Will Brookstone’s HDMI Pocket Projector be in Santa’s bag this season or end up a stone coal lump?
After eating this year’s Thanksgiving turkey, our food comas didn’t stop us from checking out the Black Friday Sales in the early hours of the morning. So at 6:00am Friday, we got our hands on the Brookstone HDMI Pocket Projector ($299.99). Now we’ve already got a slew of projectors here that we use to compare and test the new guys, so today we’re going to compare the Brookstone HDMI Pocket Projector’s performance with the AAXA P4-X, since they are some of the most popular ones today. Keep in mind that all three of these projectors have built-in batteries, which is what we’re going to run these on. They’re suppose to be mobile so thats how we’re going to test’em!
Unboxing The Brookstone HDMI Pocket Projector
Opening the packaging you get 3 boxes inside which contain:
- The HDMI Pocket Projector
- An A/C charger
- 2 A/C Prong Adapters (U.S. and Euro)
- An HDMI Cable
- Two Adapters (Mini HDMI and Micro USB)
- Instruction Manual
- Travel Bag
What Goes Where?
Video: The Brookstone is outfitted with an HDMI port for its only video output. But if you need a Mini-HDMI or Micro USB port you’re going to have to utilize those included adapters. Now the Brookstone projector only plays from the laptop of device thats plugged in. There isn’t an onboard media-player in the Brookstone but the AAXA P4-X does.The P4-X also has a memory card reader or USB reader (MicroSD/Full Sized USB).
Sound: You can get sound straight from the units themselves from their built-in speaker, which are better than most. Meaning you won’t need a hearing aide to hear it, but don’t count on putting on a show for everyone in your living room unless its absolutely quiet. But theres hope for you, both the P4-X and the Brookstone do have 3.5mm audio output jacks to plug in an external speaker system.
Bonus Feature: The USB 5V out power port has nothing to do with the performance of the Brookstone projector other than it’ll kill your battery power if you decide to charge other device. But its a cool side feature to be able to charge your phone or something with it!
Starting with the lights on against the AAXA P4-X, its not too noticeable but the brightness on the Brookstone is a bit lighter. So theres a light faded look to it. But not very notice in bright conditions. The color on the AAXA is more vibrant compared to the Brookstone.
What we wish is that more pico projectors in the market had onboard media players. At first we thought that the Brookstone HDMI could be used that way because it has a USB Port but the port is only for charging. The AAXA P4-X actually does have this feature which makes it truly portable giving the user the ability to play view files and movies straight from a USB Memory Stick or even a MicroUSB card up to 32GB, which is pretty cool when your our and about. We think feature is a more useful than the ability to charge an extra device. Althought the charging port is an excellent feature for the traveler the USB port on the Brookstone could have been put to better use.
Here is the onboard media player on the AAXA P4-X
Hitting the light switch you will notice the difference in color. The AAXA P4-X’s native resolution is 858 x 480 which is comparable to the Brookstone at 858×480. Keep in mind that these projectors are only about 6 feet from the wall to see the best possible resolution.
Brookstone says the projector accepts a 1080p signal, but the signal gets downcoverted to the projector’s native resolution of 858×480 pixels. This basically means the wording on the box is misleading (“Projects up to 1080p HD images up to 60 inches diagonal”). So it takes a Blu-ray picture and downconverts it to slightly better than DVD quality (480p is 720×480). Not bad but HD is HD and this is not HD.
Let The Show Begin….
The differences in just having a still image isn’t noticeable. So lets get to movie and play something to really see the differences, if any, between these projectors. How will the Brookstone HDMI Pocket Projector compare to the AAXA P4-X?
So why do we see a slight difference here right? Well, simply put the AAXA just has a better optical engine. So if you’re never able to find “Where’s Waldo” you can still spot the differences between these two projectors. You can clearly see the brightness and vibrant color between the 95 lumen P4-X and 85 lumen Brookstone HDMI. So the difference here is about 10 lumens.
The Brookstone HDMI Pocket Projector (on the right) has its good points, like the USB battery charger to charge extra devices(very useful for travelers), the U.S./Euro adapters (Useful for the International traveler), and it’s slim size which makes it pretty easy to carry around. Something to keep in mind is that mobility may be at the list for most people; but the projection quality (Brightness/Color) should still be the reason why you buy a projector in the first place.
The Comparison Chart