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New Projector Tablet – Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 Review

Recently, Lenovo released the newest member of the Yoga Tablet line, the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro.  A new type of tablet targeted at professionals on the move that need to be able to set up and give a presentation quickly and effectively.  There are a few major differences with this tablet that make it stand out from the other ones on the market currently.  The first, and one of the main marketing points on the tablet for Lenovo is the integrated Pico Projector, the tablet has a round base where the battery, projector, and power button are located, and this round part also has additional functionality as the stand for the projector when it is in stand up mode.  The tablet also sports a HUGE 13” screen at an awesome resolution for HD viewing, this screen is so big that it almost feels like you’re using a touch screen desktop.  The aluminum body of the tablet only helps to make the product feel solid and well made, however with this comes a lot of additional weight.  All of these features add up to make a solid product that could help most professionals (or even those who just want a sweet tablet) get things done faster and more effectively, so without further ado let’s get onto the review of this unusual tablet.
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Size and Usability:

With a screen clocking in at 13.3” no one can call this tablet small, in fact as far as tablets go this thing is a behemoth clad in an aluminum body that brings the weight of the device to a whopping 2 pounds which for a handheld device can start to get heavy after a while.  The huge screen allows for a huge keyboard, which really helps when using the tablet, it’s so big that it almost feels like using a normal keyboard on a desktop or laptop and it’s crisp resolution of 2560 x 1440 allows for a clear image no matter what size image you are viewing.  It’s an IPS display to boot which means it’s got a good response time and good color temperatures, the touch sensing technology is capacitive which means you get a nice smooth glass feel to the screen and that there is a much lower chance of scratching the screen.

The body of the tablet is designed very well, the cylindrical hinge at the bottom of the unit is the heaviest part of the unit and is generally the surface that the tablet will sit on while in use.  The hinge used is made of aluminum and is very rigid to the body of the tablet, this makes it very hard to move but is also a good thing because when the tablet is sitting up straight it allows for easy typing and no movement of the tablet when the screen is touched (a common issue with stand cases for tablets).

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One thing we’d like to point out is that this is no Nexus 7, you aren’t going to be using this with one hand, in fact you’ll probably be cradling it in one arm while using it due to its large size and weight, we found it very uncomfortable to hold in a standing position for more than 5 minutes at a time, at that point we found ourselves opening up the stand and setting this beast down.

The sound is an 8w UBL speaker located on the back of the projector which produces great sound, actually the best we’ve ever heard out of a tablet, for the first time ever bass tones are audible and the treble is clear and crisp.  This may be due to the massive amount of space that Lenovo was allotted to fit a speaker however we were impressed by its quality and volume, it’s definitely something that could produce enough sound for several people to hear while watching a video on the built in projector.  As for the projector, we’re going to be talking about that later in the review for several reasons, mainly though we felt that it just deserved its own section for good and bad reasons.

Projector

Now for the most juicy part of the review, the part that most people interested in the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro came here to read about, and the part that Lenovo probably doesn’t want the most true coverage on; The projector.

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It is one of the first mobile products we’ve seen that has a usable built in projector.  With all of the older mobile products with projection there was always the issue of positioning.  How do you use the phone to present and also have the projector in the right position and in focus?  This was especially true because there was just no way that you were fitting a tripod mount on a phone or a tablet.  This is where that sturdy stand on the bottom of the Lenovo tablet comes in.  By using the tablet in stand mode you are able to adjust the horizontal keystone of the projection by adjusting the stand, given that you are using a flat surface to project from this should allow you to get a good usable image out of the tablet, it is also very easy to use while it is in this position as it allows the user to sit and basically use the tablet normally without sacrificing the image quality.

Now for the bad parts, first let’s talk about the brightness.  The projector is dim to say the least, at 50 lumens it creates a dim image even in completely dark conditions, although it does beat the Lumi-tab’s 35 lumen projector, a 50 lumen projector would be barely visible in a lit room.  The focus mechanism on the projector is a small slider on the back of the unit near the lens of the projector, the slider is semi-stiff and hard to do small movements with and thus is hard to get the perfect focus, and we found it easier to physically move the whole tablet back and forth to get the correct focus.

