848x480 Laser Pico Projector
September 14, 2010
User replaceable battery. Battery life on the ShowWX is a touch under two hours from a full charge, but that's not the whole story. The battery in the ShowWX is easy to swap--just lift the battery door and make the change. Replacements are inexpensive, at about $30 each. This allows a presenter to stockpile charged batteries and keep their projector up and running for longer than two hours, albeit with slight breaks in-between. If you have a whole day of presentations planned and no time to charge between them, this is a lifesaver. On a more technical note, all batteries will stop holding a charge, eventually; when this happens, you'll be thankful that battery swaps are so quick and easy.
Connectivity. The ShowWX takes all video connections through its rear input port, while a side port is used for charging and firmware updates (note that the ShowWX will take a charge over USB, in case you have a laptop but no access to a wall outlet). Composite video and iPod cables are included. VGA connections are possible with an optional VGA dock ($50). The dock connects to the port on the projector's rear and is the only way to connect a laptop to the ShowWX. And while the projector does not have a speaker, there is a 3.5mm (standard 1/8") headphone jack for audio pass-through from an iPod or cell phone.
WVGA Resolution. With its 848x480 native resolution, the ShowWX has the potential to be used for movie display when connected to an iPod or other video-capable device. At native resolution, the ShowWX is sharp and clear, thanks in no small part to its constant, perfect focus. There is no visible pixelation to speak of until the image exceeds 60" diagonal at which point you can see that the image has pixels if you concentrate. The inter-pixel gap is nigh undetectable.
One thing to be aware of is that not all current iPods can output native 848x480 video. If you wanted to use the ShowWX as a video projector and keep native resolution, you should make sure that your iPod can output WVGA.
Adjustable image alignment. Normally found on much more expensive projectors, the ShowWX has an image alignment feature. If the picture appears soft or out of focus, using this feature can help to bring things back into proper alignment. A simple vertical line is shown; using the up and down buttons on the side of the projector, you simply move the line back and forth until it is sharpest. While our own ShowWX did not show any signs of misalignment, it is a nice feature to have.
Silent operation. With no exhaust fan, the ShowWX is more or less silent. There is a slight hum from the laser diodes, but overall the ShowWX is exceptionally quiet, even for a pico projector. Despite the lack of fan, the projector never gets terribly hot; even after running for an hour and a half, it is still comfortable to hold. One thing to watch out for: placing your iPod on top of the projector is tempting, and an easy way to keep things together. It also increases heat build-up in the projector. If you plan to run the projector until the battery dies, try not to place anything on top of it or too close to either side.