Review Contents
Data and Video Quality
Highly Rated Projectors
Performance
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
Mobile Presentation
Acer K330 Projector Acer K330
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Street Price: n/a
3D: PC 3D Ready
Contrast:4,000:1
Lumens:500
Weight: 2.9 lbs
Resolution:1280x800
Aspect Ratio:16:10
Technology:DLP
Lens Shift:No
Lamp Life:20,000 Hrs
Warranty:1 year
Connectors:  Composite, RGB, HDMI, MemoryCard, USB (x2),
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 1080p/24, 576i, 576p

Acer K330 Portable LED Projector

Marc Davidson, February 17, 2012

One of several similar new generation LED projectors, all of which boast a 500 lumen rating, a claimed 1280x800 resolution, and a sub 3-pound weight, the Acer K330 offers its own unique balance of price, image quality, and features. Along with the other choices in what's suddenly a new category of bright, light-weight projectors, it serves as the next step up from pocket projectors, with a little heavier weight and a lot more lumens.

The K330 weighs 2.9 pounds, which makes it small and light enough to carry around without a second thought. It's also bright enough to throw a larger image for comfortable viewing than any pocket projector can manage in any given level of ambient light.

Also adding to portability is the ability to read files directly from SDcards, USB memory keys, and the projector's own internal 2GB memory, a trick that lets you leave heavy image sources at home. And it's worth mention too that it uses a simple power cord to plug into a wall socket, so there's no power block to carry around, with its additional size and weight. All this adds up to a balance of portability and capability that's more than impressive for a street price of just $599.

Key Features

Good data image quality. In our tests, the K330 delivered vibrant, fully saturated color and good color balance, with suitably neutral grays at all levels in most preset modes. The only exception was for the brightest mode, with the brightest levels of gray showing a slight yellowish tinge. However, most projectors have color quality issues in their brightest modes, so that's par for the course.

What hurts the image quality just a bit is a problem we've seen with at least one other projector in this category as well. On 1280x800 images with large areas filled with repeating patterns of lines or dots, the K330 adds unwanted extra patterns that look like scaling artifacts. By definition, these shouldn't be there.

Native resolution for a DLP chip is the resolution that gives a 1-to-1 correspondence between the number of pixels in the image and the number of pixels that the display can physically produce. What creates scaling artifacts is the lack of a 1-to-1 correspondence, so the projector has to add or drop pixels in the image.

These artifacts came as a surprise to our contact at Acer, who was unable to either confirm a different resolution for the chip or give another explanation for them. We also tried contacting Texas Instruments for insight into the issue. As of this writing, TI has also been unable to explain it in any detail, and insists that the chip doesn't scale the image. However, it also says the issue is likely at least partly due to the chip's architecture.

The good news is that you won't run into this problem very often unless you use patterned fills in your graphic images rather than solid blocks of color. On the other hand, you may run into a soft focus effect that's almost certainly due to applying anti-aliasing to counter the apparent scaling artifacts, whether they are actually being caused by scaling or not.

This shouldn't be a serious problem for most real world images either. The soft focus only becomes an issue for highly detailed line drawings and small text sizes. In my tests, with a 92" diagonal 16:10 image, I had no problems reading text larger than 9 points. At 9 points, however, the text was visibly blurry, and still smaller fonts were hard to read from any distance.

Usable video quality. Although the K330 is most obviously appropriate as a business projector, Acer also suggests it as a home entertainment projector for casual use. Somewhat surprisingly, it can serve in that role reasonably well.

The projector's video quality is far from what you'd expect from a home theater projector, but it's good enough to watch a movie with. I didn't see any motion artifacts, posterization (colors changing suddenly where they should change gradually) or other serious issues. I saw some moderate to major loss of shadow detail, but primarily in scenes that tend to bring out the problem.

The home entertainment aspect is not a compelling argument to buy the projector. But if you've bought it for business, you might find the K330 useful for watching an occasional movie at home, as long as you're not too demanding about image quality.

Review Contents: Data and Video Quality Strengths and Test Results Limitations and conclusion

Reader Comments(10 comments)

Posted Mar 5, 2014 5:41:13 PM

By Robert

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What kind of success is anyone having using this projector with power point. I would like to download my powerpoint presentation onto the internal memory and use it from there.

Thx

Posted Mar 5, 2013 11:59:01 AM

By Linda

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When I got my Acer K330 projector, I tried to show a Power Point presentation from a USB flash drive. This projector reformatted my slides! Text that should have been on one line was pushed into two, paragraphs would not longer fit on the slide, and it could not be fixed by adjusting the aspect ratio. Plus, it didn't even show my SmartArt graphics. The User Guide gave "troubleshooting" guidelines, which I followed, but that didn't resolve the problem either. Finally, I spoke with a guy with Acer Tech Support, who said I'd have to send the machine for repairs in Texas. This is fresh out of the box! Has anyone else had this problem, and is there an easy fix?

Posted Jun 23, 2012 3:53:00 AM

By rohaya

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i need a mini projector that can be used in classroom.can any one suggest.

Posted May 29, 2012 8:07:15 AM

By Janmanni

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Hi. This is a nice review, but it really doesn't explain why the image quality is just ok for some "occasional" movie. It has the resolution, lumens and good uniformity and what not. So what is it that it doesn't have? I am of course not expecting movie theater quality.

Posted May 1, 2012 6:17:25 PM

By Jonathan

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Whats the throw compared to the k11? I'm looking to do a direct swap out. Will the throw be similar you think?

Posted Apr 16, 2012 8:17:08 AM

By Rishelle

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Hi, I am looking for a reliable, good quality led projector for my business. I have run into a couple good names including this one, the Acer K330 and quite a few others like the ASUS P1. I need something lightweight with good vision quality, would it be safe to say this is the right way to go? Thanks in advance for your help

Posted Mar 20, 2012 1:56:11 PM

By Yang

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No "manual zoom", but it has "digital zoom". Does digital perform the same function as manual zoom?

Posted Mar 1, 2012 6:17:44 PM

By Bob

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Yes - it's called an inverter - but you have to get one powerful enough to match the current draw, and they get expensive.

Posted Feb 26, 2012 11:23:37 PM

By Ty L

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Did you try it at other resolutions like 1280x768 to see if you could remove the scaling artifacts?

Posted Feb 19, 2012 1:04:04 PM

By zino

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Hi, Can anyone please tell me if a car charger for the acer k330 exist, if yes where can I find one. Thank you

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