The only other connection on the Pico is a power in port, via which the Pico can be charged up using either a supplied plug/USB adaptor, or a laptop. The Pico naturally comes with its own rechargeable battery; you don’t need to have a plug socket or USB source to hand. Battery life is quoted at around two hours max – just about enough for a typical film, though Titanic fans will end up disappointed.
Other bits and bobs of interest on the Pico’s exterior include a simple focus wheel on one side, and a sliding brightness adjustment switch on the other. This enables you to choose between high and low brightness levels – though as we’ll see, the thought of running the image on anything less than the maximum brightness setting is actually nothing short of hilarious unless the battery is running seriously low.
At this point we’d usually get involved with the setup options available via a projector’s menus. But the Pico doesn’t actually allow you to adjust anything other than the image focus.
This means during set-up that the size of the image you watch is totally dependent on how far from a screen or, more likely, wall you hold or place the projector, since there’s no zoom on board. There’s no keystone correction either, so try to avoid angling the picture upwards or downwards.
You can’t even adjust the picture settings – a limitation which, while understandable, is proven a touch unfortunate once you settle down to watch the Pico in action.
There are at least a couple of numbers on the Pico’s spec sheet, though, that could well put a smile on your face. For starters, its contrast ratio is claimed to be 1,000:1 – well beyond the sort of level we might have expected from such a tiny bit of kit.
The LED light-source used to drive the Pico’s DLP Pico technology heart is also reckoned to be good for a startling 20,000 hours of use – way beyond the lifespans of conventional lamps in ‘big’ projectors.
One final crucial component of the Pico’s makeup is its carriage of a single speaker. Rated at 0.5W, this is there so that you don’t need to find some sort of separate amplifier if you fancy being able to hear the audio of your video sources as well as looking at the video.
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