiences.

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Chris King

Chris King is a former contributing editor at Pocketables.