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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

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.

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.