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on February 4, 2011
The miniaturization of technology is amazing. With iPods and cell phones and netbooks I've always had ways to show neat stuff, but generally one at a time. Nobody likes to squint over a tiny screen or deal with viewing angles. Something small and battery powered that I can just stow in my bag and project on any wall would be pretty great. Unfortunately, this just does that and doesn't quite seem to be as magical as the PR makes it out to be.

As far as controls and circuit logic goes, it's pretty plain. Just a stand-by screen waiting for input, volume up and down, mute, battery check, and off. No color adjustment. No 16:9 / 4:3 toggle. No high-power mode when plugged through AC. I know it's small, but even a simple color adjustment could maximize the range of non-ideal surfaces you can confidently project onto.

The image itself is fair quality... even though this 2010 model has double the brightness of the earlier 3M models, you still really can't consider using this in a lit room. That "whether you're in a cafe .. or conference room" really is a bit of a stretch since the cafe isn't going to let you turn out the lights. One real annoying bit about the display is the rainbow effect that drives me crazy from early DLP televisions. Newer revisions are fast enough to minimize it, but the red/green/blue flicker is quite obvious with this. I would say that rules out most movement-heavy video sources, relegating it to the world of Powerpoints and camera shots. For those things it should do fine: the standby screen gives a nice big "3M" logo in the center and you could use that for a focus reference. As the machine stays on and heats up, though, it seems to lose focus a bit and it then becomes a little more difficult to readjust because the focus dial is now hot. Last part about the image quality: you should know it's a 800x600 display, so, even though you could, in theory, hook up a 1080i or 1280x960 WXGA source, it's all gonna get scaled down to 800x600 anyway. Ye shall find no forgiveness for small fonts.

Audio is another let down. The volume adjust only has 4 levels so there's not too much control over it. And even at it's highest it barely exceeds the noise of the cooling fan. While it's nice it has a headphone port for more substantial audio setups, I wouldn't see why you would route it through the projector unless you were forced to (by using HDMI or a dedicated iPod cable).

Now the stuff that doesn't matter quite so much. It comes with a lot of goodies. It comes with a flexing mini tripod with a standard mounting post, which means not only can you mount the projector on any standard tripod, you can also put anything on this mini-tripod. It also has a fold-down kickstand to raise it, so, it seems like a duplicated accessory. You get tons of plug adapters which are nice, a composite cable with gender adapters for each cable, and a VGA cable with audio tail. The connections are flexible but I much would have rather had real ports on the sides. There's room enough for composite, component, HDMI, and a 1:1 iPod cable. It wouldn't be neat and it would be scattered all around each edge, but at least I wouldn't have to carry an additional bushel of cables for devices I might want to plug in. Rounding up the accessories is a little carrying case that fits it just perfectly. Unfortunately, with the extra stuff you'll have to carry around, the utility of a carrying case that JUST fits the projector is a bit silly. I would have been fine with just a snug little lens cap. I think they included all this stuff because after being a little disappointed with what you get you might not want to throw more money at it for adapters and cables.

Look, I understand it's a POCKET projector, but really I don't think the technology is there yet. Seems the biggest limiting factor of the technology is the battery with a leisurely 2800 mAh. If it simply had more juice then they can crank up the brightness, color cycling frequency (less rainbow), and audio. It takes 3 hours to charge but lasts only 2 while operational. All this puts together a ho-hum product that will put off my fantasy of an impromptu drive-in movie date on the side of a tractor trailer in a parking lot for perhaps another 5 years.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This projection device was made for business presentations, home slide shows and alike. It is not a replacement for a one thousand dollar high definition projection system, nor was it meant to be. I found it to be exactly as advertised.

- a light, easily hand-held unit (weighing less than 11 ounces), with 32 lumen intensity and two very small(0.75watt)internal speakers.
- a small, flexible, tripod
- a case for the unit, which holds only the unit
- a wall charger that is adaptable for US, EU, UK and AUS electricity plugs (please note that the voltage in these systems varies, so it is very important that this adapter be used as this insures that the correct voltage and current is delivered to the unit)
- cables enabling one to use a computer (PC and MAC), camera, and phone as a source

