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Optoma Pico review

Is Optoma's pocket DLP projector any good?

Optoma Pico

Our Verdict

A dinky and impressive gadget, but once the novelty factor wears off there's little to appeal in the image quality stakes


  • Decent performance for such a small device
  • Built-in speakers


  • Pricey
  • Not very powerful - needs a dark room

Well, it certainly ain't home cinema, but we couldn't resist the chance to look at a video projector small enough to fit in a pocket.

The Optoma Pico uses TI's Pico DLP chip, and is the size of a mobile phone. Weighing 115g, it measures 50 x 103 x 15mm.

It's powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery (which will run for around 90 minutes), and has just two controls - an Off/On/Bright selector, and a focus wheel. The input is a three-way mini-jack, and a selection of adaptor leads is provided.


Using a camcorder, digital camera, iPod, PDA or similar AV device as a source, the Pico can project an image of around 10-130cm wide over a distance of around 20cm to 2m.

A tiny built-in 0.5W speaker lets you hear audio material, too, and a tripod can be connected to the base via a screw adaptor.


Once the initial 'wow' factor has worn off, you begin to realise the Pico's limitations. Claimed contrast is 1000:1, but it really needs a darkened room – it's not at all impressive if there's any ambient light. And resolution is limited to 320 x 240.

For the money you might be better off buying a netbook, which (though considerably bigger) would offer a brighter display, the ability to play media files without external accessories, and all sorts of multimedia functions.