Projector image

Thanks to the UK distributor DigitalEra I have been able to test a Show WX projector over the past few weeks. This is different to most pico projectors in that instead of using LEDs for illumination it uses laser technology to do the projection. As well as being slightly brighter than most equivalently sized projectors the laser technology by its nature is coherent. That is to say the beams do not spread over distance.

What this means in practice is that the image stays in focus no matter how you move the projector in or out from your screen – be it a proper screen or say a hotel room wall. The only adjustment needed is horizontal alignment which I assume is because more than one laser is used. This is very easy and I only had to do it once. After that it was just a matter of charging the Show WX, plugging it in to the source, finding an area of wall to project on and turning it on.

Charging uses a micro-USB socket and a supplied charger and doesn’t seem to take long to get to a full charge. I didn’t time it but it seemed like only a couple of hours. Usage time is quoted as 90 to 120 minutes and I did seem to get about an hour and 45 minutes in real life scenarios. This could be a bit limiting for watching a film.

In terms of connectivity the whole point of these Pico projectors is convenience of use and the Show WX doesn’t disappoint if you happen to be an iPhone or iPod user. The Show WX is supplied with an iPhone/iPad connection cable which is very easy to use. I did find that it didn’t seem to clip very well into the bottom of my iPad but it did clip very firmly into the ports in both an iPhone 3 and 4 I tried. The device is also supplied with composite input lead. What is bit disappointing, considering the relatively high retail price of the unit is that it doesn’t come with. VGA connector for a pc or a mac. You can buy this separately but I would have expected it to be Included.

All the connectivity in the world won’t help if the output is poor, so how does the WX fair. Well you first have to realise that none of these Pico projectors is ever going to have the brightness of a full size projector and the WX is no exception. Producing 10 lumens you are going to need a pretty dark room to get any size of image. Having said that I did manage to get a very viewable 40 inch image in a darkened room. In terms of projection size this is a very convenient projector in that the diagonal size of the image is almost exactly the equivalent of how far away from the screen you are. So if you are 50inches away from your screen you will get a 50inch size image. One thing I did find a little awkward in setting up the projector was the lack of any keystone correction so to get a properly proportioned image you have to get the projector totally level. It would really help to do this if like some other Pico projectors I used if the WX came with a mini tripod but it doesn’t, in fact it doesn’t even have a tripod socket.

Whilst there are now a few Pico projectors with higher resolutions most of the WX’s competitors produce a VGA output which is a non- widescreen format. This is an issue as most content these days is widescreen. Fortunately the WX produces WVGA output at 848×480 which is quite a good match for most iPod/iPhone content. Of course it is not HD and you do notice that on larger screen sizes. The other thing you really do notice is a side effect of how precise the laser projection is. Each pixel is very visible with no overlap. This leads to a strange matt-grainy quality to the image which may not to be everyones taste.

Overall I liked the WX it is a very convenient size being just slightly bigger than my iPhone and it’s really easy to put the iPhone on top of the projector and be up and projecting in a few seconds. My only real concern is about how much of a price premium using the laser technology adds over a conventional Pico, especially as you can now get high resolution conventional Pico projectors at similar price.

Price Quoted by DigitalEra(inc. VAT): £449.00

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