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252 of 255 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2010
I had pre-ordered this projector for almost a month before it was shipped, which gave me time to contemplate my purchase decision. I went around to the shops and checked the PK 201, 102 models and other brands like the 3M pico projector and the Samsung palm sized LED projector. Especially that I have a full size DLP HD projector that i bough last year. The inconvenience of having to setup the screen and the speakers in the garden to watch a nice cinematic experience on giant screen reduced these occasions to just a handful through a year. I had high hopes for the portable battery operated projector but I was aware of the fact that its power was low and can only be used in dimmed rooms.

It finally arrived, and much to my surprise it beat my expectations just out of the box. it looks and feels better than any of the other ones i have examined first hand. The casing is sturdy and compact although the zoom swivel looks fragile.

The picture quality is very good and can certainly beat the quality of a regular TV. i used it with a nokia micro SD card from my old mobile and i ran a slide show on the ceiling with short videos it took my breath away. i hooked it up to my iphone and watched a full movie in my bedroom in full widescreen mode, you will be in for a good surprise :) you only need the AV cable for the iphone or ipad and a bluetooth or wired earphones and you have you 100% portable cinema box that fits in your pocket. I also tried it with apple TV connected through the HDMI link. It delivers a very nice picture. the built in speaker is good enough for my kids to watch cartoon while sitting just behind the projector.

Although I love this projector i have a few comments to make.

The battery life is not enough for one full movie and does not charge well if you operate the projector while it is plugged to power source.
It heats up a little too quickly, i know it is summer time but in 10 minutes it's casing is hot.

With that said, my final verdict is still excellent and highly recommended.

I also recommend the following accessories:
1) A small tripod is very important for ventilation and also positioning
2) The remote is very handy because the buttons on the projector are small and as they dim you cannot make out which button you are pressing. also good for slide shows and short videos off the memory card.
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186 of 194 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2010
I use this projector for video and image files. In my opinion, it is best suited for impromptu displays for groups of 5 people or less. I always load all my materials on a 16GB class 6 Micro SD card which I leave plugged into the projector. I seldom use it connected to my linux gear, tho it works fine with all my 'nix machines including my Nokia N900. It's great for quickly displaying something on a white board in someone's cubicle. You don't need a lot of complicated equipment and a laptop because everything is thoughtfully self-contained.

Although software does come with the projector for converting PowerPoint presentations to a portable format that can be loaded to an SD card (as well as converting videos), I don't use that software because it's for windows and I'm not a windows user.

The PK301 is larger than my 3M Pro120 with greater resolution and a significantly brighter/sharper picture. I don't notice any of the rainbow effects that are sometimes a nuisance on my 120. It throws a 32 inch diagonal 16x9 aspect picture from 4ft away which is bright enough to be enjoyed in most office lighting conditions (overhead florescent). Usually, I'm just holding the projector at belly button height. The focus-ring is great and makes it easy to get a tack-sharp picture. You can operate all the controls with your thumbs because they are centered on the top of the machine with the exception of the on/off button which is on the side. It accepts a camera tripod (not included), and I bought a mini-one to set on a desk/table top for when I connect to my netbook or something.

Battery life is much, much less than the 3M (I get about 30-40 mins), but unlike many projectors, you can use the power cord while the projector is running for unlimited working time.

I use Mpeg 4 video formats with this projector when playing programs from the Micro SD card. I experimented with several tweaks and bit rates and discovered that the internal video player software cannot play variable bit-rate MP4 encodings. It does, however, play constant bit rate, quality, or quantization videos very well. I settled on MP4, Level 5, 720x408p (yes, 408 - remember it's 16x9), 29.97fps, constant quality 13, with 128kbps AAC 48khz audio. You need a class 4 or above SD card because the video will stutter if played from a class 2.

While you're playing a video, the < and > buttons allow for RR and FF, and the up and down buttons control the volume. The remote (sold separately here at Amazon) has an additional volume control on it as well as a mute button. You can shut off the projector from the remote, but you cannot turn it on. And order yourself a CR2025 lithium battery for the remote (it doesn't come with a battery). I got mine at Target, but they can be hard to find.

And at the end of the day I set the projector on the hotel nightstand and flip the tripod head to vertical. Then I can lie in bed and watch a movie or music videos on a 50" video picture projected on the ceiling (which is almost always white in hotels). I can shut off the projector and there's no lingering cooling fan to keep me awake.


The internal media player cannot play Video files > 2,048MB. If a movie exceeds that, the directory shows a negative size (meaning the code doesn't use long integers) and you'll get an error message about an unrecognized format. You must break the movie into smaller files or reduce your encoding quality to constrain the movie to 2GB.


