Samsung H03 - Battery Life, OSD and Format Support


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The H03’s power brick is almost as large as the projector itself. However, once its detachable 10.95Wh battery is fully charged – indicated by a small but clearly visible LED indicator on the machine’s top – you can do away with cables completely. It is good for up to one and a half hours of video playback with the lamp set to full brightness, and up to two hours in Eco mode, which is perfectly usable (depending on throw distance) in a darkened room. One thing to keep in mind is that, once its battery runs low, the projector will refuse to recognise external USB storage, so it’s safer to put your files on a micro-SD card than a memory stick.

If, on the other hand, you’re running the projector off the mains, you can simply detach the battery and you’ll be left with a device that’s only 2.5cm (1inch) high. However, you do lose the metal tripod mount found in the battery’s base, which will often be useful in avoiding distortion as the H03 doesn’t offer keystone adjustment. The battery can also be somewhat fiddly to re-attach. At full brightness the H03 consistently consumed less than 12W, while in Eco mode this went down to 8W.

Samsung’s intuitive OSD is attractive and gives easy access to all the functions you need. The top icon lets you switch between video inputs, while the icons below that provide access to files stored locally or on attached storage. For each type of storage (Internal, SD or USB) you can access files by type, with a choice between Documents, Videos, Photos, Music or Settings. Incidentally, the Settings menu is the same no matter which storage device you access it through, as this controls the options of the projector.

One of the H03’s standout features is its ability to display Microsoft Office documents without the need for a laptop. In our testing we found it displayed every single document type we threw at it, from the latest Word .docx file standard to Excel spreadsheets, though sometimes they did take very long to load. Once up and running, it did an impressive job despite inevitably awkward navigation (zooming in and out, for example, was hardly intuitive, nor was changing pages within a document). Like every other pico projector the Samsung still won’t cope well with a brightly lit room, so ideally you’ll want to dim the lights and draw the curtains.

Surprisingly, despite its business and presentation ambitions, entertainment was where the projector really shone (in both senses of the word). Quite aside from its impressive image quality, there’s the underpublicized revelation that the H03 will play back non-intensive (i.e. as long as bit-rate is kept below a certain level) 720p video, including AVI, WMV, MP4, MOV, MKV and even RMVB! For pictures it can handle JPEG and GIF while on the audio front you can play back MP3 and WAV. That’s some darn impressive media player functionality considering it’s not even highlighted on Samsung’s website.

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