Even when fully focused the projector doesn’t produce the clearest of images which could be due to the fact that when you hold the tablet the lens naturally touches your skin and gets smudges on it, but even when clean viewing text and web pages seemed to have a slight pixilation to the image which made text somewhat hard to read.  When viewing a movie the projector looked just fine, except on dark scenes where the brightness of the projector came into play and it became hard to differentiate objects in the shadows.  Lastly, the projector can only be used while the tablet is in a horizontal position, which means you aren’t going to be holding it while projecting like they showed in the promotional videos for the tablet.  Although we’re sure that most users are going to be using it on a table anyways it should be that big of a deal, but we did feel a bit cheated when we held it up to project onto a wall and the projection was completely sideways.

Projection Comparison

For a comparison, we set the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro up against an AAXA Technologies P3-X Pico Projector to test the brightness, sharpness and ease of use. In this demonstration, we have hooked up the AAXA P3-X to an iPhone 6 using an Apple digital AV adapter and an HDMI to mini HDMI cable. We will post a video later demonstrating the difference between the two, but we did take a couple of images which show a pretty stark difference.

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As you can see, the 70 lumen AAXA Technologies P3-X (left side) outshined the tablet pretty convincingly. Additionally,  the difficulty in focusing the tablet makes a dedicated micro-projector a much better option for  projection needs.

That’s about all we have to say bad about the projector in the in Yoga Tablet Pro 2,  it’s definitely a product that you could use for personal viewing and for a quick set-up for a business presentation, but we wouldn’t recommend it for much else. 

Specs

In this section we’ll go over the direct specs of the projector just so that you have a reference when you’re looking at this tablet vs others.

Processor: Intel® Atom™ Z3745 Processor

RAM: 2GB LPDDR3

Storage: 32GB internal, up to 64GB SD card for additional storage.

Sensors: G-Sensor, e-Compass, Ambient Light, Hall, and Vibration.

Cameras: Rear 8MP F2.2 with Auto focus, Front 1.6 MP HD

Wireless: Wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n MiMo 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Dual Band, Bluetooth 4.0

Ports: Micro USB, 3.5 Audio Jack, Micro SD Card

Battery: 9600 mAh (up to 15 hours use time)

Screen: 13.3” 2560×1440 IPS display, Capacitive Touch, 10-point multi-touch

Sound: 2x Front Chamber speakers, 1x JBL subwoofer with Dolby audio, Wolfson Master Hi-Fi Codec

OS: Android 4.4 KitKat

Weight: 2.09 lbs

As you can see it’s got pretty average specs as far as high end tablets go, but it’s definitely a lot more powerful than your average sub $200 tablet.

 

Results

In conclusion, the Yoga Tablet Pro 2 is definitely a cool product that deserves its place in Lenovo’s line-up as one of their main tablets, although unique with its projector we honestly just found it to be such a low quality projector that it wasn’t really usable in a professional situation, we’d still recommend that you go the route of just getting a Pico Projector and hooking it up to a cheap tablet or laptop if you’re looking for a portable projection solution. The results will be a lot better and it will still most likely be cheaper than this tablet/projector combo.  But if you’re just looking for a big tablet to maybe replace a laptop or just something to easily set up and project movies for a couple of friends or yourself then this tablet will fit the mold, it’s definitely not something to immediately pass up as a multimedia tablet but may be something to overlook if you’re looking for a projector.

Brookstone Poet Projector Pro and AAXA P300

New Review: Brookstone Pocket Projector Pro and AAXA P300!

Scenes from Paul Walker’s The Fast and The Furious projected on a huge wall by the Brookstone Pocket Projector Pro and the AAXA P300!

 

 

Who will be the main course in this years holiday pico/pocket projector review: Brookstone’s Pocket Projector Pro or AAXA’s P300?

