Top positive review
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Bright pico projector with limitations
on May 11, 2012
I was looking forward to trying this out after reading the few available online reviews and Acer advertisements with the intention to use for laptop Powerpoint presentations and portable media center (camping trips, etc.). The standout features are low price and exceptional brightness compared to other pico projectors. Go to Acer support for links to specification sheet and user manual.
What is not mentioned in every review I've seen and actually wrongly stated in a few YouTube reviews, this will NOT work with Mac OS or Android OS systems. Seems that Acer conveniently left this out on their spec sheet, but it is clearly stated in their 10 page user manual. I was planning to use a cheap Dell Mini 9 netbook, portable speaker, and portable picoscreen to let the kids watch movies during camping trips. Forget about that plan (the video was choppy and VLC player actually crashed on the netbook which I've never seen before) since it turns out that netbooks do not provide enough CPU power to drive video playback on the C120 and you will need a minimum 2.0 Ghz Core 2 Duo. This info is also suspiciously left out of the spec sheet and buried in the user manual. The netbook works fine if you just intend to mirror display for your laptop office applications.
It works beautifully using the USB 3.0 port on two of our other laptops, HP ENVY 17 and HP ENVY 14 Beats (disappointed I couldn't use our Macs). The video is bright and smooth which is the main reason I still gave 4 stars. I tried it out in a room during the daytime with window blinds down and I was surprised at how nice the projector worked on a plain wall which was clearly visible. 100 ANSI lumens is sweet for a pico projector. After 2 hours of video, the projector showed no signs of overheating that occurs in other pico models. Strictly speaking, this product should be classified as a "laptop projector" since it will not accept any other video sources compared to other pico projectors. On the other hand, no other brand below $350 can match the C120 brightness level and also not require an AC power source. I'm waiting for the Ivy Bridge ultrabooks to come out next month which should allow plenty of battery time and easily run the video software. The unit works like a USB stick and appears as a CD Drive (F:) C120 DLUSB tray icon when you plug it in. This should Autoplay a program on the C120 called "Acer DisplayPal" which will mirror your laptop display at default setting of 800X600 but can be manually set to WXGA (1280 X 768). Perhaps a firmware update could include a Mac OS version of the program and I would easily bump this review up to 5 stars.
The packaging is nice and Acer includes a nice suede case that snugly fits the projector (without USB cable). The box also includes a 40W AC adpater and a USB 3.0 Y cable. (Note: you don't have to have a USB 3.0 port, but this will allow faster data transfer and more power to the projector). This inexpensive projector works nicely as a bright laptop projector, but only wish it wasn't restricted to Windows since media files are so much easier to use on a Mac. Lastly, since it does not have a lithium battery or other ports, this thing is feather light and literally fits in your palm. Hope this review helps out a few people like myself looking for a portable option to throw in the bag.
*** 9/18/12 ***
Still enjoying the pico projector which works beautifully with my new ultrabook SONY VAIO Z with Ivy Bridge and USB 3 connectivity. This ultraportable lasts 6 hours driving the pico projector at full specs and I can extend this to 10 hours with the thin battery slice. The multitude of options, 1080p matte screen, true i7 processor, and long battery life actually beats out even the latest Airbooks and this pico projector is the perfectr complement for mobile presentations. I don't even bother carrying around the AC adapter since this will last all day.