848x480 Laser Pico Projector
September 14, 2010
The hot trend in pico projectors these days is alternative light source technology. This can mean LEDs, which last much longer than traditional lamps, but the latest and greatest thing is laser projection. The Microvision ShowWX is a WVGA (848x480) laser pico projector that delivers serious performance. Its 10-lumen output is perfect for small image sizes, and the use of laser projection means the image is always in focus--no matter what. So project wherever you'd like, whenever you'd like. With the Microvision ShowWX in your pocket, your presentation is ready when you are.
The ShowWX is not the first projector to use laser diodes, nor is it the most fully featured. But with an MSRP of $549 and street prices a hundred dollars below that, it is one of the least expensive. If you've been looking for a pocket-sized presentation powerhouse, the ShowWX might be the right projector for you.
Ultra portable. Projectors have been labeled "pocket sized" for years, but only a few have been small enough to actually fit in your pocket. The ShowWX measures a scant 4.6" long by 2.4" wide by 0.6" thick, making it about the size of a cellular phone or iPod. It weighs only four ounces with the battery installed. Shove it in your pocket and you might forget it's there.
Laser Projection. The big advantage of the ShowWX is that it's always in focus, whether you're projecting a 6" diagonal image or a 60" diagonal image. You can even project on uneven or curved surfaces without any loss of focus. The other big advantage, of course, is lamp life. While the exact life of the laser diodes is not specified, laser diodes in general last much longer than high-pressure lamps do, and most are on par with LED lifespan (≥ 20,000 hours).
Light output. The ShowWX is rated at 10 ANSI lumens, and our test sample measured between 8 and 9 lumens. That doesn't sound like much, but when you're projecting a 20" to 30" diagonal image, it's plenty bright--even in ambient light. In the manual it discusses the possibility of using the ShowWX on a 100" diagonal screen in a light-controlled room. While the image is still visible in such a setup, it is also quite dim.
Included accessories. When you purchase the ShowWX, you don't just get the projector. The package includes the projector and its rechargeable battery, of course, but it also includes the wall charger, which has interchangeable prongs. This allows you to charge the ShowWX while abroad, but you'll need to purchase the correct prongs separately--they aren't included. Also in the box are a plethora of connection cables, including USB, composite video, and an iPod cable. Many manufacturers advertise iPod compatibility but don't include the cable, forcing you to purchase it separately. With the ShowWX, you can get started right away. The box also holds a carrying pouch and wrist strap.