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Optoma Pico PK101 Pocket Projector review

John Archer



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Optoma Pico PK101 Pocket Projector
  • Optoma Pico PK101 Pocket Projector
  • Optoma Pico PK101 Pocket Projector
  • Optoma Pico PK101 Pocket Projector
  • Optoma Pico PK101 Pocket Projector
  • Optoma Pico PK101 Pocket Projector
  • Optoma Pico PK101 Pocket Projector
  • Optoma Pico PK101 Pocket Projector


Our Score:


The projector I'm reviewing today hasn't got any HDMIs on it. In fact, it only takes composite video. The projector I'm reviewing today isn't HD Ready. In fact, its resolution is a puny 320 x 240. The projector I'm reviewing today can't really deliver pictures bigger than 60in across. In fact, you'll struggle to get anything watchable beyond 40in or so.

So why in God's name am I reviewing it? Because my preparation for the review involved taking the projector out of my pocket. Having earlier mistaken it for my Blackberry phone…

In other words, since there's nothing particularly voluminous about my pockets or Blackberry phone, the point about Optoma's Pico PK101 is that it's easily the smallest projector I've ever seen.

Not that these mere words even start to convey just how small the PK101 truly is, mind you. For it really does fit into a pocket - and I'm talking about a Jeans pocket here, not some cavernous anorak pouch or such like. Or to put it in cold, hard numbers, it's just 50mm wide by 103mm deep and 15mm high. And it weighs just 4oz. Yowza.

Suddenly the limitations raised in the opening paragraph are starting to look a bit more forgiveable, aren't they? For clearly the massive convenience of being able to take a projector anywhere and everywhere you go without having to lug a huge bag around is bound to make you more tolerant of a few compromises - even when those compromises are as extreme as those demanded by the PK101.

Crucially for the ‘gadget' market the PK101 seems tailor-made to entice, the PK101 is as stylish as it is small. Its case is glossy, highly refined in its sliver and black finish, and feels lovely to hold. It might not be quite as achingly hip as the iPhone, but it's damn close. Admiring glances from friends and family will definitely not be in short supply.

As I mentioned earlier, the Pico is limited to a composite video connection, with this feed - together with stereo sound - being piped into the projector via either a supplied composite video/stereo audio RCA to 2.5mm plug adaptor, or special adaptor cables already available for the iPhone and various Nokia phone models. PDAs are also supported by the system, giving you a means of ‘breaking out' your PDA applications on to a much larger screen than the one stuck on the front of your portable device.

This focus on phones/portable devices is a sensible move, it seems to me, for surely one of the most likely uses for the Pico will be as a means of quickly and easily sharing photos and videos stored on a phone/PDA/portable media player with a group of assembled mates. Just whip your portable device and Pico out of their respective pockets, hook them together, point the Pico at the wall (probably while you're still holding it in your hand), and bob's your uncle: an instant slide/movie show, no matter where you are. Women will want you, men will want to be you. Probably.


January 20, 2009, 9:33 pm

Might be interesting on a red-eye flight {i.e. dark} & project onto the seat infront {with headset} ...

Martin Daler

January 21, 2009, 1:16 am

"So why in God's name am I reviewing it?"

so, are you reviewing it in God's name, or in TrustedReview's name? To me it makes a difference.


January 21, 2009, 3:56 am

Can I make a suggestion?

You guys review plenty of cameras - fair enough, some of them come down to this end of the UK so that Cliff can have them, but amongst those of you at the TR office, you must have the odd compact lying around. It'd be great if you could take some test shots of projectors in action and upload pictures, as I've always wanted some sample images of what the projected image looks like.


January 21, 2009, 4:19 am

@Darfuria - you know this would have to be taken in the dark, right? And we wouldn't be able to use any flash photography...

If anyone can get a clear shot amongst us only Cliff or Jay can!!

Mathew White

January 21, 2009, 2:07 pm

6 pages of review for this item and you couldn't squeeze in a snapshot of the projected image on the office wall?! come on, chaps!

Jay Werfalli

January 21, 2009, 5:37 pm

Not that straightforward, but it is possible to take a picture of the projected image in the dark with studio flash, but it'll need to be a longer exposure using a static projected image. However, as we've said in the past, our freelancer (who does not work in our offices) is not commissioned to take photos. That said, we're in the process of getting one in here directly, so if that comes through we'll sort you guys out.

Jaden Cheng

August 11, 2013, 9:36 am

You wrote five pages but you don't even give a picture of the projection?

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