LG HS200 Portable Projector Review
Not Too Bright: Lumen output is a limitation with current LED lamp technology. Though the HS200 is at the top of the heap in its niche, 200 ANSI lumens is paltry compared to traditional portable presentation projectors. For about the same money you can purchase a 4 lb. SVGA projector that puts out over 2000 lumens. The big difference is lamp life and lamp replacement cost. Your decision may boil down to a choice between lumen output vs. lamp life.
Installation: Like most of the LED-based projectors in this class, the HS200 has a fixed focal length and no lens shift capability. So it requires some effort to set up. Positioning is a matter of location, location, location, as the distance between the lens and screen determines image size. In order to project onto an 80-inch diagonal screen, you need a hair over 7 ft of throw distance. Mounting on a tripod (not included) allows for greatest flexibility both in terms of height and distance positioning. Then again in a pinch, your coffee or conference table will suffice.
If you place the projector flat on a conference table, the bottom edge of the projected image will be level with the table. So you either need to use a tripod or tilt the projector upward if you want the image higher on the wall.
Resolution: When projecting material in its SVGA native resolution you can expect more than an admiral performance, with clear text and graphics. However, despite its ability to display resolutions as high as 1152x864, if you feed it resolutions higher than SVGA you will experience some loss of detail due to compression algorithms.
Sound Quality: Even though this projector has an integrated speaker system accompanied with basic balance and treble adjustments (via its FM wireless function) do not expect concert hall performance. The sonic quality is more analogous to the fidelity of a laptop computer. With that in mind, there is a 1/8-output jack that lets you hook up either a set of headphones, some self-powered speakers, or perhaps a home theater receiver, which I highly suggest for theater and gaming. The stock audio is adequate for close proximity presentations.
The Case of the Missing Case: Considering that the HS200 primary market is portability, I was surprised to find out that it did not include a case. LG tells us that they will also market the LG HS200G in the United States. This is the same model as the HS200, but with a case, for a few dollars more.
Laptop DVD Compatibility: LG's owner's manual states: "This projector may not support output from laptops when the laptop screen is on." We could not display a DVD movie (using the stock RGB cable) with two Toshiba laptops, one older model and one more recent. No matter what we did, it simply would not play movies. That said, our review model worked flawlessly with numerous other brands of laptops that we tried.