Your choice is stark: buy a proper, full-size projector that delivers decent images or buy a thrillingly small projector that, um, doesn’tWrite your own review
- The concept of a palm-sized projector is an exciting one
- Performance is as hobbled as we suspected it might be
“Small is beautiful,” according to renowned British economist E F Schumacher.
We're fairly certain he was referring to loftier subjects than home cinema projectors, but there's no doubt that 3M's MPro110 projector is beautifully small.
As a wow-your-friends conversation piece, it's untouchable – from a unit no bigger than a Blackberry, you can project images up to 50 inches.
Obviously, there's not a lot of room on the MPro110 for an extensive suite of inputs, nor is there room inside the machine for up-to-the-minute specification.
Technical spec is limited
So you get a 4:3 aspect ratio at 640 x 480 resolution, composite and VGA video inputs, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and an input from a DC mains adaptor. Aside from an on/off switch and a focus wheel, that's your lot.
The first thing any excited new owner will notice about the 3M is how very hot it gets in no time at all.
Having such a potent light source in such a small enclosure is going to generate some heat, of course, but once the MPro110 is working you don't get very long to position it before it genuinely becomes uncomfortable to the touch.
The fact that the projector can easily be towed across a surface by the weight of its own mains adaptor makes positioning more of a trial than is ideal.
Images don't compare
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the picture the 3M delivers doesn't really bear comparison to that from a full-size, fixed position projector.
Colours are rather muted, images aren't as bright as is ideal and the old-school aspect ratio means that any modern film (for which read any film made in the last 15 years or so) is subject to quite severe letterboxing.
As an alternative to either a bigger projector or a flatscreen TV, the MPro110 makes little sense – but then where are the flatscreen TVs you can slip into your jacket pocket?