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Review: Aiptek PJV11X PocketCinema V10 Portable Projector

Handheld Projector Makes Displaying Images Anywhere Convenient

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating

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Aiptek PJV11X PocketCinema V10 Portable Projector

The Aiptek PJV11X PocketCinema V10 Portable Projector

Courtesy of Aiptek

The Aiptek PJV11X PocketCinema V10 Portable Projector is truly something different. At about the size of an iPod (a little slimmer, actually), it can project an image of around 42 inches from up to five feet away from your chosen display surface. This isn't just convenient, but amazing, really, considering all the complimentary technology that is already in most people's pockets. The Aipteck PocketCinema portable projector can display most video feeds from your cell phone, iPod, video game device or laptop for everyone to see.

At a Glance

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight and portable
  • Simple to use
  • Connects with A/V cables, USB, or SD Memory Cards
  • Resolution of 640x480, aspect ration of 4x3

Cons

  • Video quality can be dark
  • Internal conversion is substandard
  • Short battery life

Features

The Aiptek Portable Projector in Hand

The Aiptek Portable Projector in Hand

Courtesy of Aiptek

Features

  • Watch Video on Your Wall
  • Where the Aiptek handheld projector truly shines is when it's connected with its A/V ports and playing a direct video feed from a device like an iPod, camcorder, DVD player or video game device. This will really please most users, and impress all of your friends. In particular, devices which are set up to display 4x3, standard resolution video, such as an iPod or many camcorders, will output great projected video right onto your wall.

    Less impressive is when the projector has to do any internal conversions. It will convert nearly anything you load onto it to MPEG 4 video format -- and it will take quite a while doing so. What's more, once it's finished, the video quality is definitely not ideal. Make sure you have it set to convert and display its video at the maximum resolution of 640x480, which will still disappoint some videophiles, but anything less will be simply frustrating in terms of quality.

  • Simple to Use
  • You don't have to be a tech genius to work the PJV11X PocketCinema V10 (though it obviously helps to be able to understand the different file formats, resolutions, and conversion details). It's battery-powered, and either projects video input from your personal device or converts your files for you to a useable format with very little fuss and frustration -- although it does take quite a while to complete a conversion. PowerPoint presentations come across exceptionally well when converted to JPEG format.

Performance

The Aiptek PJV11X projector is a bit of a Jekyll-and-Hyde device, with some applications working beautifully and impressively on it, while others are a bit ho-hum or even disappointing. Converted video will give you trouble in more ways than one, but playing a Wii on the wall when you don't have a TV around, or watching full screen iPod videos when you're trapped somewhere without a proper display device (or even your office) -- those applications are both useful and impressive.

At a price of nearly $300, however, it is a difficult decision to make for just a few proper uses. The battery life is short, so if you're watching full-length movies, be prepared to have it cut out near the end, which can be frustrating to no end, especially considering that there is no fast-forward or rewind on the internal player to re-find your place. The MPEG 4 files it creates are also massive, so be prepared to spend extra on memory cards.

It can all be worth it, however, if you travel a lot, give powerpoint presentations in odd places, love your iPod, or want to play your GameBoy or PSP on the wall. The Aiptek handheld pocket projector works well for all of these purposes, and a few more, and it makes that pricetag look a lot nicer when comparing it to larger, clunky tabletop projectors.

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