The Good The 3M Streaming Projector features an integrated Roku Streaming Stick in its compact, handheld design. It has built-in dual-band Wi-Fi and essentially the full functionality of a standalone Roku box, including streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, MLB.TV, Vudu and HBO Go. There's also a built-in rechargeable battery, making it truly portable.
The Bad The built-in battery only lasts for a little over 1.5 hours. And while image quality is watchable, the resolution is limited to DVD-quality and the picture could be brighter.
The Bottom Line The 3M Streaming Projector packs the full power of a Roku box in a pico projector, making for an undeniably cool gadget, even with its limited battery life.
3M's handheld Streaming Projector is flat-out fun
Pico projectors have been around for a few years, but haven't managed to gain much traction outside of the geek community. They're fascinating little gizmos (a projector that fits in your hand!), but it's not immediately obvious why the average person would want one.
The 3M Streaming Projector ($300, shipping October 22) is the first pico projector with some mainstream appeal. It's ingeniously designed with an integratedin the back, which means you can wirelessly stream Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, and more anywhere you have a Wi-Fi signal and a flat surface. There's also a built-in, rechargeable battery, which means the Streaming Projector can go truly wirefree. Walking around and beaming Netflix on the nearest available wall is just a flat-out cool experience, plus the ability to set up a "TV" anywhere seems like a godsend for anyone who needs to entertain kids on the go.
The 3M Streaming Projector isn't without its faults, especially its limited battery life (a little over 1.5 hours), brightness, and DVD-like resolution. But that's not enough to detract from what's ultimately a delightful gadget, not to mention an exciting new product type from 3M and Roku.