With its SVGA (800 x 600) LCOS chip and 33 lumen rating, the AAXA P2 delivers both higher resolution and higher brightness than most pocket projectors. It also scores well on features, connecting to computers and video devices as well as reading files directly from a micro-SD card or its own 1 GB of memory. However, the P2 pushes the envelope for size, with a battery that's nearly as big as the projector itself. The total package, which is roughly twice as big as most pocket projectors, adds up to a reasonable, if not compelling, choice for $349 direct from AAXA Technologies.
Excellent Connectivity. Unlike most pocket projectors, the P2 offers a VGA connector on the projector, so you can use any standard VGA cable to connect to a notebook. It also comes with its own 5-foot VGA cable and a 15-inch video cable. The video cable ends in a miniplug on one side to plug into the P2, and three female RCA connectors on the other so you can plug in a standard composite video, or video-plus-audio, cable going to a video device. For those who need them, AAXA also sells additional cables for moderate prices, with choices for an iPod ($19.99 direct), Zune ($12.99 direct), and Playstation Portable ($18.99 direct).
Reads Files Directly. The P2 can also read an assortment of file types directly, so you don't have to carry a notebook or video device with you. It can read BMP, JPG, and GIF files for presentations or photos; AVI, WMV, MP4, OGG, and SMV files for video; and MP3, WMA, and WAV files for audio. It can even read text (TXT) files if you need it to.
For maximum convenience, you can store files on either a micro-SD card or in the projector's own 1 GB of memory. To use a memory card, you simply plug it into the slot on the P2. To use the internal memory, you connect the supplied USB cable between a computer and the mini-USB connector on the side of the P2, and copy the files. (According to AAXA, to work with a Mac the Mac has to be set to read discs formatted for Windows.) With either approach, buttons on the projector or its remote let you work your way through the P2's menu system and pick the files to read.
Includes Sturdy Tripod for Easily Adjustable Image Height. Like the P2 itself, the tripod it comes with is a little bigger than the tripods bundled with most other pocket projectors. The telescoping legs are about 4 inches long when closed but almost 7 inches long when open, which gives the tripod both a wide, stable stance and flexibility in height adjustments. In addition, the ball mount on top makes it easy to swivel the projector to point up, down, left, or right, as needed.
Unusually Bright. AAXA rates the P2 at 33 lumens. We measured it at 22 lumens, whether in Bright, Cinema, or Normal mode, and a reasonable result for the rating. The more significant comparison is to competing projectors. Most are rated at 12 lumens or less, which makes the P2 unusually bright. Given the way the human visual system perceives brightness, a 22 lumen projector won't look anywhere near twice as bright as an 11 lumen projector, but it's enough of a difference to be noticeable. Quite simply, for any given image size, the P2 will throw a brighter image than most other pocket projectors.