By Evan Ackerman
We’ve seen prototypes. We’ve heard announcements. But finally, someone has gotten something out to the consumer, and it’s (again) not Motorola: it’s 3M, with their $359 MPro110 which should be shipping on September 30. The fanless, speakerless, LED lamp palm sized projector weighs only a third of a pound but can display a VGA image (640 x 480) up to 50 inches diagonally at any surface you care to point it at. It’s got VGA and composite video inputs and I assume a battery in there somewhere, although there are no specs on that. You focus it with a thumb wheel. How’s it look? According to Popular Science, who got a peek at a production version:
Images were discernable up to about 11 inches across, even under our bright fluorescent office lights. But they were definitely faded. And some movie scenes were downright indecipherable. The same went for photos. In a dark room, it could project a big enough image to be the ultimate cheap-o home theater.
It doesn’t sound like it’s quite as bright as the prototypes we’ve seen, but so far 3M has been the only company to actually push one of these through to the shelves. I’m really not sure, though, whether this is going to kick off a whole generation of palm-sized projectors, or if the real progress (and money) is in integrated projectors. My money would be on the latter, but it remains to be seen how long it takes to get there.
[ Popular Science ] VIA [