It has been about 3 years and 5 months since HP entered the projector market. They said they came to play and it seems they were serious. In that span of time HP has produced 25 projector models covering everything from home theater to large venue applications. That's a new projector every 1½ months on average. Not bad for a relatively new player. This article is about the mp2210, HP's smallest and lightest offering.
The HP mp2210 is targeted for the mobile presenter who thrives on nimble projectors that plug'n play and educators who are willing to pay a little more for XGA (1024 x 768) resolution to overcome the detail limitations of the less expensive SVGA (800 x 600) projectors. For the mobile user, the mp2210 touches the scales at 2.4 pounds (1.1.kg) making it 37% lighter than HP's mobile offering of last year and among the lightest projector in its class.
For both the presenter and the educator, ambient room light is either desirable or required to allow eye contact and note taking. The only way to overcome ambient light at the screen is with more light from the projector. Using Texas Instruments' DLP technology and a 156 watt lamp, the mp2210 delivers 1500 ANSI lumens and 2200:1 contrast ratio. This level of light output and contrast is sufficient to conduct a meeting with an image as large as 120 inch diagonal and still allow enough room light (70 lux measured at the screen) for easy eye contact.
The mp2210 projector is designed for portability with a nice carrying pouch and 3 cables (power, USB and VGA) that pack into a cable carry case making both of them easy to fit into luggage or hand carry. A credit card style remote control is simple and effective with a range up to 30 feet (9 m). The User's Manual is provided on CD.
The unit is black with a clear plastic lens cover that is attached to the projector for the benefit of those of us who lose everything that isn't attached. The I/R receivers for the remote control are located on the front and back of the projector, which is a nice change from earlier standup models from HP that had the receivers on the side of the projector forcing you to point the remote control at the projector rather than intuitively pointing to the screen to control your slides or adjust the image.
Source selection and settings can be quickly accessed from either the keypad on the mp2210 or the remote control. The remote control also includes a mouse capability that allows you to control applications as you would with any mouse whether it's a spreadsheet or a presentation. The remote mouse is activated by simply connecting the mp2210 to your computer using the USB cable provided by HP.
Setup is fast and simple. A rear tilt adjustment and a solid front spring loaded leg allow for a quick adjustment of the image from most any table to the screen. A manual vertical keystone correction provides adjustment of up to ±15°. Vertical keystoning occurs whenever your projector is not perpendicular to the screen causing the image width to be different at the top and bottom. There is no control for horizontal keystone correction, so you need to position the projector on the vertical center line of the screen to avoid horizontal image distortion.
Generally we advise against using too much keystone correction as it can introduce scaling artifacts making it difficult to read small text; however, HP is using the latest generation of scalers and they do a remarkable job of maintaining readable text. But there is another minor side effect to keystone correction. As you add keystone adjustment, the image gets smaller. At maximum keystone adjustment of ±15°, the image is 15% smaller and 7.5% dimmer than an unscaled image of the same size.
For reference, we did our evaluation using a 84" diagonal Da-Lite Da-Snap fixed frame screen and a 64" wide Draper Road Warrior portable projection screen.
The mp2210 uses Texas Instruments' DLPTM technology with a 4-segment color wheel (red, green, blue, and white) that allows HP to control the amount of light in the white segment to achieve very bright images when viewing presentations, data, or graphics and to reduce the light output and adjust the color temperature for video and games. You'll find that all highly mobile projectors are set up to optimize light output at the expense of good color saturation to cope with room light that is usually present during business meetings. The HP mp2210 is no exception.
Many presentations, however, are full of color images and can benefit from good color optimization and HP gives you a couple of ways to achieve it. Three Picture Modes are available including Graphics, Video and Custom. Graphics Mode is intended for presentations and the bright image it delivers is at the expense of color accuracy, which is the case with every projector in its class. Switching to Video Mode delivers a richer looking image, but at 40% of the brightness of Graphics mode. This means that this 1500 lumen projector is now 600 lumens in Video Mode, which is ample light output if you can control room light. This 60% loss of light when switching from presentation to video is not uncommon among projectors. This is why our Calculator Pro asks you to define your Primary Use when you are defining your projector setup.
If you can control room light, Video Mode will give you a very pleasing image and you will find this is the best option for content rich in color. If you need more brightness, then the default Custom Mode is a good compromise as it improves color noticeably and maintains 70% of the Graphics Mode brightness. You can fine tune Color Temperature, White Intensity and Picture Enhancement (gamma correction) for each Mode allowing you to optimize performance based on your needs and personal preferences. Since brightness is very dependent on the combination of these settings, any changes you make will likely increase or decrease the light output accordingly. Although HP does a nice job of delivering video with a 4-segment color wheel, you will find that dedicated home theater projectors, which use 6-segment (RGBRGB) color wheels, will do a better job with video; however, they are not well suited for presentations.
