A decent portable projector that’s worth buying?
Portable projectors are something that’s always intrigued me. Projectors in general are quite interesting, but significant advancement in tech for TV panels over the last couple of years has left projectors for home usage somewhat redundant. That said, nothing beats having an over 40” display in your backpack, ready at a moment’s notice.
The LG HS200G portable projector is very small, in fact it can fit atop a DVD case without trouble, but inside it packs quite a punch. Specs wise the mini projector is rated at 200 ANSI Lumens with a 2000:1 contrast ratio, displaying the picture in both 4:3 and 16:9 widescreen formats. The lamp inside the HS200G is LED, giving it a rated life of 30,000 hours. The LED lamp also means that the HS200G runs cooler than normal projectors; hence the fan noise isn’t loud at all.
Speaking of noise, the built in Dolby Digital speaker is fine on its own, especially when there’s not much surrounding noise and you literally have no other options, and even for presentations, but for movie and gaming you’ll obviously need proper speakers.
Going back to the display, the biggest, and perhaps only, flaw of the HS200G is its SVGA 800×600 resolution. Yes, it can accept inputs through HDMI and VGA of 1900×1200 as well, but the image will never look as good as it does with the native 800×600 setting. However, at that resolution everything being displayed looks pretty damn good; crisp and clear. So while you can still enjoy movies and games and pictures at that resolution, browsing the web or using any software at 800×600 is a very archaic experience.
The LG HS200G will take in sources from USB, HDMI, VGA, Composite and Component. If you connect an external HDD or USB drive directly into the mini projector, it will display DivX movies and jpeg images directly. The settings on the mini projector are quite easy to navigate, with simple input selection and visual settings for the image. While it’s easy to get lost into many minor settings such as Color, Tint, Brightness, Contrast, etc. I found that the easiest thing to do is simply select the preset options. “Vivid” is the option of choice during daytime and “Cinema” works well for both movies and games during night time viewing.
That reminds me, our first trial at the office with HS200G wasn’t so successful, but that’s obvious since we have too much light filtering through our huge glass walls covered by netted white curtains. During office closing hours however, the LG HS200G really came into its own, with a bright display and sharp image reproduction.
At the end of the day, the LG HS200G is suitable in offices for small presentations and quick sharing of projects. At home, the mini portable projector is ideal if you want to have the feeling of “big display” but don’t want to spend too much or have a dedicated home theatre setup if you already have a big HDTV. Again, the portability of the LG HS200G, especially with the small carry bag that comes with it, lends the mini projector to easy carrying around for big presentations and viewing sessions of any kind. And at AED 1,999 (USD 544), the LG HS200G is a definite recommendation if you don’t want a huge dedicated projector and don’t want to spend too much either.