Aiptek i20 Plus WVGA LCoS Projector
  • Performance
  • 4
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value

Introduction

Apparently, our size obsessed society has replaced "bigger is better" with "smitten with smaller." Congratulations to men everywhere. We have traded oversized handbags for dainty wristlets. We've even decided that full grown lettuce shadows in comparison to microgreens. Of course, technology is also trying to satisfy our bipolar trends. My newest iPhone companion is the Aiptek MobileCinema i20 pico projector, and it too aims to prove it's a good thing in a small package.

I was eager to entertain my kids with a movie and charged this device through my laptop. It has three LED lights that act as a fuel gauge for the battery life, and takes roughly two hours to fully charge. Similar to the other pico projectors made for the iPhone, it can be used with the plethora of video out apps available, like YouTube and Netflix. However, Aiptek also offers a couple of free apps. I especially enjoyed Aiptek Viewer, which allows you to live project while browsing the web. It is much easier to read my repins on Pinterest when they are displayed over my entire bedroom wall. For those of you crafty moms out there, it would be a breeze to stencil those inspirational quotes all over your house using this projector.

Strong Points

Another important feature of the Aiptek i20 is that it can live project using the video camera on the iPhone. Of course, this option has more possibilities in a business setting than in my chaotic home. For example, the i20 works like a document camera. If you hold the phone over a document, you are able to display the image of it up to 50 inches on the wall. I have no need to view my overdue credit card statement in that capacity; but I can visualize an insurance adjuster easily displaying images of damaged roofs to clients. A contractor could enlarge complex blueprints of a home for his employees in a morning meeting. A first grade teacher could present a passage from a book for the entire class to view instantaneously so as to keep the kids "in the moment." New homeowners would have no problem reading the fine print if their mortgage broker projected their contract on the wall above them. These web browsing and live projection options truly open up new possibilities for this line of pico projectors.

I have used other pico projectors, most recently the Brookstone Pocket Projector for iPhone. My user profile is definitely a mommy seeking impromptu entertainment for my kids. However, I refuse to sacrifice quality for convenience. If I am forced to constantly watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, then I must be able to see every wrinkle on Johnny Depp's gorgeous face. The Aiptek MobileCinema i20 boasts a Q1080p resolution of 960x540 which is high enough to complement the digital content from the 960x640 resolution of the iPhone 4. In my words, the images do not resemble my 6 year old's watercolor paintings. The lines are defined, and the characters are detailed. To my surprise, I found myself frequently reaching for this projector instead of turning on my over-priced flat screen television. For me, this small projector's resolution ranks higher than any other I have used. The manufacturers suggest the projector can create up to a 50 inch image. To me, that is simply a challenge. At one point,in a pitch dark room, we had a floor to ceiling sized SpongeBob that was still remarkably clear. (I am still living in the bigger is better era.) As a bonus, this projector can also be used to provide a quick shot of juice to your iPhone. As if that weren't enough, it also comes with a handy carrying pouch.

Limitations

Just like my lovely children, the Aiptek MobileCinema i20 pico projector has a couple of flaws that need addressing. First, just like the Brookstone pocket projector, it utilizes a focus wheel, which is like wearing flip flops with a Prada dress. The technology in these devices may be breath-taking, but I still had to fumble with a wheel that is not compatible with my French manicure. Utilizing these focus wheels always results in some kind of interruption and subsequent outburst. In my case, it is from my children, but in a business use scenario, the equivalent might be a distracted client.

The second issue is the design of this projector. Instead of acting as a sleeve and conforming to the form factor of my iPhone, the Aiptek MobileCinema i20 simply hooks into the end of the iPhone like an appendage. It is small in size; however, it weighs roughly 80 grams. Sure it sounds pretty light, but 80 grams dangling off the bottom of the phone makes it awkward to handle. It reminded me of a hangnail. I also had to remove my protective case in order to get a secure connection between the two devices. As soon as the case comes off the iPhone, it finds a way to hit the tile floor. I found that the best viewing scenario was for me to hold both the phone and projector at a slight angle pointed at my living room wall. However, who has time to hold it steady throughout an entire Phineas and Ferb marathon? I am pretty sure I developed carpal tunnel. The entire viewing process took patience and creativity, which is in short supply in my household.

Conclusion

After spending several weeks getting to know the MobileCinema i20, I strongly feel this projector should not be limited to only providing entertainment. The business applications are obvious. Not only can you watch reruns of Frasier in amazing clarity, but you can also use it as a document reader during an impromptu meeting. The design may not be conducive to a soccer mom's needs, but this projector's ability to multi-task is worth the reasonable price of $150.

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Aiptek MobileCinema i20 Plus projector page.

Comments (3) Post a Comment
Avizit D Posted Feb 28, 2014 8:20 AM PST
Thank You for share this.I have a question about "LED lights".Is it's LED lights is strong.
jerry Posted Mar 8, 2014 9:21 PM PST
can i use also to my ipad2 generation?
anwar Posted Jun 20, 2014 5:42 AM PST
no

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