Sunday, April 02, 2006

Mitsubishi PocketProjector LED DLP Projector

I have been watching the development of the Mitsubishi Pocket Projector with interest for over a year. It is a tiny (4.85" x1.85" x 3.85"), one pound, DLP projector that uses LED bulbs instead of regular projector bulbs. This means there is no heat, instant on and off, and is rated for 20,000 hours of use (5 hours per day for 10 years)!

It is not the brightest projector on the market at 250 lux (more about that later), but is supposedly able to be used in a dimly lit room without a problem. It can even be used with batteries (with an optional 2.5 hour battery pack) for a truly portable experience!

According to the spec sheet, it can project at SVGA 800x600, and can project a 12" to 60" (diagonal) image.

Now to the technical stuff. Most projectors we have in schools are measured in lumens, not lux, so we are used to seeing really high numbers for the brightness capacity of the devices. Lux is defined as a measure of illumination, and here is a formula that describes the relationship between lumens and lux.

Light Output (Lumen) = Illumination (Lux) x Screen Surface (square meters)

I did find some information which stated that a bright office is about 400 lux, so, with a 250 lux projector, such as this one, it is evident the lights would have to be turned down low to use this device. In addition, here is a page that provides the average lux illuminations in school settings.

So, after all is said and done, is this device the "killer device" that gets video projectors into every classroom? Will it work with an interactive whiteboard? The price of $799 is higher than was originally published for this device, but, if one takes into consideration the ease of use (no wiating for warm-up or cool down), no replacement of expensive bulbs, and the fact it can throw a decent size image from a close distance, perhaps turning the lights down low is not the end of the world...

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