Mimio Projector: Interactive
Ultra Short Throw Projector
May 15, 2013
Video is best reserved for short clips. The MimioProjector's video quality is good for a data projector in most ways, with the projector showing minimal noise, handling skin tones and shadow detail well, and resisting posterization in scenes that tend to cause the problem. Its Achilles heel, however, is rainbow artifacts, which are always a potential issue for DLP projectors. As is typical, it shows the artifacts more frequently with video than with data, so although no one is likely to find them bothersome for data images, anyone who is sensitive to these artifacts is almost certain to find them annoying with video that lasts more than a few minutes.
Needs calibration. Unlike TI's approach, the MimioProjector's interactive technology needs calibration between the pen and projector any time you move the projector or change resolution. However the calibration goes quickly, since it requires touching the pen to only nine points.
Needs software installed on the computer. Windows doesn't recognize the MimioProjector as a human interface device, which means you have to install the entire Mimio software package, which includes the driver, on any computer you want to use the interactive features with. The projector comes with a license for just two PCs, but Mimio says a variety of site licenses are available for a wide range of different needs.
Have to touch the screen to interact. The MimioProjector's interactive pen has to touch the screen to tell the projector where you're pointing. This means you have to stand near the screen when you're interacting, and it limits you to screens with a hard backing.
As may seem obvious, the MimioProjector has lots more going for it than against it. As a non-interactive 1280x800 ultra short throw projector, it delivers near excellent data image quality, an impressively short throw, better audio quality than most projectors, and 3D support for direct connection to 3D video sources. As an interactive model, it offers interactivity without any loss of brightness, an unusually easy-to-handle pen, and the option to use two pens at once in Windows 7 or 8.
The interactive option is also a key strength. There are ways to add interactivity to almost any projector, but few, if any, of those choices integrate so seamlessly with the projector as Mimio's interactive upgrade.
The issues with video make the MimioProjector the wrong choice for long video sessions. However, it's one of the best choices otherwise if you don't need interactivity now but want to keep your options open for adding it later. It's also a strong contender in general as either a non-interactive or interactive 1280x800 ultra short throw model, and it's well worth a close look.