Mini Pocket Projector Review
Low Brightness. Brightness is an issue for pocket projectors in general. That said, the PJM-1000 does a little worse than most on this score, at a measured 8 lumens despite the 12 lumen rating. Keep in mind that perception of brightness is logarithmic, so a projector would have to be 10 times as bright in lumens to seem twice as bright to the eye. Even so, the difference between 8 and 12 lumens is enough to be noticeable. As a conservative judgment, the brightness is suitable for at least a 15-inch image with moderate ambient light. Compared to most other pocket projectors, however, the PJM-1000's image will be somewhat dimmer at any given image size.
Low Battery life. Battery life for the projector is a relatively short 45 to 60 minutes, which should be enough for most business presentations but is far shorter than a typical movie, for example. For longer sessions, you can switch to the AC adaptor, but you can't recharge the battery while projector is on. Recharge time is about 2 hours.
Tricky to Focus. As with many pocket projectors, the PJM-1000's focus wheel changes focus quickly with very little movement, making it easy to overshoot the best setting. It takes careful tweaking to get the focus just right.
Poor Brightness Uniformity. Most pocket projectors, including the PJM-1000, have trouble maintaining even brightness across the entire image. We measured the brightness uniformity at 64%. The variance is enough to be visible on a solid white screen -- or a presentation slide with a solid light color background -- as a relatively bright center area surrounded by a dimmer area and what looks like shadows in the corners. It's less obvious for images that are darker or visually busier, and hard to see on most photos and video clips.
Image Quality Issues. The PJM-1000 performed much better on image quality for data images than for video, with photo quality falling somewhere between the two. Colors on data screens looked a little dulled down, but white on black text was easily readable even at small sizes, and images that tend to bring out pixel jitter (with individual pixels bouncing back and forth on screen) were rock solid. For photos shown over a video connection, the colors were suitably vibrant, but the images suffered from obvious pixel jitter.
Some issues showed in all types of images -- whether data, photos, or video -- but didn't create any real problems for viewing except for video. The most important issue is that the projector tends to lose a great deal of detail based on shading in dark areas, which makes it hard to see details in large portions of many movies. There's also a highly noticeable halo of light that forms a frame around the image. This isn't unusual with LCOS projectors, but it's noticeable enough with the PJM-1000 that it can be distracting if you're watching a movie or looking at photos in a darkened room. The projector's overall ability to handle data images better than video images make it a much better fit for business use than home use.
The PJM-1000's combination of portability, flexibility for power connections, surprisingly useful tripod, and image quality for data projection makes it most appropriate as a business companion for a laptop. Keep it in your laptop bag, and you'll be prepared to show presentations to small groups anywhere and any time. The short battery life and image quality issues for video make it less attractive for showing photos or video, but it doesn't hurt that you can do that too. In short, the PJM-1000 is a capable choice as a business data projector that you can also use for video in a pinch. It also happens to be one of the lower price pocket projectors, and thanks to a 14-day money back guarantee (except that you have to pay return shipping out of pocket), you can even try it and decide whether you like it before you're fully committed to keeping it.