Since it’s the holiday season, we’re going to be stuffing our homes with friends and family.  So you’re definitely going to have to keep them entertained with something when they’re all sitting around in their food comas.  Well this year you can prepare for it. The time is right buy some new gadgets and what better thing to get than a mobile projector! This year we’re going to compare projector recipes so you’ll have something to serve as entertainment. So we’re going to compare the Brookstone Pocket Projector Pro ($429) and the AAXA Technologies P300 ($389). There are some good ones out there, but we’re going to compare this new Brookstone pico/pocket projector with something fairly comparable in price, features, and brightness.

 

The Ingredients

The AAXA P300 is battery powered (battery Included) and lasts upwards of 60+ minutes on a single charge. Now the Brookstone Projector has the “optional battery” that will keep it going for 2-hours, which is really good. The down side is that the battery is going to cost you an extra $99 bucks! So the total to make the Brookstone completely portable is around $529…again, a side dish to think about.

While we’re on addition features, both the Brookstone and the AAXA have keystone correction.  The really cool feature of the Brookstone is that is has a USB output to give you the ability to charge other devices on the go, if you buy the external battery with it. The features that the AAXA P300 has that the Brookstone doesn’t is an onboard media player to project video and text files or play your music directly from a its built in MicroSD reader(up to 32GB) or through its full size USB port to read from a USB memory stick.


The Recipe

These projectors are very portable and pack some great features, some more than the other. However, the side dishes of any meal only complement the course, which in this meal review, is the projection quality. The Brookstone Pocket Projector is rated at 200 ANSI lumens and the AAXA P300 comes in at 300 ANSI lumens; both of which have a resolution of 1280 x 800 (WXGA).  The contrast ratio of the Brookstone is 1000:1, while the AAXA P300 is at 2000:1.

The Main Dish

Now on to the main course of this holiday projector review! Both these projectors are about 4 feet form the wall and are so we can see how well they compare to each other.

You can see that the brightness of both these projectors are very bright! The AAXA P300 does have a more vibrant range of color to its projection quality. Although the brightness of the AAXA is rated at 300 lumens and is a bit brighter, the Brookstone does a a good job itself. The brookstone is rated at 200 lumens but seems to be a bit brighter than that, guessing maybe hitting close to 250 lumens instead. But projected from the same distance you can see that there is a difference.

So putting the whole thing in perspective, the Brookstone Pocket Projector Pro is small in size and very bright for its size, comparing fairly well to the AAXA P300’s 100 lumen advantage. However, things to keep in mind from this is that the price is a little steep and gets really pricey if you want to add the battery to the package.  For the AAXA p300 that is a little bigger in size, but at a reasonable price, you’ll get those few extra features; the battery, onboard media player and USB/MicroSD memory reader ability.

Here are the specifications

Brookstone Pocket Projector Pro AAXA Technologies P300 
Battery Sold Separately ($99) Battery Included60+ Minutes on Full Charge
200 ANSI Lumens 300 ANSI Lumens
1000:1 contrast ratio 2000:1 contrast ratio
Aspect Ratio:16:9 Aspect Ratio:16:9
Image Size:Up to 115” Image Size:Up to 120”

 

1280 x 800 (WXGA) 1280 x 800 (WXGA)
2x 1.0-watt speakers 2x 1.0-watt speakers
No Media Player Has Onboard Media Player
Inputs:HDMI

3.5mm Audio-Out

DC Input

(MHL micro USB to HDMI cable, micro and mini HDMI adapters Included)

 

 

Inputs:HDMI

24-Pin Universal Port/VGA

SD Slot

USB (For Thumbdrives)

Mini USB

3.5mm AV Input

3.5mm Audio-Out

DC Input

 

 

 

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Brookstone’s HDMI Pocket Projector Review

 

 

IMG_0255Will 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!

