Against all odds, pocket projectors are finally turning into products we might actually want to buy, rather than just being a great idea routinely let down by shoddy execution. And nobody is doing more to change our minds about this sector of the AV world than 3M.
The brand's recent ultra-slim pocket projector rocket, the 3M MP220, found favour with us thanks to the way it managed to combine its tininess with a decent feature count and some surprisingly bright pictures. But if anything the 3M MP410 we're looking at today is even more impressive.
3M MP410 Pocket Projector Design
For starters, it really is genuinely portable. It stands higher than the 3M MP220, but it's much shorter and so can still very much be considered a pocket projector. To prove the point we comfortably tucked the MP410's 10.16 x 10.16x 4.32cm, 375g form into both coat and suit pockets without suffering any unfortunate seam-ripping incidents.
The 3M MP410 wears its smallness very cutely too, with its silver-hued top plate paired with white sides, rear and bottom. It's perhaps a shame that the lens doesn't have a cover built in, but it still feels robust enough to survive being slipped into your pocket without it suffering any damage.
If you want to treat it with more respect, though - which wouldn't be a bad idea considering it costs not far shy of £500 - then fear not: 3M ships a surprisingly good padded carry pouch with the projector, complete with a strap-in section for the projector and the space to include such necessary connections as the projector's power cable and whatever source connection cable you need. This pouch includes a short carry handle, but it must be said that it's much larger than the projector, making it better suited to a briefcase than a pocket.
3M MP410 Pocket Projector Specs
Included as standard with the projector are the power cable, a (rather large) power adaptor, a user manual CD, a handy quick start guide, and a VGA computer cable. Lots of other connection cables are available to buy, though, including options for getting stuff off iPads and iPhones, and various AV options. Some of these require connection to the projector's Universal I/O port, but there's also an HDMI port built in, along with a 3.5mm A/V input, a USB port, and even a micro SD slot.
You can use these latter two ports to add up to 32GB of memory to the projector. Or you can just make do with the actually rather impressive 1GB of memory built in to the projector's tiny body.
The 3M MP410 can also play back a variety of multimedia files from the SD and USB slots, potentially saving you from having to carry around a PC or AV source. File formats supported comprise JPEGs, BMPs, MP3s, MOVs, MP4s, H264s, AVIs, MKVs, DIVX, MPEG4, WMV, MP1, MP2 and WMA. However, rather surprisingly the MP410 does not support typical presentations formats - Word docs, Excel docs, Powerpoint presentations, PDFs or even plain .txt files - like the MP220 did. Which means many business users will need to transport their laptop or tablet with them after all. Shame.