This projector finally failed. It was a rather slow death. The image started to display a few dead pixels. They eventually spread until the picture was unusable. It did this over a period of three days, which was good because it gave me a chance to make other arrangements rather than just quiting in the middle of a presentation.
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90 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2010
I bought this to replace the TV in my bedroom that was moved to my living room (a 42") when my living room Toshiba 52" LCD (14 months old-don't buy a Toshiba flat panel TV) died. I originally bought the PK-201. My complaint with that and the reason I returned it was that the focus had issues. It always seemed like one side was focused and the other corner wasn't. Well, the PK-301 exceeded my expectations. The picture is huge. It claims it will go to 120", but I am about 100" with my throw. Not sure what the max throw is. I didn't see that spec. I am using it in my bedroom (yes I said bedroom) and it is projecting on my wall. I have Dish Network plugged in with the Mini-HDMI input (cable was not included). Picture quality is amazing, especially considering I am using my bedroom white wall as the screen! The focus works much better and is easier to dial in than the 201, as it has a nice ring on the lens. I didn't have to adjust the color as it looks great. I only have 2 complaints and they are actually tied together.
Complaint #1-The power button on the side of the projector is too small. It's very tough to turn on and off, especially without moving the unit out of it's place from the mini tripod it's sitting on.
Complaint #2-No remote. It should have came with a remote. They do sell one separately but it's not a great remote, yet it's useful. There's no on button on the remote, only an off. Weird, I know.
Now I know most people aren't using this for a TV in their house, but every projector should have a remote, regardless.
Brightness is pretty good on it, although you really need a dark room to fully enjoy the quality of the picture.
Looked up the life expectancy of the projector/bulb, and amazingly it's 20,000 hours of use. If I use this 3 hours a day, that's about 18 years. Pretty impressive. My $1200 Toshiba lasted 14 months.
If it came with the remote, I would have given it 5 stars.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2011
My Original review:
---Very much proportionate for cost, value and performance - lets cut the crap
I had a list of portable LED projectors <500 and preference <300 and list is
1. Optoma PT100
2. Optoma PK301
3. Benq Joybee (competitor)
4. Acer K11 (no audio out with HDMI input - poor design)
5. LG201 (its best of today, but not @my budget its 500)

I am not going to talk about options 4 and 5.
PT100 - Very good projector for DVD quality (480p), 40-60 inch screen in total darkness. Bad - its dark, low in contrast result low details, on daylight cant get anything.
Benq - Good competitor with high lumens compared to PK301. But since I didnt see not much take from Benq on LED projectors, i kept it second on my list.

PK301 - I got it for a reasonable price in ebay 275.

Observations on PK301:

Contrast (comparable to todays best), resolution(HDMI gives best, VGA gives better, RCA gives Okay) with multiple input options, connectivity (it has everything i can desire).

Lamp - 20k hours not bad, but not best (I think the par is 30K).

Construction - build looks good, compact with less weight.

Picture - so far 15 movies around 80". Good in total darkness for detail with white screen(i use my non white wall). Bad thing is the primary looks little more bright. ie, Red is reddish. But tuning a setting(again it has very little tuning) in the setting makes it more enjoyable. Colors are uniform and i didnt had any rainbow effect.

Heat - I ran this one for continuous 7 hours running 3 movies. It produces heat after turning on 10mins, but its acceptable for any light source (without burning energy how do you expect to get energy?). The fan runs with little noise. I watch with external speakers or Headphones. Either case, we barely hear this sound on total silence(but its present). Good that they have given ventilations and fans - bad that the fans are of low quality(my coolermaster laptop cooler runs with two usb fans with absolutely no sound). But bearable and not like some one said its crazy (atleast not after 7 hrs continuous use).

Its not best, but has a simple menu. Could have made the buttons bigger. For people with big hands please spare to get the remote. You do not have much options on tweaking and thats tripping off me, but we dont need for such portable projector.

Operating speed:
Its pretty much speedy. It takes about 4-5secs to boot and show the blue screen. pretty easy to connect others. Just click the right most button.

Its okay. Not coming for 2Hrs or 1Hrs like Optoma claims. It came for about 30-40 mins for me with high possible setting on battery. But i dont think any projector can give you much unless you waste your money on battery.

Included Items:
1. standard RCA-video jack
2. Micro USB adaptor to connect to computer (USB support, no Hard disk support-big minus).
3. Battery for projector
4. VGA male - projector(i think its standard) adapter
5. Projector.

Accessories you need(<10$)
1. USB Gender Changer, A Female To Female - To connect USB drive
2. RiteAV - VGA Coupler / Gender Changer Female-Female - If you have already any monitor cable, the included is only 2 feet.
3. Tripp Lite Mini-HDMI to HDMI Cable (6 feet) - For HDMI connection
4. Cables Unlimited AUD-1100-06 6-Feet 3.5MM Male to Male Stereo Cable -- For Audio extension. You NEED external speakers. The inbuilt speakers are 0.5W which can be easily beaten by any child scream.

