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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.

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BenQ GP10 projector review by Mahandra Bohidar

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Considering how expensive movie tickets and caramel popcorn have become, you might as well give home projectors a thought!

Those who’ve grown up in the 90s will remember the rather dismal state of home entertainment. VCR tapes, which would have the hero’s head superimposed on the heroine’s during a dance routine were the best we could get our hands on back then. Now, we’ve sailed through VCDs & DVDs and are ready to bring the theatre into our homes. That’s exactly what a lot of digital projectors out there in the market promise to do for the consumer. And considering how expensive movie tickets and a tub of caramel popcorn have become, there’s no harm in sitting back in your La-Z-Boy while you enjoy your favourite titles.

The BenQ GP10 is one of the latest in a slew of products that aim to up your home entertainment experience. At 1.5 kgs, the projector is not exactly a pico projector – one of the mobile ones which you can carry around in your pocket wherever you go. But while at home, you don’t even want a projector that you can’t even find when you most need it. The GP10 is decently-sized and setting it up was a breeze with just a single plug-in. It looks quite sleek to with a white body accentuated with grey tones.

The GP10 uses short-throw projection technology, which basically means it can project large images in relatively smaller spaces. And this unit in particular was capable of projecting a 40-inch images from a distance of a meter from the projection screen. So you need not necessarily gather in the living room for movie night. You could have it set up in the kid’s room or even in the kitchen to catch up on cartoons or sitcoms.

CONNECTIVITY

The BenQ GP10 is rather generous when it comes to connectivity options. On the back panel you have the classic VGA port, USB port, direct camcorder connectivity and an HDMI to stream high-def content on. You can use the USB port either to stream media from a thumb drive or even use a Wi-Fi dongle and connect it to the internet. As an additional accessory, you also have the option of buying a detachable optical drive for the unit. There’s a in-built memory card slot so you can view your pictures or videos directly through the projector without the need to transfer them on to a thumb drive first.

EASE OF USE

The control panel is neatly laid out on one corner of the projector and makes for easy access. A nine-button grid is all you have to browse through or select any function available on the GP10. Once you switch it on, you have the option of choosing your media source from an exhaustive panel on the home screen. You can browse through the options using the soft keypad. The projector does a good job adjusting itself to fit a proper display ratio. You can even adjust the projections according to the wall colour of the room you’re in.

We plugged in a thumb drive to check the image quality first. When you stream through a storage device which houses a variety of media such as videos, music and documents, you’ll be asked to choose which one you want to project first. We chose Photos and the GP10 by default starts a slideshow of a chosen folder. Both the image quality and colours were excellent reproductions of the original. We checked out some high-res Ferrari pictures and the red was unmistakeable. Although, with each picture being about 5MB, the projector took a couple of seconds between loading each image.

For videos, we wanted to check out an episode of BBC’s Tropic of Cancer series. And the video quality here too gave us no reason to complain. The cooling fan in the GP10 is a quiet one and that’s a good thing considering the device is meant to be used in smaller spaces as well. The two built-in 3W speakers in the BenQ GP10 are powered by SRS surround sound and the volume levels were more than audible in a medium-sized room. The GP10 uses RGB LEDs as the light source and has 550 lumens brightness. Hence, we watched most of our media with the lights switched off as the images seem a bit washed off whenever there was any ambient light.

VERDICT

If you’re looking to set up a home theatre soon, then the GP10 does have a lot to offer in terms of simplicity of use and connectivity options. It’s portable, good-looking and doesn’t disappoint with images either. The only drawbacks are the fact that it scores relatively low on the lumens scale and might not support some popular video formats.

Article found here: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/features/smartbuy/other-gadgets/benq-gp10-projector-review/article4500490.ece

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HP to be releasing Pico Projector integrated laptops

HP plans to market two mobile PC solutions this year – the tablet and a notebook with an integrated pico projector.

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According to DigiTimes, Monty Wong, VP of HP in Taiwan, mentioned that HP also plans place the pico projector where the webcam is normally located.

The pico projector notebooks will mainly be produced by Quanta Computer and will launch after HP launches a few standalone pico projectors on to the market.

The idea isn’t new, however, and delays in production have been due to cooling solutions. We should be seeing news from HP soon.

MSI Projector PC

CES 2010 – Las Vegas, Nevada – MSI unveils its concept prototype – the MSI Projector PC.

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According to Engadget, the MSI Projector PC blasts HD video at about the quality of a micro projector. They also mention that the brightness is notably a step above the pico projector levels.

Essentially, the MSI Projector PC is a micro projector with a PC and DVD drive built in to it. The plan is to pair it with their wireless mouse and keyboard for living room use. The advantages are merely novelty as one can easily plug in a laptop or PC to most pico and micro projectors as it is. MSI conveniently bundles up the idea in to one small package.

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Microvision to develop micro projector based shooter video game

It has been news for awhile, but Microvision is releasing a micro projector based first person shooter video game controller.

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The guys at CrunchGear had a first hand test of the Microvision product and seem to be very excited about it for a few different factors.

The first factor they mention is that the projector is based off of Microvision’s SHOWWX pico projector. The projector is modified to create an 848×480 image that always stays in focus. They reiterate that it is always in focus. Further, the pico projector is mounted on to a plastic gun to create the controller. The gun itself is equipped with motion detectors that let you go as far left, right, up or down as you want to go.

The most impressing thing, they mention, is that there is no lag between movement of the gun and video recognition of movement. Impressive new technology!