The HP mp2210 provides the usual S-video, composite and VGA connections. In addition, you can purchase an optional component video to VGA cable if you want to feed high or low definition video such as1080i, 565i, 565p, 720p, or 480p. Since widescreen content is not automatically detected, a menu option is available to select Widescreen video to give you the 16 x 9 aspect ratio. If your primary use is traveling presentations, you can lighten your load by using an iPAQ Pocket PC or other PDA with a VGA accessory card and leave your notebook computer behind.
HP includes a USB cable for remote control of your computer mouse. Once the USB cables is connected, the credit card size remote becomes your computer mouse allowing easy management of your computer applications or the sequencing of presentation slides.
The USB port on the mp2210 also provides the ability to download new firmware releases from HP in the event they offer a new release. All you need is access to the Internet.
When you're traveling with your projector, you don't always know your room constraints in terms of screen size, throw distance, and ambient light. For setup, large zoom ratios give you the greatest flexibility. Unfortunately, all the sub 3-pound projectors, including the mp2210, are limited to a 1.15:1 zoom ratio. While this is not a significant zoom ratio, it is far better than none at all.
A 1.15:1 zoom ratio means that at any given distance the image size can be increased up to 15% from minimum to maximum zoom. For example, a 120 inch (305 cm) image at minimum zoom could be enlarged to 139 inches (352 cm) at maximum zoom. Conversely, if a 120 inch image is required, the mp2210 could achieve that image size at a throw distance anywhere between 16 to 18.5 feet (4.88 - 5.63 meters).
While the mp2210 is capable of throwing a rather large image, for practical purposes image sizes beyond 150 inches (381 cm) may result in a relatively dim image unless you can eliminate ambient light.
The mp2210 throws the image slightly above the center line of the lens, which allows the unit to project from a table and clear small objects in front of it. Corner to corner focus is excellent. Unlike most projectors, any adjustment to the zoom will require an adjustment to the focus.
Today's projectors typically have at least two brightness settings that are selectable through the menu system. When in normal operation the lamp is producing its greatest amount of light output. When you switch to Economy Lamp, the image brightness will drop about 15%. The mp2210 projector is rated at 1500 ANSI lumens in Graphics Mode. If you activate Economy Lamp, your lumen output will drop to about 1300 ANSI lumens. In Video Mode with Economy Lamp active, light output will be about 500 ANSI lumens. If you reduce room light to theater levels, you'll find you can still have a great theater experience or play your favorite games. If you have trouble controlling room light, just reduce the size of your image to brighten it.
Keep in mind that as a projector lamp ages it dims. The rated lamp life of a projector is the amount of time it takes for the lamp to lose 50% of its brightness. This is not linear as most of the light loss occurs in the early part of the lamp life cycle. Again, our Calculator Pro takes this into consideration.
You might wonder why you would want to use Economy Lamp mode. Well there are two reasons. First, it will reduce the fan noise noticeably. The HP mp2210 is rated 37 dB at full fan speed and 35 dB in economy mode. Second, using Economy Lamp will extend the lamp life by about 25%.
HP does a nice job of providing some simple diagnostic tools with nearly all of its projectors. These include a remote control and projector button test, USB test, a color test of black, red, green, blue and white, and lastly a connector test. They're simple tools that can quickly resolve simple problems.
Pricing, Discounts and Warranties
The purchase price from HP is $1,499.99; however, HP is offering a $100 rebate through the end of October. The mp2210 can also be leased for 48 months at $42.64/month. A spare lamp is available for $379.99.
The HP mp2210 comes with a 1-year limited hardware warranty with 24-hour, 7 day a week phone support. An optional 3-year warranty can be purchased for $300 that includes next-day exchange.
HP will also take trade-ins if you currently own a projector.
Weighing in at 2.4 pounds, the XGA HP mp2210 is the least expensive ($1,499 MSRP) projector in the market today that is at least 1500 ANSI lumens and under 3 pounds in weight. It performs well in data and video and is one of the quietest in its class. Its small form factor, light weight, and excellent light output make it highly suitable for mobile presenters. The mp2210 delivers excellent contrast and above average video quality for a 4-segment color wheel that is common among the highly mobile DLP projectors. Video settings tend to be highly personal, and HP provides the ability to adjust color temperature, gamma, and white intensity for any of three setups.
The remote control is dual purpose allowing control of the projector and serving as a remote mouse when connected to a computer with the HP supplied USB cable. While a larger zoom lens is always nice to have there are tradeoffs in size and cost that tend to limit this capability in the highly mobile market. The need to refocus after zooming is a minor inconvenience.
When comparing the mp2210 to others in its class you see that it is competitive in all areas. If you're looking for great portability, ease of use, quiet operation, and a pleasing image, the HP mp2210 is an excellent choice in the sub-3 pound category.
Where to Buy - HP
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our HP mp2210 projector page.