In the next following week, we will be rounding off four new pico/micro projectors that have hit the market recently. We will be taking a look at the Optoma ML500, Vivitek Q2, AAXA LED Showtime 3D, and the 3M MP410. All these come in at similar sizes, cost, and performance. So, let’s see which one actually does best when we test them side by side.
For our first review, we will be looking at the Optoma ML500. This projector comes in at a street price of above $500 depending where you look. It is a bit pricey for a so called pico projector since it does cost almost the same as a traditional projector. The difference between the ML500 and a traditional projector is that it uses LED light bulbs instead of a regular optical lamp which in return saves you money and time on not having to get your lamp replaced. The ML 500 can be used up to 20,000+ hours and has a lumen count of 500.
The Optoma ML500 has a resolution of 1280 x 800 WXGA using DLP’s latest engine. It weighs in at 2.5 pounds and measures to be 8.7 x 6.7 x 1.7 inches. Optoma offers all type of media connectivity to the ML500. It supports VGA, HDMI, USB, S-video, and even a SD card slot. This allows you to plug in any media device that you want to use and have it projected on a big screen.
As for brightness, the ML500 is rated at 500 lumens therefore it is one of the highest rated pico projectors. Most pico projectors come in at 300 lumens or below. The ML500 image quality was very easy to see in a dim light room. However, color contrast took a hit with its brightness. When playing a video, the ML500 really lacked in its image quality. At times, there would be a rainbow of some sort that would tinker through the projected image. Besides the rainbow effect, the ML500 produced a decent image size and quality that shouldn’t disrupt any viewers while watching a movie or presentation.
In conclusion, the ML500 looked great at first. It was easy to use, light weight, and has many great connectivity. For a business traveler the ML500 is a great product to bring along side to travel with.
Look out for our upcoming reviews:
- Round 2: Vivitek Qumi Q2
- Round 3: AAXA LED Showtime 3D
- Round 4: 3M MP410
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Finally, when you are comparing different models of outdoor projectors, pay close attention to the lens. This is the part of the projector that produces the images to project onto the screen. A quality lens will provide crisp, clear pictures with great resolution. Pay attention to the quality of the lens when you are comparing different models.