HOW DID MY UNIT PERFORM? The device I received performed as advertised, specifically (based on using it with a lap-top PC, tested with PowerPoint presentations and movie DVDs):
- The setup was very simple and straightforward. The unit only allows one to view the state of the battery and to change the sound level from Mute to one of four other levels. However, given the very low level of the sound coming from the projector, the speakers would probably always be used at the highest level unless earphones were being used (there is an earphone jack on the projector). There is a focusing wheel, but no other picture adjustment.
- Fully charging the unit from a complete discharge took a little less than the three hours stated in the description of the device. While charging, a yellow/orange light is illuminated, which goes out when the unit is completely charged. The advertised run-time on battery is two hours, and I found that the unit lasted a bit longer than this. At 2 hr, 10 minutes, the green light denoting that the unit was on changed to flashing red, and this continued for another ten minutes before the projector turned off.
- The resolution was adequate for a PowerPoint presentation using 24pt type. The output from my computer was only VGA, which is far from being HD. However, the text was fine, but not as sharp as it is on the computer screen. This is not very surprising, given that the image was enlarged over that viewed on a 15 inch screen.
- I tested this using a darkened room in the daytime and the same room at night. I found that in the daytime, I got good results with a 36 inch to 48 inch diagonal picture. As expected, the picture was even sharper at less than 36 inches, but going to a very much smaller screen defeats the purpose of the device. At night, when the room was even darker, I got a reasonably good picture up to about 60 inches. The image quality was a function of the darkness of the room and how well aligned the projector was with the screen. I used both a white and beige poster board screens and found both acceptable. I was also able to use the room wall, which is beige and textured. The advertising material suggests that the picture can be used with up to 80 inches enlargement, but at this size there is a further degradation in the intensity and sharpness of the image. Again this is just simple physics as the intensity and sharpness of any image degrades as it is enlarged.
- The sound for the unit comes from the earphone jack on my computer and as such it is very weak and tinny. I got better results by not plugging in the speakers on the projector and just using the speakers on the computer.

- While the setup and use of the unit is straight-forward, I would have liked a functional manual. The unit comes with a thick booklet containing a Warranty and Safety Guide, but it is in 10 languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and four Asian languages) and does not tell anything about the operation of the projector. There is also a Quick Start Guide in these ten languages, but most of the information is displayed pictorially. As I said, I found the setup and operation easy, but I still had a few questions. It was not clear how to hook up the sound, but I deduced that it had to be through the earphone jack as there was no other way to do this. I still do not know exactly how to read the battery indication icon, as I see little difference between fully charged, fully discharged, or anything in-between. This is not much of a problem since I plan to use the unit when it is fully charged and use it for less than 2 hours, or use it with the charger hooked up.
- As noted, the speakers are weak and tinny and are not very useful for even a moderate size room.

This is a five-star unit for its intended purpose, which is primarily for business presentations and home slide shows. It is very useful for a traveling businessman as it enables one to carry a presentation on a very small screen laptop or even a tablet and show it to a moderate size group. The unit can easily fit in a large laptop case or attaché case, along with the tripod, charger, and cables. I found that enlarging the image to three feet diagonally enabled me to clearly see 24pt type at 15-20 feet. The image was not perfectly sharp, but was very readable. If you are expecting a perfect image, you will be disappointed, but I found the image very acceptable for a business presentation. For my use of this device, the poor sound quality should not be a problem, as I have never used sound with my presentations. However, if you are showing a prepared presentation that employs sound, you will need better speakers. You could use auxiliary speakers with your laptop and forget about the internal speaker in the projector.

Please remember that this review is based solely on my tests with a laptop PC and on its suitability for business presentations. I give this projector five-stars for its suitability for this task, but this is NOT a good choice for showing a movie to a group of people, nor was it intended to be used as such. The image is only VGA and the sound is poor.
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VINE VOICEon June 15, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First of all, this little device displays a very large, clear picture. The color fades out a little if you go larger than about a 6 foot by 4 foot projection, but anything smaller is bright and clear in a dark room. It would be nice to be able to adjust the color for different colored walls, but there is no way to do that, only a dial to adjust the focus. Also, the volume is so low it's not practical to use it when trying to watch a video.

I have three kids and they like to watch each other play computer games, but it drives the player crazy to have someone looking over their shoulder to watch their laptop. They solved that problem by using this projector so the other two can watch it on the wall and the player has his laptop all to himself. We also use it to watch Amazon Prime Instant Videos, but for that, we use speakers, otherwise you wouldn't be able to hear the movies.

It comes with a storage bag, a flexible tripod, all the wires you need to connect it to various devices and power adaptors for different countries.
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on June 20, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )

I've had this handy projector for about two weeks now, and its great at what it does...but why?


Projects a low-powered image onto a wall. Room needs to be pretty dark for the image to be at all visible.


Project an image when there is any real light in a room


Fun, and little else.

This is not a practical projector for business purposes (i.e., when you have a client to impress). It IS a fun device for hotel rooms to watch a movie on the wall, but I would not drag the device with me in an overnight bag due to size and weight issues.

