3M Pocket Projector MPro120 : A stylish Pico Projector



Pico projectors—defined as small enough to fit comfortably in a shirt pocket—don't qualify as new anymore, but they're still rare. Just try using one in a public space—connecting it to a camera to show a friend some photos,say—and see what happens. You'll quickly find that it's high on the list of gadgets that encourage total strangers to come over and start conversations. That's particularly true of the MPro120, which offers a sleek design, a screw-on tripod with flexible legs, and reasonable image quality that works for both video and data.

The MPro120 is about the size and heft of an electric razor, measuring 1 by 2.4 by 4.7 inches (HWD) and weighing 5.6 ounces. The solid matte black finish and rounded edges give it a decidedly sleek look and feel. Setup is easy, and in addition to the standard VGA/RCA cable, you can buy an optional component video cable (with a cable for iPods and iPhones coming soon).

The MPro120 has a VGA native resolution of 640 by 480 and an LED that's rated for20,000 hours. However, 3M has made a fundamental change in the engine. The first-generation engine used a white LED as a light source, while this new engine uses red, green, and blue LEDs in sequence. The sequential approach is intended to display richer colors, but it also results in a slight rainbow effect, which means the light areas of a moving image can break up into little red-green-blue rainbows. Also, the audio quality and volume limit was lackluster. But you do get good battery life, lasting 4 hours in Normal mode, All told, the Mpro120 is an attractive choice as both a hard-to-resist gadget and a potentially useful tool.

3M Pocket Projector MPro120
PRICE: $350
• •••
PROS :Fits in a shirt pocket. Connects to computers and video sources. Rechargeable battery.

CONS :Although brighter than the first-generation version, it's still not very bright. Audio is
barely loud enough to be usable.

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