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Where Do Mobile Projectors Fit in the Projector Matrix?

Posted by on for ProLampSales

Mobile Projectors: Portable, Pocket and Pico

When most people think of digital projectors, the images that come to mind are of substantial pieces of equipment with multiple input sources, brightness from 1000 to 4000 lumens and large projected image size that weigh-in at 5 to 10 pounds. Usually these projectors are permanently mounted on walls, ceilings or tables in home theaters, conference rooms, classrooms and church sanctuaries.

There are three categories of projectors built for mobility and designed for small group or even one to one presentations. These projector categories are Portable, Pocket and Pico.

Portable projectors function as both video and data projectors and they generally use lamp types found in the larger projectors. This class of projector, usually weighing 1 to 5 pounds, works well for the corporate road warrior who hops planes and makes sales presentations in rooms sized for smaller groups. Top brands include: InFocus, Optoma, Acer, Casio, NEC and Vivitek.

Pocket projectors provide a very lightweight and compact projection system. Designed for impromptu, small group meetings in office or educational settings, these devices usually weigh less than 2 pounds, use an LED light source and have an image throw distance of 2 to 10 feet. The development of portable screens designed specifically for pocket projects, expands the presentation capability of these projectors. Top brands include: Sony, Optoma, Dell, Vivitek, Acer and AAXA.

Pico projectors are essentially handheld devices designed to project photos and personal movies from mobile phones and tablets onto any convenient flat surface. Low brightness LED and laser light sources dictate the presentation limits of these projectors. Think of them as a way to share images with a small group of friends while walking around town or hanging out at a coffee shop. Top brands include: Acer, Asus, Brookstone and AAXA.

Here is a table to compare a few typical specifications for these three types of mobile projectors.

 Portable Pocket Pico
Brightness 1000 to 3000 lumens 200 to 600 lumens 32 to 200 lumens
Throw Distance Range 2' to 40' 2' to 10' 0.5' to 8'
Image Size Range 20" to 300" 20" to 100" 8" to 100"
Light Source Standard HID Lamp LED LED or Laser
Weight Range 3 lbs to 5 lbs 0.5 lbs to 1.4 lbs 0.3 lbs to 0.9 lbs
Price Range $300 to $1000 $275 to $550 $125 to $450

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