Optoma PK-102 Pocket Projector
Have you ever wanted to share your digital pictures or a YouTube video with a group of friends, only to find everyone struggling to catch a glimpse of a 'personal' sized screen on your smart phone? With the Optoma PK102 ,that problem is solved. The PK102 is a pocket-sized projector that works with almost every portable media device, such as dedicated media players, cell phones, portable gaming devices and digital cameras. With the PK102, you are no longer limited by a small format, fixed screen size - this pico class projector can display images in dimensions of feet instead of inches.
The PK102 features four gigabytes of built-in memory that can be used to store and display pictures and video directly and can connect to any device with a composite video output. Keep in mind that the overall image quality of any projection-based device will be affected by image size and the amount of ambient light in the viewing environment. But the PK102 is highly useable when you choose a projected image size within reason. The PK102 is an ideal fit for the mobile videophile or anyone who desires a highly portable and extremely adaptable display device.
Cost of Ownership: The Optoma PK102 can be found via reputable on-line vendors for under $250. For less than the cost of a standard projector's replacement lamp, the PK102 provides a fully functional display device that requires zero additional cost over the life of the unit - Optoma rates LED life span at 20,000 hours. The cost of ownership of this projector translates to slightly over a single penny per hour - which represents value proposition that is far above any bulb-based projector.
Brightness: While Optoma does not explicitly provide a specification for image brightness, the measured brightness of the PK102 was 7.2 ANSI-lumens. While it might be somewhat shocking to consider a brightness level of 7.2 ANSI-lumens as one of the PK102's advantages, this level of brightness is more than sufficient for the intended application. Brightness alone is not enough to make any judgments on image quality - the overall view-ability a projected image is a function of the projector's light output, image size, screen (or surface) gain and the amount of ambient light in the room. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) specifies that an image in the range of 12-22 ft-lamberts is sufficiently bright for dark viewing environments. For comparison purposes, the image brightness in a standard direct view TV is usually around 25-35 ft-lamberts. Using the 12 ft-lambert value as a target, the PK102 can produce an image of 12.5 inches wide or 14 inches diagonal assuming a unity gain display surface in the 16x9 aspect ratio. During the evaluation, I frequently used an 11x8.5 sheet of paper as a portable screen and found the image more than acceptable even in environments with some ambient light. Shrinking the image down to a screen width of 8 inches wide in a 16x9 format will result in image brightness of 28.4 ft-lamberts - very useable even with moderate amount of ambient light and over five times the area of the screen of an Apple iPhone.
From a maximum image size perspective, I tested the PK102 in my bat-cave theater room using a Da-Lite High-Power screen. I felt comfortable viewing the PK102 up to a 42-inch diagonal image size. At this screen size, using a conservative estimate of actual screen gain, the image from the PK102 was in the 3 ft-lambert range, yet felt brighter than one would expect and was quite watchable. While the PK102 specifications state a maximum image size of 60-inch diagonal, I found it difficult to obtain good image focus at this image size and preferred the overall image quality at the smaller 42-inch size.
|Review Contents:||Introduction and Advantages||Advantages and Limitations||Limitations and Conclusion|