3M MPro120 pico projector

The Good Compact pico projector with 640x480-pixel (VGA) resolution; integrated flip stand and tripod included; two integrated half-watt speakers; quiet operation; rechargeable battery delivers up to 4 hours of battery life; LED light source is rated at 20,000 hours; protective carrying case included along with adapters for computer hookup.

The Bad Adapter cable for Apple video-capable iPods and iPhones is an optional accessory (it isn't included); not terribly bright picture, particularly when you expand the screen size.

The Bottom Line 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.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Performance 5.0
5.9 Overall

Review

3M MPro120 pico projector

The MPro120 is 3M's second-generation pico projector and it's a distinct improvement over the MPro110, with a brighter picture, an LED light source rated at 20,000 hours instead of 10,000, and built-in half-watt speakers.

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 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 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 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.

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