Good battery
Reasonably light
Good price
truly portable

So low powered (30 lumens, when a standard projector is 2000-3000 lumens) that it is impractical for anything other than a dark room
Speakers are basically uselesss; most laptops or netbooks will have better sound

A product in search of a need. Think hard before you buy it as to what application it will address.
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on July 5, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A pocket projector is a great idea!
I loved trying the 3M MP160 Pocket Projector... because it does the job it is supposed to do.

FIRST, you must understand that this is NOT a replacement for a full sized projector because (among other things) it does not have the same power, the same luminosity, the same features. This is a projector for those who need a small quick solution to a lack of a real projector.

SECOND, this is a solution for a small projection. If you try to place this projector to a greater distance in order to get a bigger frame, it looses luminosity fast. So DO NOT try to do a large crowd presentation here. Keep this to two or four people maximum.

THIRD, being a pocked projector, it MUST be placed on a stable base. Otherwise, people are likely to hit it and drop it. This unit comes with a mini tripod that will help you place on a table for a stable projection. Do not try to hold it as you do your presentation. The projection amplifies any shaking from your hand.

FOURTH, do not rely on the unit's speakers. They are too small. A laptop has a better set of speakers.

FINAL THOUGHTS - If this unit was to be competing with a full sized projector, I'd give it zero stars. BUT this is a portable solution aimed at those (like me) who need a light, easy to use solution for specific moments (like presenting something to a smal number of people when there are no projectors or TVs available). With this in mind, this product will do the job.

But at the same time, as technology goes, I imagine that in a few years, the quality of these pocket sized projectors will rival their bigger cousins' one.

Me? I couldn't be happier.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I really like this portable projector for a couple of reasons.
First, its portability is just awesome. Nowadays regular projectors are getting smaller and smaller, but they are still heavy and bulky to carry around, which is inconvenient, because it is as if I'm carrying an extra laptop. However, with this tiny projector, I don't feel that way. It feels more as if I'm carrying an extra smart phone, just a bit thicker than an iPhone. This pocket projector also comes with a nice carrying pouch for your convenience.
Second, the connection. This projector comes with all kinds of connection cables; I did not have to worry about buying any additional cables, which often times is the case with other gadgets. My favorite is the iphone connector cable that worked great with 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPad. The projector worked immediately with photo, movie, air video, streamtome, YouTube, and a whole bunch of other video apps on my iPhone and iPad. Now with these two small gadgets, I have discovered many creative ways of using this projector for fun or professional business. For instance, a wedding photographer (which is profession which could benefit from this projector) can set up this projector easily on any white wall to showcase the night's captures. And again its portability lessens the weight of a photographers' gear. I also can't wait for the iOS 5's airplay mirroring feature. I am not sure how it will work out with this projector yet, but I can imagine it will be awesome if it does (maybe via apple tv 2).
Third, it is simple and user-friendly, which is great. Lack of settings or simplicity can be annoying for some people, but not all of us have to be technically bright. All I had to do to operate this projector was simply plug, turn on the power, focus, and watch. The fact that this projector is easy to use makes the gadget unbelievably likable.

As for cons: Things I don't like about this projector, however, are: sound quality, lack of settings, mini tripod that it includes, and fan noise. I did not expect great sound quality out of this tiny box, but fortunately, there is an audio out on the projector if I needed better sound.
Also, the tripod connecting hole is not in the center of the weight; therefore, unless you have a better tripod than the one it comes with, it's not too easy to get the projector the way you want. I recommend the $15 Joby golliapod. [...]
Lastly, the fan noise is there. It is not super loud, but it's there. I noticed once the fan started running, within a minute or so, it buried under the movie audio and I forgot about it after that.
There are little things I might want to mention such as the product not including a lens cover, battery life lasts about two hours, which was enough for me, and no keystone control; however I can't have all the features I want in this small projector. Rather, I put it this way : it's awesome that this tiny projector makes huge video screen out of my empty white wall.
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on August 20, 2013
Size is great, set up is non-existent (just plug it in.) I was worried that it might not be bright enough, but I was able to use in my classroom without even closing the blinds (although it was even better with them closed. Resolution is much better than I anticipated; I used it in a large room and projected on an entire wall without losing quality. If you want to plug in to your phone you will need one more adapter.
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on July 28, 2013
I often bring employees and coworkers into my office to view presentations or demonstrate items. However, it's not optimal to have three or four people hovering around a computer monitor. I thought the 3M pocket projector would be the solution to my problems. I was only 1/2 right.

