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It’s all going wireless for the businessman on the move. First Bluetooth came along and freed him from his strangulating wired hands-free kit. Then Wi-Fi and 3G let him browse the Internet on the move. Now it seems that other peripherals are following suit. Music players, keyboards, Internet radios – everything’s jumping on the wireless bandwagon. And that, it would seem, includes the humble portable projector.
BenQ’s CP120 is one of a growing number of presentation devices that are throwing off the shackles of the bulky VGA cable. InFocus’s diminutive LP120 was one of the first projectors we looked at that had a wireless option and there are plenty of others from the likes of Panasonic, Sony and Epson that boast the feature too.
With the CP120 the wireless adaptor is built in rather than available via a separate module, which makes it a much more elegant solution than the LP120’s. Essentially, however, the same effect is achieved – and with exactly the same limitations.
To enable it all you do is install BenQ’s Wireless Wizard software on your laptop and run it when you want to send a picture to the projector. Response times can be little sluggish (the mouse doesn’t move that smoothly, for example), but by and large it works fine. Bear in mind, though, that the wireless adaptor built into the CP120 is only capable of receiving data at a rate of up to 54Mb/s (it’s compatible with a, b and g networks. That means it’s fine as long as you stick to basic PowerPoint presentations and Windows displays, but it doesn’t like video and moving pictures – there’s just not the bandwidth available.
It’s not the nice-to-have wireless capability, however, that’s the CP120’s strongest suit. It’s in other, more important, areas that it starts racking up serious Brownie points. First it’s small – very, very small. BenQ, in fact, claims it’s the smallest wireless projector you can buy. I don’t know how true that is (the Infocus LP120 is smaller, even with its wireless dongle plugged in) but it certainly is about as small as you’d want a projector to be at about the size of a small box of chocolates and not much heavier (1.3Kg).
It is also well-built and thoughtfully designed. The tilt leg at the front, for instance, is much more sturdy than the flimsy affair you usually get on other projectors. It slides out slowly and smoothly, too, like the drawers in an expensive kitchen. And there’s an integrated lens cap that slides neatly back into place when you’ve finished your presentation.
Continuing the practical theme, if you delve into the menu system you’ll find there’s ‘real-time’ automatic keystone adjustment on offer. Adjust the projector up and down and it senses the angle, changing the keystone compensation automatically. It’s very clever and useful too when you’re desperately trying to look professional in front of that all-important client.