3M MP180 Pocket Projector review: 3M MP180 Pocket Projector

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Bluetooth. Wi-Fi. Inbuilt web browser.

The Bad Lacks HDMI input. Touchscreen is terrible. Tripod tips over easily if power is plugged in. Web browser is only just functional. Inbuilt fan can be quite noisy.

The Bottom Line The MP180 presents excellent images, but a sub-par touchscreen makes many of its advanced features less useful than they could be.

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Design

The folks at 3M must have cleaned up back in the late '90s when MC Hammer was selling off his collection of overly baggy pants. That's the only conclusion we can reach about 3M's so-called "pocket" projector, an entry to the pico projector space that eschews the usual packet-of-playing-cards motif for a unit that's much larger. At 1.3x5.9x2.5-inches and 338g, it's more like the size of a decent-sized portable torch. That's not exactly pocket-friendly, unless you've got pants of extreme capacity.

Projector aside, 3M also supplies VGA and RCA connection cables that hook up to the MP180's custom connector, as well as a small tripod. That's an inclusion that not every small projector takes into consideration, and one that gives it a bit more business utility, as you can't always be too sure of where you'll be projecting from. The tripod screw for the projector isn't centrally mounted, but, on the supplied small tripod, this didn't prove to be too much of a balance issue.

Features

All of that size does allow 3M to pack the MP180 with more features than the competition; something that you might expect, given the AU$565 price point. It's rated at 32 ANSI Lumens, which isn't bright for a full projector, but is quite bright for a pocket projector. Resolution is natively 800 x 600, and with scaling this allows it to support VGA, SVGA, XGA and WXGA. This is clearly pitched as a business projector, and it's worth noting that there's no inbuilt HDMI compatibility. Battery life is rated at two hours, and our tests bear that out.

Where the MP180 stands out is in all of the extras that 3M packs into it. These include both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatibility, both for transferring files to the unit's inbuilt 4GB of memory and for giving the unit its own internet access via the inbuilt browser. Document types that you can transfer and natively see on the MP180 include DOC, PPT, XLS, TXT, PDF, BMP, JPG, MP4, MP3, PAL, NTSC, H.264, AMR and AAC.

Performance

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Where to Buy

3M MP180 Pocket Projector

Part Number: CNET3M MP180 Pocket Projector

Typical Price: $565.00

See manufacturer website for availability.