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Unboxing The Brookstone HDMI Pocket Projector

Opening the packaging you get 3 boxes inside which contain:

  1. The HDMI Pocket Projector
  2. An A/C charger
  3. 2 A/C Prong Adapters (U.S. and Euro)
  4. An HDMI Cable
  5. Two Adapters (Mini HDMI and Micro USB)
  6. Instruction Manual
  7. Travel Bag

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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!

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Lights….Projector…Action!

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.

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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.

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Here is the onboard media player on the AAXA P4-X

Lights Out!

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.

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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

Comp-Chart

MHL3

AAXA Pico Projectors now available to work with Samsung S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2


AAXA Technologies released earlier this week that they are now compatible with the new Samsung phones, SIII and Galaxy Note 2. The cable allows Samsung users to plug in their phones to a TV or a projector via the AAXA MHL Cable. This cable allows users to stream their movie content, game content, and presentations directly onto their pico projector/ TV. Doing so, users can now enjoy their entertainment on a big screen display.

You can find the press release here: http://aaxatech.com/news/MHL_cable_news.html

Tustin, CA February 6, 2013

AAXA Technologies, the leading manufacturer of Pico projectors, is pleased to announce the release of our Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 cables. The new Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note 2 adapter connects directly into the Samsung 11 pin micro USB input allowing these devices to seamlessly connect to AAXA’s M2, P3, P4X, P300 and LED Showtime series pico and micro projectors

Perfect Compatibility with Samsung S3 / Note 2 and AAXA Picos

The AAXA MHL Cable for Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note 2 utilizes a high definition 1280×720 pixel resolution in order to deliver a crisp, vibrant image from your phone to your AAXA pico projector. Using this cable, AAXA pico projectors can now project a variety of HD content straight from your phone. The cable allows users to be truly mobile as the only accessories needed are your smartphone and pico projector.

MHL Capabilities
The AAXA MHL cable measures 6.5′ in length and connects to the full sized HDMI ports found on the M2, P3, P300 and Showtime, as well as the mini-HDMI port found on the P4X. The 11-pin MHL port of Samsung phones allows full mirroring capabilities to the projector, meaning anything you see on your phone, you’ll be able to enjoy on a big screen projection. All your favorite Android games can be enjoyed with a projector, including Angry Birds, Doodle Jump, and Temple Run. Business professionals will be able to stay effective on the road with the AAXA MHL cable. When paired with a smartphone and projector, the MHL cable allows users to use their Android productivity suite to its full potential.

About AAXA Technologies

AAXA Technologies Inc was founded in 2008 as a manufacturer of a new class of projector known as “micro” projectors and “pico” projectors. Our core technology is based on small LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) and DLP (Digital Light Processing) imagers mated to LED (light emitting diode) and Laser light-sources. This technology makes possible the manufacturing of micro projectors and pico sized projectors. In 2010 AAXA launched the world’s first laser pico projector and today remains a leader in mini-projector technology. AAXA manufacturers the majority of its products in China, with core technological development occurring both in the Silicon Valley, California and China.

CES 2013: Pico Projector questions answered

Your CES 2013 questions answered: 3D TV, pico projectors and fitness forks

by Lauren O’Neil Posted: January 7, 2013 7:55 PM Last Updated: January 8, 2013 8:57 AM Read 1comments1

 CES is a press and industry only conference, but we’re giving you a chance to learn exactly what you want to know from the heart of the action this week. (Reuters)Peter Nowak is at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week to give you a sneak peak into the future of home entertainment, communication technology, and gadgets designed to change the world as we know it.

Only industry professionals and accredited media are admitted into the trade show itself, but we’re giving CBC community members a chance to go beyond the mainstream coverage and ask a few questions of their own.

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DLP unveils new Projector Phone

Article found here: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/07/dlp-pico-architecture/

Pico projectors are slowly getting better and better as the years go by, and DLP’slatest chip architecture announced at CES aims to raise the bar once more. The platform, which the company is dubbing Tilt & Roll Pixel, is the same size as the current generation, but it promises that products will be able to offer twice the resolution, 30 percent higher brightness and 50 percent increase in energy efficiency. Given our fondness for products like the Samsung Galaxy Beam, we’re pretty excited to see how good movies look on our living room wall. Don’t get too anxious, however — the new platform is currently sampling to manufacturers and products are expected to arrive “as early as the end of the year.” We have the press release for your viewing pleasure past the break.

