284 of 291 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2012
I purchased this projector in Oct 2011 directly from Aaxa. I am a teacher working in two schools and I use this projector nearly every day. I connect my iPhone 4 and iPad 2 to it and also play video files from the internal drive or a flash drive, mostly successfully. The specs are the best in this category at the moment, and the design is good. There are a few details that other reviewers have not mentioned, however:
* The fan noise is more than noticeable. It's actually a little annoying.
* The power button is situated such that the P4 can be switched on in a crowded bag pretty easily.
* The buttons are not very responsive. My feeling is that this is more of a system software issue than a purely hardware issue. Button clicks frequently get no response or a delayed response. I feel like the system software is not quite ready for prime-time.
* While it's impressive that they included any sort of internal speaker, it's only usable in a very quiet environment and then really only for speech. There's really no point at all to listening to any sort of music track with it. If you plan on using headphones, then you're fine, but if you need to run a cable to a pair of external speakers then you're losing the cable-free benefit of a battery-powered device. If you don't mind plugging it in for power then you might as well get a brighter pico projector.
* The P4 does NOT mount properly on any external computer, and I've tried several Mac and Windows machines. The manual says very clearly that it should be able to do this. When connected via USB, it might mount for just a moment, but then it will immediately unmount or produce some kind of error message. I've had absolutely no success transferring files directly from a computer to the P4. When I contacted their support staff about this, I was told that I should put my files on a flash drive, and then move them from the flash drive to the P4. This is very disappointing and inconvenient. (Are other users having this problem? I'd like to know.)
* Transferring files from a flash drive involves going into Windows CE, which requires the additional purchase of the little USB keyboard. The keyboard is pretty cool, but it's somewhat expensive, and because it's so small, it's awkward to use.
* When copying files, I've frequently had weird anomalies where the P4 seems to think there are two copies of the file, with slightly different directory paths, and it gives me error messages that it is unable to find the second file. Irritating!
* Video playback always starts with the first video in your directory, requiring you to stop playback, go back to your directory listing, and select the file you want.
* Although the internal flash drive is 2 gigs, the operating system takes up a great deal of that, so there isn't more than a couple hundred megs onboard, and that's not much room for decent-quality video. I have not tried using an SD card.
* The color reproduction, even on a flawless white wall in a dark room, is mediocre at best. There are a few settings to adjust the color, most of which are totally unusable. My expectations were not that high, but I wouldn't want yours to be, either.
* The P4 doesn't sync as readily via VGA as you'd expect. If your cable gets jerked out, you can't just plug it back in. You'll probably have to manually re-sync it or possibly restart the P4.
* The battery does not last more than 70 minutes.
None of these issues are substantial enough for me to return the unit or recommend against buying it, but they might matter to you, depending on your planned use. The basic utility of the P4 is massive, although the shortcomings are constantly annoying. I look forward to future units from Aaxa, where we'll hopefully get 120+ lumens (laser driven?) from a longer-lasting battery, better and more adjustable color, and perhaps some kind of wireless a/v streaming. But for now, this is a very handy and useful device.
171 of 175 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2012
I did a lot of research on Pico and Pocket projectors before deciding on this one. At the time of this writing (March 2012) I think its the best Pico projector out there in the $300-ish range. It has a few quirks, but all the projectors I read about did, and I felt these were the most manageable. The main issues that people seemed to have were the inadequate speaker and the fan noise. I already owned an X-mini II speaker, and it makes a perfect companion to the P4. The Xmini is also super small, and packs a LOT of sound in to it's tiny package. Also, the Xmini internal battery lasts 14-hours. I've never used the P4 without it. So the P4's speaker isn't an issue. And the fan is a bit noisy, but it's easy to tune out. If you listen for it, you'll hear it, but I don't really notice it.
I'm not a huge fan of the operating system on it. For instance, if you use the USB stick and have 100 files in 10 folders, the menu just shows those 100 files. I like systems which keep my files in folders for easy navigation - really handy if you're plugging in a 500GB external drive with several thousand files. Large drives are no problem for the P4, but sifting through thousands of files is more time consuming that clicking through 3 levels of folders.
Also, the on-screen display only seems to go away after you've hit the play button. If you hit the FF or RW button the display will stay on the screen, then you'll need to hit pause and play so the display will disappear. Perhaps there's a fix for this, I didn't call tech support because it doesn't bother me too much. Also, the FF and RW only goes forward in 7 minute increments, making it impractical to rewind to hear a line in a movie you couldn't understand. Also, the display doesn't read the time quite right. For a 2:14:00 movie, it lists the time as 2:134:00.
But I still give this unit 5 stars. Why? Because it's awesome at what it should be. A light and powerful projector that can be thrown in a backpack. I can hook up any other source (like my portable video drive with RCA-outs which behaves just like I like it to) and have a great little theatre. None of my previous projectors could play files, so the fact that this one does with some minor quirks, is like a bonus.
