Pro Photo

AAXA P4-X Pico Projector

Palm projectors offer small size and great results.

Every year I manage to maintain my Gold status with United Airlines, easily logging over 50,000 miles. Much of this travel is related to teaching photo workshops. I've streamlined my equipment to minimize weight, but one obstacle I couldn't work around was my big, heavy LCD projector. I needed a projector to teach classes and do image reviews, but I dreaded lugging my big projector  thousands of miles for a few hours of use. But LCD projectors have mirrored laptops in getting smaller, more powerful and suitable for most photo applications. Some of these new micro projectors are pocket sized, and I have tried a few.  They just don't have enough resoltution or brightness to match my needs of teaching classes to groups of 12 people in a small room. The next size class of projectors are palm sized, and this is where I found my solution; the AAXA P4-X Pico projector.

I just returned from teaching a workshop in Turkey, and had a chance to try this projector out. The projector is 1.2 by 5.5 by 2.8 inches, and weighs 10 ounces (add a few more ounces for the cords). I barely noticed this projector in my bag, it truly is small. But size doesn't equal performance in this case. A few things make or break a good projector. First, how is the image quality? With a max resolution of 1280×768, this projector produced sharp images with vivid color. Second, is it bright enough to project in a dark room. The P4 is rated for 80 lumens, which doesn't sound too bright. But unlike other projectors of this size, the P4 was noticably brighter and had no problem projecting a large image in a dark (but not pitch black) room. The projector uses a LED light source, lasting 10 times longer than standard bulbs, so you won't have to worry bulb burn out.  Also, the projector starts up and shuts down very quickly.

A few other features are really nice. The P4 has a built in battery, so you can charge it up and go cordless during your presentation, very handy traveling when you don't have enough plug adapters. The P4 also has many connection options, making it easy to connect to my Macbook Air. The menu is simple to navigate, I had it up and running in a few minutes right out of the box.  Are there any downsides? The fan is a little loud when the projector is turned on, but I had no problem speaking right over this during presentations.  While the P4-X is not a full sized powerful LCD projector, it works quite nicely when you need a small projector with good image quality and brightness for small presentations. The AAXA P4-X Pico retails for around $289.

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