Lets start with the pros:
- the projector is incredibly easy to set up and comes with a standard vga/video cable out of the box.
- the rechargeable battery lasts up to two hours making the projector a decent portable solution
- the image quality is decent and can be projected to a fairly large size in the right lighting
- This thing is cheap. Look at the price! Amazon's price was $150 less than our office equipment supplier's

this brings me to the cons;
- the projector is not any good unless you can dim the lights. the lights from my office are controlled by a switch for the rest of the floor. I can't turn down the lights and this projector is not nearly bright enough to combat normal overhead fluorescent lighting.
- the image quality is inconsistent at the edges. you can get the center of the image in good focus but the quality suffers around the outside edge.
- the included tripod is not flexible and does not allow for effective positioning of the projector. I find i'm better off propping it up on some books

Overall I can say I'm looking forward to the next generation of this product because the current one falls a little short.
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VINE VOICEon April 14, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Upon opening the box, I was very impressed with the weight, size and look of this projector. It is very small, yet has a nice quality look and feel. The monster battery pack gives it a heavy, but not-too-heavy feel. There is a nice selection of accessories in the box, including an AC adapter, composite video cable, VGA cable with audio plug, triple RCA female to female adapter and an Apple adapter (although this may not be included normally).

I have in mind when testing that this is not a 2500 lumen projector nor is it to be rated based on its comparison with one.

The battery feature is just awesome. No regular projector can do that! It does have a small kickstand that tilts it up slightly, but also has a mini flexible three-legged tripod to make it easy to manage steeper angles or uneven surfaces. (It has a universal tripod screw hole, so any tripod would do.) It has a speaker inside (0.75 watts to be exact).

Keep in mind that the input is analog, so no inputting HDMI, DVI or DisplayPort without downgrading it first to analog with equipment. Your device must have an analog output. Out-of-the-box it can do an analog VGA jack from a computer and a plain yellow RCA composite video input. Many devices like DVD players, comcorders and the iPhone/iPad can do analog video out today, but new devices like many Android smartphones and Flip cams do digital only, so be careful.

Here are the other cables that are available:
3M Pocket Projector MP160/MP180 Cable for iPad, iPod, iTouch
Component Video Cable for MP160/MP180

My first test was in a room with a white wall late at night with the lights out. This is the ideal situation for this projector. In this scenario, it looks great. It has all the brightness you need to show your family videos or pictures. I then tried it at nighttime, but with lights on. While it wasn't terrific, it was still viewable for pictures or video, especially if I kept it within 6 feet of the wall (thereby limiting the picture size). The same goes for daytime while blocking some ambient outside light -- it was not bad viewing photos and video. A high contrast PowerPoint presentation, on the other hand, looked good in each circumstance.

First I tested it with my iPhone 4. I couldn't quite get the connector to plug into the phone with my case on (although I can get it to work if I don't move them too much), so I put it in my wife's iPhone 4S. It did what Apple allows the A/V adapter to do -- play a photo slideshow, play videos, YouTube and a few other things. Next I followed 3M's recommendation and tried the Apple iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter (MC552ZM/B) to connect to the VGA adapter included with this projector. A few times I had to fiddle with unplugging and replugging, but it did do mirroring with the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. However, there was a strange flickering every few seconds that made it unusable with both devices. I tried with a composite video adapter from the iPad 2, but it didn't do mirroring with that cable.

I next tried my laptop with the VGA adapter. I put the computer into presentation mode and the projector took the 1280x768 resolution and it displayed it well. The image was stretched vertically since that is not the native resolution. I found that PowerPoint presentations, pictures and video looked good just like this. However, any fine text was too blurry to read. I pulled the resolution to 800x600 and it looked perfect! So, that makes this just like many of the under $500 full sized projectors on the market -- 800x600 natively and it adapts higher resolutions down to that level. Here are the resolutions it can downscale itself: 1024x768, 1280x768, 1280x960, 1440x900 (and 640x480, 800x600) plus three Mac resolutions.

Next, I tried a DVD player, which worked great, since the DVD player had a composite video jack (remember, no digital input on the projector).

As for the audio, it sounds like a small and tinny speaker (because it is) and sounds much worse than my laptop's speakers, but sounds similar to a smartphone. Just like the 32 lumen brightness, this is designed for a small audience of a few people, so the speaker does its job.

I ran a test and allowed an iPhone to run through a slideshow of pictures and videos, which a small amount of time taken by videos with audio going through the speaker. It was able to make it for two hours, and I am very impressed.

If you get a full understanding upfront of what this can do and what it can't do, I would recommend it.
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VINE VOICEon May 7, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The 3M Pocket Projector is good in concept, however, unless you are displaying in a pitch dark room, the resolution is not that great. Even in a single window room with the lights out and the blinds drawn resulted in a pretty uneven display.
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