One thing I noticed when looking at Pico/Pocket/Portable projectors is that most don't list the size/weight of the plug-in adapter in the description, unless you really search for it - and with many of the pocket projectors you get an adapter about the size of a laptop adapter, which to me makes it much less portable. With the P4 and some other Picos, the adapter is more the size of a cell phone adapter, which was the big draw for me.
60 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2013
Since purchasing in 2012, I have been sent three projectors (one original and two replacement projectors), and all three projectors (despite being multiple models- m2 and p4x) have failed to work for more than three months at a time.
At first I called it bad luck, but as it turns out- it's just faulty machinery. Every projector has presented with the same problem.
They have shut off in the middle of use, and have been unable to turn back on, despite repeated attempts to recharge or 'try a new plug.'
When contacting the company for a fourth replacement, I have met unimaginable difficulties although it is still within the one year warranty of my original projector.
I certainly will not be investing any more of my time or money into this company, and would caution you to do the same.
35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2012
This is perhaps one of the most amazing hi-tech 'gadgets' I have purchased. First, its size is remarkable and truly pocket-sized! But the real 'show' is indeed the super bright projection light produced by the unique combination of 3 LEDs. I already owned a full-size theater projector (Panasonic) and so my benchmark was pretty high. This device does everything the product ad or spec sheets say and then some! Folks are amazed at the quality of the color and smooth image (no screen-door grid) and its portable, super-micro size. Yes all the comments about some of the minor software flaws are there but one adapts to these minor irritants after a few days of use (i.e., unable to have folders for any sub-files -- videos, pictures, music. Yes, the projector's audio is iffy, but I added a dynamite, portable 3-inch Altec Lansing battery speaker (model Orbit iM227) which really fills the room. I also order from Amazon the 3M fold-up, portable screen which offers table-top bright reflective surface. I preload my videos onto a 16GB Micro SDhc card. In a dark room, you can even project image on a white wall at an amazing 6 feet size and it displays quite nicely. Also I purchased the iPhone-iPad adapter plug from AAXA which works but can be spotty to connect if not plugged in snuggly (AAXA recommends no covers on your mobile devices as they interfer with plug connection). My only disappointment so far is not being able to display PDF documents as projector comes from box. Windows CE is built-in and not sure if Adobe has PDF reader for M/S CE OS. Also a pop-up stern warning is displayed if you want to enter built-in WinCE app. AAXA will does not provide tech support for CE mode. So, now after two months since purchased, I say this device just delights and amuses folks. Real fun is when you offer to display your photos or videos on the nearest wall or napkin at a restaurant table from your iPhone!!
Aside too from the fun use, business and professionals who do presentations and need graphic depictions of their offering would do well to try out this handy, and very reliable device as a presentation tool.
43 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2012
The P4, after research was the pico projector I decided to go with. It is surprisingly bright for its small size. The images are crisp and clear. I mainly use it to project movies from my laptop but it comes with Windows CE so if you're one to do presentations, with a USB mouse you can use the built in software to access word/powerpoint/excel. I have used an apple vga adapter to mirror my iphone 4S as well and it works brilliantly. I would definitely recommend this projector if you are in the market for a small, portable projector.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2012
This little projector really blew my friends away. I had a couple friends come to my place to watch a movie and once I turned the lights off the image quality was very crisp and even the dark scenes were clear. This internal speaker is not loud enough for movie watching but I hooked up some USB speakers and it was good to go. I actually had to move some furniture around to make room for the 80" screen that I was able to get. Normally I have a 42" TV on a TV stand so there was no room for the doubled screen size without moving my Blu-ray disc stands that sit on the sides.
I cannot express how happy I am with this product. I had to make my friends purchase their own so they would stop wanting to borrow mine.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2013
Using on a MacBook Pro. Used Mac MiniDVI to VGA adapter (not included) to connect to the VGA cable supplied with the projector. Will eventually get a MiniDVI to Mini HDMI cable for normal use but the VGA quality was excellent. In a normal daylight room with overhead florescent, the brightness was sufficient on battery power to view the display on a white wall 8 feet. At 25 feet, projection is still good and size of picture is good, but blinds to block sunlight coming in. On the power adapter, it is noticeably brighter. If you are using this for a business meeting in a small conference room where you can dim the lights, it should be good enough to get the job done. If a large meeting room where a larger size is needed, worse case you may have to run it off a power adapter and shade the ambient light. In my opinion, it rivals the bigger and bulkier units. Note I was also running on battery power out of the box, not sure if they recharged it or not at the factory.
It came with a mini to standard USB cable, about 6 inches in length, a cable for component video connectivity into a phone connector (TRRS) that is on the receiving side for the projector, a 3 foot mini VGA (projector side) to VGA standard cable, 1/8 inch. There is a headphone port 1/8" TRS. I did not test the audio quality because I tend not to use audio in my presentations beyond my own voice (I figure if I am not doing the talking live, what is the point of me being there?).
It comes with a small remote. Not sure I will ever use that since I tend to control my presentations through the keyboard on my machine. It also comes with a flexible three point leg tripod that is 4.5 inches tall before adjusting the legs. It is packed in decent box worth keeping it organized in if you don't end up using some other kind of bag box. I will probably get a small camera/aluminum box to carry it in.
