Monday, March 26, 2007
Cool Gear: Mitsubishi PK20 Pocket Projector
Getting a big, bright image has never been so small
What fits in the palm of your hand, fills a 60-inch diagonal screen with a digital image at SVGA resolution and weighs in at just about one pound? The very cool Mitsubishi PK20 Pocket Projector. It's a DLP projector that uses eight LEDs to work its magic. The LEDs have a rated life of 10,000 hours (that's just about forever in dog years) and fully utilize Texas Instrument's Digital Light Processing technology to make the most of your digital images. DLP projectors, if you don't know, use an array of DMD (Digital Micro-Mirrors), each of which represents a single pixel. At the present time, it's the best image-display technology available.
From the beginning, you should understand that the PK20 Pocket Projector isn't intended to be used to entertain hundreds of people in a bright convention hall. It's a personal projector that should be used under dim, ambient light conditions (the ANSI brightness rating is only 25 lumens). However, its compact size and aggressive 1000:1 contrast ratio (i.e., dynamic range for us photo types) make it the perfect display device for digital cameras (and even camera cell phones) that have video-out capabilities. Furthermore, it has an SD memory card slot, so you don't have to tie up your camera to enjoy a great slideshow. This is the ultimate portable personal projector.
You can connect the PK20 to a notebook computer or to any Composite Video or S-Video source, such as a digital camcorder, which adds to its versatility. While it can project a large image—five feet from corner to corner—the best results come when projecting images that range between 40 and 50 inches diagonal—still a very healthy image size compared to traditional technologies.
When you're on the road, you can use the PK20's optional rechargeable lithium-ion battery for up to two hours of continuous use. The included remote control provides total hands-off operation. It can even be attached to a full-sized or mini-tripod, which means there's no excuse for misalignment, even under the most extraordinary conditions.
Mitsubishi Electric is no stranger to the personal projector category. It offers a complete lineup of digital projectors. The PK20 delivers a native resolution of 800 x 600 (for a total of 480,000 pixels) and a maximum resolution of 1024 x 768 to assure that your digital images will be crisp and clean. It's great for gaming fans, too. The PK20 supports NTSC video image signal standards, plus PAL and SECAM, so you're good to go virtually anywhere you travel internationally.
Because of the PK20's compact size, there's no room for a zoom, but that's not much of a drawback. When using personal projectors, especially ultra-compact models of this quality, correct positioning of the unit is generally easy. Anyway, as we said, you won't be using this projector in a large auditorium. Furthermore, you'll enjoy the incredible, nearly silent operation. Gone is the nostalgic clackety-clack of the classroom-style slide projector. The PK20 purrs as soft as a kitten and boasts fan noise of only 30dB, a noise level well below hushed human conversation.
The downside? The PK20 is pricey for the casual amateur. But if you're looking for the ultimate in a personal and portable digital projector, with an estimated street price of around $800, the Mitsubishi PK20 Pocket Projector is worth every penny.
Contact: Mitsubishi, www.mitsubishi-presentations.com.