Mimio Projector: Interactive
Ultra Short Throw Projector
May 15, 2013
Ultra short throw. As you would expect from any ultra short throw projector, one of the MimioProjector's key strengths is that it can throw a big image from close to the screen. For my tests, using a 92" diagonal image at the native 16:10 aspect ratio, the front of the projector was just 14" from the screen, while the mirror where the image comes from was just 13" farther away. This is consistent with Mimio's projection chart, with image sizes ranging from 70" to 100" diagonally at 7.2" to 16.7" from the front of the projector.
Interactivity is an add-on option, but fully integrated. The MimioProjector is unusual in being a non-interactive projector with an interactive option. If you don't need interactivity now, but think you might need it at some point, this gives it the obvious advantage of letting you future-proof your purchase.
Just as important, the interactive module is fully integrated with the projector both physically and electrically for maximum ease of use. The IR camera slides into a slot next to the mirror, the USB port for the interactive connection to your computer is on the projector along with all the other ports, and the projector menus include an option for turning the IR camera on and off.
Interactivity with full Brightness. Unlike projectors with TI's interactive technology, the Mimio Projector doesn't lose brightness when you turn on interactive mode.
Near excellent data image quality. Data image quality for the MimioProjector is a little short of excellent, but not by much. Colors are fully saturated, but lack vibrancy, with the colors a little dark in terms of a hue-saturation-brightness color model. Fortunately, although this is true to some extent with all the preset modes, it's obvious enough to be a potential problem only with the brightest preset. That makes it less of an issue, since most projectors' brightest modes have problems with color quality.
More important for data images is a slight loss of fine detail. With text, for example, fonts at 9 and 7 points were less crisp, and less easily readable, than they should be for both black text on white and white text on black.
Easy to handle pen. The MimioProjector's pens are thinner than some highlighters, making them more comfortable to use than any other interactive pen I've seen. This is a welcome touch for anyone, but will be particularly helpful in a classroom, where children with small hands may have trouble controlling a thick pen.
Dual Pens with Windows 7 and above. According to Mimio, the MimioProjector offers a dual pen mode to let two people annotate the screen simultaneously. However, I wasn't able to test it, because it works only with Windows 7 and above (but not RT). Macs and earlier versions of Windows are limited to a single pen.
Good, not great, audio quality. The stereo audio system in the MimioProjector, with two 8-watt speakers, is easily loud enough for a medium-size conference room or classroom. It also delivered high enough quality in my tests to let me make out almost all of the dialog in one test clip that's nearly indecipherable with many projectors. If you need more pronounced stereo, better quality, or higher volume, you can connect an external sound system to the stereo audio output.
3D support. Like most DLP projectors today, the MimioProjector offers 3D support, although it is more of an interesting extra than a key feature. Like more recent 3D projectors, it also has an HDMI 1.4a port, which means you can connect it directly to a Blu-ray player or other video source for 3D. If you've already invested in 120Hz DLP-Link glasses, however, you may have to replace them. The projector will work with either the older glasses or with newer 144Hz glasses with 3D games, but it needs 144Hz glasses for 3D Blu-ray discs at 24 frames per second.