Is 3M's MPro120 pico projector bright enough?

When judged against the low expectations of pico projectors, the 3M MPro120 isn't bad, but it really isn't bright enough for projecting at larger sizes and it should include an adapter for Apple iPods and iPhones.

The MPro 120 currently retails for $300. 3M

While 3M has already announced a third-generation pico projector, the MPro150 , we finally got around to reviewing its current second-generation model, the $300 MPro120.

In case you don't know what a pico projector is, as its name implies, it's a miniature handheld projector that's capable of casting a big image (3M says the MPro120 can project an image from 8 inches to 50 inches). The key to these pint-size projectors is that they use an LED light source that's very energy efficient.

While Pico projectors come in different shapes and sizes, most cost between $300 and $400, and currently sport resolutions up to 640x480 pixels (so we're not talking high definition). The MPro120 uses LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) display technology; others use DLP. These are the same main technologies employed in rear-projection TVs, but projected on an external wall, movie theater-style, instead of the backside of a TV screen.

We liked the look and feel of the all-black MPro120 and found it simple to set up and use. Weighing in at 5.6 ounces and measuring 4.5 inches by 2 inches by 0.9 inch, it does indeed fit in a pocket (or easily slip in a laptop bag) and comes with a protective sleeve. You can prop the projector up at an angle by flipping open the integrated flip stand (it's just a thin piece of plastic) or you can attach the included tripod to the threaded tripod mount on the bottom of the projector.

Read the full review to find out how good the MPro120 is.

About the author

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music and The Big Exit. Both titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, and Nook e-books.

 

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