Optoma might have pioneered the Pico or pocket projector market, but lately it’s been 3M that’s been stealing most of the thunder - at least where the important matter of picture quality is concerned. Optoma, though, reckons that its new PK301 will see them challenging for the top of the pocket projector league table.
Optoma PK301 Design
It’s certainly dressed to thrill. Its tiny form - it’s just 120(w) x 70(d) x 30(h)mm - weighs just 235g, making it a genuine pocket projector rather than something that you’ll have to tuck into a briefcase. In fact, it’s notably smaller and lighter than even 3M’s recently reviewed 3M MP220.
It’s also rather attractive in its black, tactile finish, complete with pleasantly rounded top corners and a smart grille effect round the sides.
Welcome, too, is the little carry pouch that ships in the Optoma PK301 ’s box. For unlike the bulky bag 3M ships with its recently reviewed 3M MP410, the PK301 ’s zip holder is hardly any bigger than the projector, and so an encased PK301 can still easily be transported in a jacket pocket.
The only complaint we have about the Optoma PK301 ’s build is the lens, as the focus ring around it feels plasticky and flimsy, and the lens itself doesn’t sport a hardware cover. We definitely wouldn’t recommend carrying the PK301 around without using its pouch.
Optoma PK301 Specs
Connectivity is impressive - kind of. The jacks on offer comprise a microSD card slot capable of handling up to 32GB cards; a mini HDMI; a universal I/O VGA input; a composite video/stereo audio minijack input; an audio output mini-jack; and a mini USB input. Through these jacks it’s possible to connect laptops, netbooks, iPhones, iPads, BlackBerry handsets (via Presenter) or tablet PCs.
However, the mini or universal nature of some of these ports will mean that many business or home users will have to invest in special adaptors rather than being able to use their standard cables right off the bat. At least Optoma has provided both VGA-to-Universal IO and normal USB to mini USB cables free in the box, though.
The provided USB cable can be used to upload up to 55MB of memory built inside the projector. This might be enough for a few PowerPoints and photos, we guess, but it’s disappointingly small when compared with the 2GB of memory built into the 3M MP220. Chances are you’ll be using a large-capacity microSD card if you fancy using the Optoma PK301 without having to attach an external source to it.