Geeks.com Mini USB 2.0 LED Projector
Author: Rutledge Feman
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 07-27-2010
Provided by: Geeks
Pages:
Usage and Conclusions

First impressions during usage were great. After unpacking the projector, I immediately tried popping in an SD card full of pictures from OCIA.net's trip to CES 2010. The menu system was intuitive to navigate, even without the remote, and before I knew it I was watching a 2 square-foot slideshow of pictures I never bothered to get off my camera and show anybody.

Sure, the high pitched fan noise was a little loud, the included tripod wasn't very sturdy, and the picture was a little dark (especially at the corners). Nevertheless, in less than a minute I was set up with my pictures nice and big on the wall. The adjustable focus allowed me to display a picture that was a few inches small to 4.5x6 ft with ease. Even the settings menus were nicely customizable, with different slideshow transition options and brightness and contrast settings.


Nevertheless, as I went into more thorough exploration of the mini-projector's features, I started noticing some serious flaws. First and foremost, the projector would not connect to my computer. Even after following the directions to the tee, ensuring that power was available before connecting the USB cable and that the projector was on, Windows would either not recognize the device or not acknowledge the connection altogether.

More annoyances became apparent with extensive use. After a day or two of use, the multi-connection cable started falling out of the projector, which meant loss of input and power. Also, lack of display customization, specifically keystone, meant the mini-projector required very specific positioning and orientation. Because the included power and multi-connection cables were so short, however, it was difficult to keep the projector both plugged in and pointing the right way.

Furthermore, the build quality on the mini-projector is subpar. Often times pushing the play button a little too hard haphazardly activated the "+" button. Also, gripping the chassis to insert a plug caused bending on the front and back sides. Finally, while the tripod mount appears to be standard, rubber strips on the bottom of the projector place the threads too far to be gripped by third-party tripods, meaning you are stuck with their shaky plastic one.

The bottom line is that, while this projector makes a fun gadget, there is quite a bit of room for improvement. At $140 USD on Geeks.com, I'd like to see the design behind the mini-projector mature a bit before I start buying them for my relatives to show off their pictures at the family reunion.


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