The power adapter has about 4.5 feet of cable length. It outputs 12vdc at 2A, cylindrical jack with outside negative. 1/8" diameter.
Shipped with a glossy two sided business card for tech support to ensure customer satisfaction. 714 area code number, email address, hours of operations, street address of AAXA Technologies. Looks like they are seriously interested in satisfied customers.
The 32 page users guide is 3.5" X 5" in size, full of pictures. I did not actually read it, or need to, but given the amount of pictures it looks pretty simple if for some reason someone really cannot figure out how to use the device without it. I found the device to be pretty intuitive.
When powered on it gives the option for using the mini SD card (not supplied but a port for one is on the front of the device), USB, VGA, HDMI, Composite or settings. It was pretty simple to navigate through by going left and right (not up and down). There is a back button, ok button, up, down, left, right, power on/off, and manual rotation focus control.
To power on/off, hold the power button down for a few seconds. Pushing it with immediate release sends power to the unit but it does not stay on.
The size is as the picture shows. It fit nicely in my hand the very same way. 5.5"X2.75" by just over 1"… weighs about as much as my mouse and iPhone held at the same time (I know, technical….but I did not have a scale. In short it is light).
Given all that I really like it and it will do the job I need it to do. For the price I could have probably got an entry level larger projector, but the whole point was that I don't want to lug around a whole projector especially on a plane.
The negatives. The fan is a bit loud, but I was in a room by myself when I tested it and no other noise. It is likely not any louder than any other projector that I have ever used. The room was measuring 40dB with the device off, and 54dB with the device on. The difference between a quite home or whisper conversation and a normal or quiet conversation. Talking at my normal volume, the meter was at 86dB. The meter I am using is an iPhone app, so it's likely not accurate or calibrated but based on the reference points of normal ambient noise and my normal speaking voice, you should get an idea of how loud the fan really is (I have good ears so it sounded loud to me relative to no room noise..but not so loud one cannot talk over it or find it too distracting in a large room…I was standing right next to it).
The lens assembly is recessed in the unit so one should never accidentally touch it unless they go out of their way to stick a finger down 0.75" diameter hole in the front that leads to the lens. Still, a cap would be nice just to keep dust out. Then again, there are a lot of airflow vents on this device, so can you really keep dust away from it? Speaking of airflow vents, you can see the circuits through them which means they did a good job in packaging everything…just do not spill anything on it.
Some have said it lacks in features that other pico projectors have for playing multimedia without a computer. I'm not sure the benefit of being able to put a powerpoint on a USB or SD card and playing it off the projector. If I am projecting, I'm probably trying to cause the audience to respond in some way or ensure they are informed. Not knowing what questions they may have in advance, I'm going to have my laptop or other device with me anyway.
Bottom line, I am pleased with the purchase because it is going to do what I need it to do: Project big enough and bright enough to conduct business meetings while being compact enough that I can easily put it in my carry on with my laptop.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2013
I bought this as an alternative to a TV. I have it set up on my coffee table approx. 5ft from the wall and a small set of speakers (bought separately) underneath also attached to my PC.
The picture quality is unbelievable even without a screen. I don't really notice any fan noise like other reviews have complained about but then I'm not straining to hear the sound from inbuilt PC speakers like others might.
Its small would fit into most peoples bags easily and fits nicely on my coffee table. Its also no hassle to move room to room.
The tripod that comes with it is of the bendy leg variety so it can take a little bit of time to adjust it perfectly....not a problem if its going to be in the same spot most of the time.
Picture quality goes way down as light increases....e.g there is no way you would watch tv in a room in full daylight...a weak light far away from the screen shouldn't be a problem...currently investing in some black out curtains.
If you have a light colored wall and a dark (or can be darken room) buy this and a small set of speakers you will seriously think you are in a cinema as soon as you set a movie running.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2014
As a professional sales representative selling analytical chemistry instrumentation, I needed a traveling size projector like this to make presentations to my customers... both Power Point and animated videos of products and how they operate. Most of my presentations that I use the projector are for 4 - 8 people in a small conference room or office. Trying to show that many people a video on a laptop is impractical. With this projector, all I need is small blank wall and I can easily project the image and conduct my presentation. Works like a charm!! Image is clear... quick and easy to set up. Came complete with everything that I needed... mini tripod... VGA/USB cable... and other cables to connect to Apple devices. Bought a small Sony camera case at Walmart for $20 to keep everything together... and that fits neatly in my rolling office that I take on aircraft with me. Best yet... I closed on a number of sales with this help of this Pico Projector. Five stars across the board!
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2013
So I read a lot of reviews and bought this based on the stars and number of reviews. I wanted to use it to show files on my laptop for work, such as spreadsheets and such. However, I could not get the screen clear enough to see anything. I thought my eyes were going, but then I had other people look and try to focus the image to no avail. Returning the product after using it once.