848x480 Laser Pico Projector
September 14, 2010
Microvision ShowWX versus AAXA L1
When it comes to laser pico projectors, the ShowWX's main competition is the AAXA L1, another laser pico we reviewed earlier this year. It costs $150 more than the ShowWX, and the two use different resolutions and aspect ratios: the L1 is 4:3 at 800x600 native resolution, while the ShowWX is 16:9 at 848x480 native. Both are advertised as pocket-sized projectors; additionally, both will actually fit in your pocket. If you display a lot of Powerpoint presentations or text documents, 800x600 might be a better resolution for you. If, however, you find yourself showing a lot of video, 848x480 is probably a better fit.
So aside from a different resolution, what do you get for the extra money? Well, the L1 is twice as bright as the ShowWX. It weighs an additional two ounces, but those two ounces are well spent: the L1 has 160MB of onboard storage and the ability to project from a USB flash drive (a 2GB drive is included to get you started). While the L1 lacks an onboard tripod screw mount, it does include a cradle that holds the projector so it can take a tripod.
This is not to say that the L1 is better than the ShowWX. $599 is a lot of money for a pico projector, and the image is about the same, quality-wise. So if all you need is a good looking picture, the ShowWX is a great choice. And if you don't need the extra features provided by a projector like the AAXA L1, you can save yourself quite a bit of money in the process.
The Microvision ShowWX is attracting a lot of attention for its combination of small size, light weight, laser technology, and low price. And it's true--for less than $500, it is hard to get a better, more vibrant picture in a pico projector than that of the ShowWX. For what it is designed to do, it is a fantastic projector.