Update: DLP emailed us with an updated press release to confirm the name of the new architecture. We were also informed that chips using WVGA resolution will be slightly smaller, shrinking from 0.3 inches to 0.2.

Texas Instruments Announces All-New DLP® Pico™ Chip Architecture

An expanding family of DLP Pico display solutions gives developers the flexibility to create brighter, smaller, lower power products

LAS VEGAS – January 7, 2013: Today at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Texas Instruments (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN) DLP® Products (suite N115) has announced a new groundbreaking, smaller pixel architecture, called Tilt & Roll Pixel (TRP), for its market-leading DLP Pico™ technology. This advancement gives developers the ability to bring unique, robust big picture display capabilities to more devices and product categories than ever before.

Some of the key advantages for products built on the new TRP architecture will include:

– As much as 30% higher brightness, with increased efficiency
– Up to 50% less power consumption
– 2x the resolution in the same sized chip

As a result of these advancements, products integrating this capability – such as smartphones, tablets, cameras/camcorders, notebooks, eyewear, and standalone devices – will see significant performance benefits.

“The power of digital content is that it’s available anytime, anywhere” said Frank Moizio, Business Unit Manager DLP Pico. “DLP Pico technology creates the largest images from the smallest devices, thus enabling users to unleash the power of their digital content, and share it in collaborative, real-world settings. Our new pixel architecture enables manufacturers to extend the reach of pico technology to new, smaller devices and new applications, with brighter images and higher efficiency.”

Pacific Media Associates (PMA) has predicted a worldwide pico projector market forecast of 12 million units by 2016, pointing to the category’s growing popularity. TI DLP is working with manufacturers now on integrating the new TRP architecture into products.

Aaxa L1 Laser Projector: First run!

It seems that the first batch of the infamous laser projectors has finally shipped out. We’ve seen plenty of articles showing the Microvision ShowWX, however, no one has really had one in hand. It looks as if Aaxa and their L1 Laser Projector will be the first on the market for handheld laser projection units.

Aside from being a pico projector with laser capabilities, the coolest thing about this unit is the ability to always stay in focus. Due to the lasers being used as opposed to LED projectors, images on the Aaxa L1 Laser Projector will stay clear from one wall to the next without having to mess around with the focus wheel. Further, it can generate an image on two surfaces at varying distances at the same time.

The Aaxa L1 Laser Projector also has an incredible color range. The colors look exponentially more vivid and clear than projectors of the past. We are definitely interested in seeing more to come from these laser projectors.

Check out the pictures we’ve found!
laser projector

aaxa l1 laser projector

aaxa l1 laser projector

$599 at http://www.aaxatech.com/products/l1_laser_pico_projector.htm

Texas Instruments’ OMAP4 based smart phone? – let’s throw a pico projector on it!

It seems that many gadgets are starting to couple a micro or pico projector right on to the platform. TI’s OMAP4 chipset will be able to drive 3 different displays simultaneously and includes a pico projector.

The way Slashgear describes the new OMAP4 based device, the three different displays and pico projector look as if they are going on to a sort of smartphone or tablet-based reader.

OMAP4

The significant bump in processing speed on the OMAP4 will be due to the dual 1GHz ARM A9 cores. Even though processing speed is increased, the chip set should also be more efficient giving users roughly 145 hours on a 1,000 mAh battery.

The video displays on the OMAP4 will allow for two onboard screens and an external display which can be used in place of the onboard pico projector. For example, if you want to watch a movie while keeping your browser and email open, you can plug your video out in to an external monitor. If an external monitor is not on hand, you can play your movie directly on to a flat surface via the built-in projector.

Read the rest at Slashgear.