3M updates Pico projector with brighter LED, internal memory

The company has announced its third-generation pocket projector, the MPro150, which will retail for $395.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
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 reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
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David Carnoy
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The 3M MPro150 pocket projector is available for pre-order for $395. 3M

LAS VEGAS--Before leaving for CES, we were about to post a review of 3M's second-generation MPro120 Pico projector. Now, lo and behold, the company announced its successor, the MPro150, that includes 1GB internal memory, a microSD card slot, and a USB input for transferring files from a laptop or Netbook letting you run entire presentations from the projector itself.

According to 3M, the 5.6-ounce MPro150, which measure just over 5 inches long and fits in a pocket, supports Microsoft Office applications (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel), as well as Adobe PDF, photos, and video. The company has also made the LED "lamp" brighter, upping the lumens from 12 to 15.

Like 3M's previous MPro projectors, this one uses LCoS technology (some competing models use DLP) and offers VGA (640x480 pixels) resolution. The design seems little changed, with a set of tiny stereo speakers on board to provide sound, as well as an integrated flip stand, detachable tripod, and a variety of input cables are included. However, while 3M now offers an optional iPod-iPhone adapter, it appears to have failed to include it in the box (it's a $50 add-on).

All in all, the improvements seem quite good. But for a lot of folks, 15 lumens still isn't going to be bright enough to get a decent image up on the screen at a size much bigger than 26 inches to 30 inches--according to 3M, you can project up to 50 inches, but we have to say the picture gets pretty dim--at least with the MPro120. We are eager to see just what sort of video file formats the projector can read, because if it could play back a wide assortment of files without any sort of conversion, that would be very intriguing. (We'll update this post as soon as we get word).

The MPro150 is available for preorder at an estimated price of $395.

Anybody interested in getting one now that is has these new features?