Summary

Our Score

8/10

Review Price £629.32

The ML1000 is seriously bright for an ultra-portable projector. Even taking the image up to 90 inches, only 10 inches short of its claimed maximum size, there’s still a pleasing amount of punch and dynamism to be seen in a darkened room – a far cry from the dull shadowplay many rival products muster at this sort of image size.

The potential brightness from the ML1000 also means you can use it to deliver images up to around 60 inches across in rooms with some light in them – something that’s obviously particularly useful in the business presentations world, where blacking out meeting rooms is often impossible.

The unusually high light output is joined by seriously potent colours, too. Rich reds, blues and greens really pop off the screen, but even subtle colours avoid the muted appearance we’re accustomed to seeing with ultra-portable projectors. This means you can see more finesse in the ML1000’s colour definition, too.
Optoma ML1000
Keeping the good times rolling is a very impressive level of sharpness by ultra-portable projector standards. HD sources – both video and PC – look definitively HD in terms of the detail and texture on show, and this sharpness remains intact when the image is full of motion, avoiding the blurring and fizzing noise sometimes seen with affordable DLP-based projectors.

It was also nice to note that perhaps because of its large size relative to most ultra-portable DLP LED projectors the ML1000 managed to run reasonably quietly. Especially if you’re able to run it at slightly less than its maximum brightness output.

While the ML1000’s feature count, build quality and some aspects of its performance clearly establish it as a premium ultra-portable projector, it isn’t perfect.

Two problems are related, ironically, to the ML1000’s impressive brightness. The first is that you get a sense of DLP’s rainbow effect (flashes of pure red, green and blue) over very bright parts of the image – especially if those bright parts are appearing against a fairly dark backdrop.

Worse, the projector doesn’t deliver nearly as deep a black colour as we would have liked given the 15,000:1 contrast ratio claim. This isn’t a big deal for the majority of PC presentations, which tend to be built around uniformly bright content, but it certainly limits the ML1000’s potential for doubling up as a home cinema machine. Even using the ML1000’s Movie preset doesn’t give you much of a black level boost, leaving dark scenes looking washed out and grey. This greyness causes a real shortage of visible shadow detail in dark picture areas too.

Another much less severe issue is that the ML1000’s push for colour punch overstretches itself at times, leaving the video colour palette occasionally looking over-wrought and unnatural - especially where skin tones during relatively dark scenes are concerned.

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