AAXA P300 Portable Projector Review
April 5, 2013,
Low audio volume. The P300's 2-watt speaker isn't loud enough to hear from even few feet away. If you need sound, plan on using a headset or external sound system.
No zoom. As with most small projectors, the P300 leaves out a zoom control, so the only way to adjust the image size is to move the projector.
Hard to focus. The focus thumbwheel on the P300 changes focus a lot with very little movement. It's not hard to get the focus close to its best setting, but it's far too easy to overshoot and wind up merely close to the best.
Battery is hard to install. If you get the optional battery (which you should), be sure to order it with the projector, and make sure it will come installed. The battery connector, which is on a wire, is hard to plug into the projector unless you have a pair of long needle-nose pliers with a right angle bend in the tip. I tried it twice with two different projectors, using standard long needle-nose pliers, and found it highly frustrating both times.
Scaling artifacts. One image quality issue the P300 shares with most directly competing projectors is scaling artifacts. Even with 1280x800 image, it adds unwanted extra patterns to large areas filled with repeating patterns of fine lines or dots.
Scaling artifacts shouldn't show up when the input signal is at the projector's native resolution, but I've seen them with every projector I've tested that uses the same DLP chip as the P300. As I've reported in other reviews, Texas Instruments says that there is no scaling. However, it also says that the issue is likely due "in part" to the chip's architecture, although it hasn't provided an explanation beyond that.
The good news is that unless you use patterned fills in your graphics instead of solid blocks of color, you probably won't see these artifacts. If you show any images with closely spaced lines or dots, however, you will almost certainly see them.
The P300 shares many of the same advantages as competing models rated at 300 lumens, and it fits in the same general category. Compared with pocket projectors, it's larger and heavier, but still small and light enough to take up very little room in a briefcase or laptop bag so you can carry it without much effort. And although its brightness on our tests was significantly lower than its rating, it's still enough brighter than a pocket projector to give you a noticeably larger usable image with any given lighting conditions.
The big advantage of the P300, and the main reason to consider it, is its ability to run on batteries. Other projectors with a similar size, similar connection options, and a similar ability to read files directly from memory are brighter. However, the P300 is the only one among its most direct competitors at this writing that can work without AC power. If you want the freedom to show images without being tied to a power outlet, that may well make the P300 your preferred choice.
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