Acer K330 Portable LED Projector
February 17, 2012,
Few rainbow artifacts. One of the more pleasant surprises with the K330, and one of the issues that helps its video quality, is that it shows hardly any rainbow artifacts. I'm sensitive to seeing the rainbows, and saw fewer with the K330 than with any other single-chip DLP projector I've ever used.
With data images, I saw them only on a test image that's designed to make them easy to see, and even on that screen I saw only a hint of the artifacts. With video, they were a bit more obvious, but decidedly occasional and fleeting. Most people probably won't see any rainbows at all, and even those who are sensitive to seeing them are unlikely to find them bothersome.
Highly portable. The K330 weighs 2.9 pounds and measures 1.8" by 8.6" by 6.6" (HWD), making it roughly equivalent to a book in size and weight. To make it even easier to carry, Acer includes a soft carrying case complete with a pouch to hold the power cord, credit card size remote, cables, and any other items, like USB memory keys, you need to carry. Even with the case, the projector is small enough to fit in a briefcase.
Quick and easy setup. Setting up the K330 is almost trivial. To show images stored in internal memory, simply take the projector out of the case, point it at a screen, plug in the power cord, turn it on, and focus. To show images from an SDcard, USB memory key, computer, or video source, the only additional step is to plug in the card, key, or cable.
Low running costs. The red, green, and blue LEDs in the K330 offer a 20,000 hour rating, which means they're meant to last the life of the projector. This potentially translates into far lower running costs compared to lamp-based projectors, with typical lamp lifetimes of 2000 to 3000 hours.
Usable audio. The audio systems in small projectors are often not worth having, so to call the K330's audio usable is high praise. The sound quality for the 2-watt speaker was a little tinny, but it was also loud enough to fill a small conference room and high enough quality for words to be easily understandable for watching a movie.
Brightness. I measured the K330's brightness at 440 lumens in its Bright mode, or 88% of its rating. Other presets ranged from 287 to 334 lumens, with Eco mode dropping brightness by about 11%, to 393 lumens for the Bright mode. For our tests, I found the K330's image bright enough for comfortable viewing in theater dark lighting for a 92" diagonal image at the 16:10 native aspect ratio. Even with moderate light, the image is usable at that size, although it's a little washed out.
Good brightness uniformity. The K330 did an excellent job in our tests of maintaining uniform brightness across the screen, with a measured uniformity of 88%. That's just enough difference to see on a solid white screen if you look for it, but not enough to see otherwise.
Connectivity. The back panel on the K330 offers more connection options than you might expect in such a small projector, starting with a VGA port for a computer or component video source, an HDMI port for a computer or video source, and a composite video port. In addition, there are two miniplug jacks -- one for AV input and one for audio out -- plus an SDcard slot for a memory card, a USB Type A port for a USB key, and a mini USB port for connecting to a computer to transfer files to and manage files in the 2GB internal memory.
Also worth mention is that Acer says the K330 can read more than 20 file formats. I confirmed just a few in my tests, including PowerPoint, PDF, and JPG files. Other choices, according to Acer, include Word and Excel files and most common image, video, and audio formats.
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