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Philips PicoPix PPX1020 review

A handheld projector for just £162 - a bargain or a false economy? Jim Martin takes a closer look in our review.

Showing static images is no problem, and there's very little lag via the USB cable. Videos, however are another matter. As with other USB display devices we've seen in the past, attempting to display video at 30 frames per second stretches the bandwidth to its limit, and even standard definition YouTube clips showed tearing when there was significant motion in the image. This is where it appears the video has been split horizontally and is out of sync. Relatively static clips looked passable, but if you want a projector for showing videos, don't choose the PPX1020.

Since the projector operates via USB, you first have to install the drivers which are conveniently stored on the internal memory. Each time you connect the PPX1020, you have to click on the PicoPix Viewer to duplicate your laptop's desktop. As Windows doesn't see the projector as a secondary display, mirroring is the only option. Plus, you'll have to set the resolution to 800x600 to obtain readable text, and back to your usual resolution afterwards. This is far from convenient.

Under normal office lighting, the LED is bright enough for a 20-30in image, but you'll need a surprisingly long throw distance to achieve this. At 7ft, for example, the PPX1020 projects only a 52in image.

The PicoPix is competitively priced at 162 ex VAT. However, the rainbow effect is pronounced, and video is pretty much out of the question. Unless you'll only use it for PowerPoint presentations, we simply can't recommend it.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

Reasonably cheap compared to the competition, but it also lacks features and can only be used with a PC or laptop. Image quality isn’t bad, but it’s ruined by flicker, the rainbow effect and severe tearing in videos. The Samsung SP-H03 costs a little more, but is superior in every other way.

Display Size: 5-81in Resolution: 800 x 600 pixels Display technology: LCoS, RGB LED Brightness: 20 ANSI lumens Contrast Ratio: 500:1 Connections: mini USB2 Adjustments: N/A Dimensions (W x D x H): 87 x 87 x 22mm Speakers: N/A Security: none Warranty: one year RTB Part code: PPX1020 Power consumption: Bus powered

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