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FAVI Pocket Projector PJM-1000 Review

Performance
3
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
Business
FAVI PJM-1000 Projector FAVI PJM-1000
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Street Price: n/a
Contrast:80:1
Lumens:12
Weight: 0.4 lbs
Resolution:640x480
Aspect Ratio:4:3
Technology:LCoS
Lens Shift:No
Lamp Life:10,000 Hrs
10,000 (eco)
Connectors:  Composite, VGA In
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FAVI PJM-1000
Mini Pocket Projector Review

Marc Davidson, April 30, 2010
ProjectorCentral.com

Built around a VGA (640 x 480) LCOS chip, the FAVI Mini Pocket Projector PJM-1000 works best as a business data projector, although it can also serve as a home projector for video and photos. It's best understood as a minimalist but capable offering. It doesn't include any audio support, but that's not much of a loss, given that the audio in most pocket projectors isn't particularly useful. Ultimately, although the PJM-1000 doesn't offer anything to make it stand out from the crowd, it's a perfectly reasonable choice, at $228 direct from FAVI Entertainment.

Advantages

Small, Light, and Highly Portable. Portability is one of the defining characteristics for pocket projectors, but some are more portable than others. The PJM-1000 does well on this score. It's smaller than many, at 0.9- x 1.9- x 4.5-inches, and weighs only 6 ounces complete with the battery, making it a comfortable fit for a shirt pocket. The cables and tripod are relatively bulky, but still easily small and light enough to throw into a briefcase, notebook case, or woman's handbag.

One small oversight -- call it another minimalist touch --is that FAVI doesn't supply a protective sleeve or pouch. If you plan to throw the projector into a bag along with the cables, you'll either have to get a protective case separately or risk scratching the projector's case.

Good Connectivity. Unlike some pocket projectors, the PJM-1000 comes with cables for both a computer and a composite video source. The computer cable, with a VGA connector on one end and a proprietary connector for the projector at the other, is an ample 40-inches long, which should be enough for connecting to a notebook in virtually any circumstance to show a presentation.

The video cable, which has a miniplug at one end for the projector and an RCA-phono plug on the other, is even longer, at 63 inches. Here again, this should be long enough to connect to a video source in most situations. In case you need a longer reach, however, the projector also comes with a gender changer so you can connect the projector cable to a standard composite video cable going to the video source. The gender changer will also let you connect to the cable going to another device, like a cell phone or camera, that needs a special cable to plug into its own proprietary connector.

Power for International Travel. The PJM-1000 power adaptor comes with an assortment of interchangeable plugs that according to FAVI will let you plug into a power socket almost anywhere on the planet, including the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and most of South America, Africa, and Asia.

Easily Adjusts Image Height. Many pocket projectors come with a tripod to help make it easier to adjust image height, but few are as useful as the one that comes with the PJM-1000. The tripod includes a quick release mount that you can screw into the bottom of the projector. You can then attach or detach the tripod itself in a just a second or two from then on. The legs are about five inches long -- an inch longer than with most pocket projector tripod legs -- which gives the tripod a wide, stable stance. Best of all, a ball joint on the mount makes it easy to point the projector in any direction.

Disadvantages

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.

Conclusion

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.


(05/21/19 - 06:22 AM PST)
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