If you are reading this to buy a projector, please be mindful in deciding on following factors
1. Budget
2. Room luminance - Planning to use in daylight/lightened room?
3. Portable - do you really need portable? (i need as i take it to Hall to watch with friends and to bed to watch on ceiling) and I do travel.
4. Video quality - Always have this in mind - There is no perfect thing - compromise on things you need. Any pico projector can easily beaten by full fledged/High end projector.
So if you plan, plan with balance of above.

My suggestions:
If you are okay for >499 and in urgent buy go for LG201.
If you need balance go for PK301.
Can afford 300-400 go for Benq.
If you can wait till 2011 June-Aug, then wait. There is a lot HD DLP/Laser portable projectors coming up.
This technology is the next generation war in projector sector and it just began like smart phones(2yr back its iphone, now iphone is one of the competitor and beaten by rivals).

I will try to upload video during my free time and update this one if i find anything interesting.

--Update 03/09/11
-The Flash drive isnt working with the female usb adaptor I listed (dump optomo proprietory usb).
-So far completed almost 50Movies: No issues and so far the video quality is really superb for projecting on wall! But you need total darkness to get max out of it.

-Update 04/10/11
--Watched >75 movies in three months. Sometimes you may see the screen splitted (part of top comes into bottom). This is due to resolution, just change the video resolution back. I set mine to 1068x768 or 1280x720. We watched through HDMI, it was awsome 720p. But the focus sometimes deceives.
-- For people complaining about lumens/weak light source/day light - You should know what you are looking for. 50 Lumens cannot do a 1000-3000Lumens projector. This projector can do best job only on complete dark room. But it has the best contrast in its class which makes beautiful, detail video.
-- Waiting for T-mobile G2x HDMI playback. Will update you guyz next month.

--Update 03/31/2013 -- Failure--The End--
The projector showing 30% of the screen with WHITE DOTS from June 2012. With only 15 months of use, the unit failed to serve as projector. I was searching various forums for fix, but finally concluded to let it go. (100$-labor&shipping + 100$-replacing faulty chip)

I am not sure the lengthy led life used for marketing purpose only or this white dots are due to premature technology failure or I am just out of luck (I am sure, I am not only one).

After 750+ hours of burning, I am going for new ones. Just need think this as a mere gambling loss, lol.

I cannot give recommendation on this projector to anyone not because it failed me but due to the pathetic service from company.

My next purchase would definitely will be along with Square trade to insure these hit or miss electronics.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2011
We started to notice that some of the pixels in our pk301 projector were dead around the 3rd or 4th time we used it to watch a movie. By the end of the fifth time, the image was filled with dead pixels, and it was hard to even make out subtitles.

Optoma has not responded to our request for warranty support, and the "Return Merchandise Authorization" form on their warranty service website is a dead link. (the projector is well within the one year warranty)
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2010
I'll start this review with a disclaimer. I'm a geek.

This means I did a ton of research on the PK301 Pico Projector from Optoma before purchasing it through Amazon. In theory, it's a cool toy. However, some basic production faults sabotage any realistic use of this projector.

I initially purchased it as a special effect for Halloween. I recorded a ghostly movie, tweaked the movie with some after effects, and was meaning to rear-project it into some dense fog or onto the house windows to scare the kids.

Here's what I ran into:

- The projector comes with almost no instructions other than "here's the power button" and "check out our website for accessories."

- The resolution of the projector is cut almost in half if you don't have it connected to an external video source (TV, laptop, etc.)

- The cables that come with it are poorly made, and crammed into the packaging. The laptop-to-projector cable that came with my initial order was broken.

- When I asked for a replacement cable, I was sent a refurbished projector and was asked to send the new one back. Thankfully, Amazon didn't care if I switched the cables, and I returned the refurbished one. The moral of the story is, if you buy a brand new projector and it doesn't work out of the box, Optoma may replace it with a clearly used/refurbished projector. For $300+, that is BS.

- The battery life is around 45 minutes. Keep that power cord handy.

- The projector is very picky about exactly how the video files are formatted. Don't expect any drag-and-drop here. You'll need to download a third-party program like Handbrake to format your videos into MP4s at a specific bit-rate and size, because the projector comes with no software.

- The speakers sound are about as loud as cheap earbuds. Unless you're sitting right next to it (with the little fan blowing in your ear), you'll need external speakers to hear anything.


- After 3 - 4 hours of playtime, the screen developed a burn in the middle. This burn must have been on inside reflector, because I couldn't clean it off. It was so bad and so black, I couldn't see the on-screen menu to play anything. Thankfully, I was able to return it.


- Looks neat when you can get it to work.


- Poorly constructed.
- Bad customer service from Optoma.
- Specs given for resolution are under very specific circumstances, and not what you would get out of the box.
- Need to download specialized software from third-party company and have knowledge of video editing to convert videos before they can be played.
- Burned up after 3 - 4 hours of continuous playtime (aka Cooling Fans aren't good enough).


- Avoid this product and wait for the next model. Maybe they'll have solved the cooling problem by then.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2010
Hello folks.

I got my PK301 about a month ago. I chose this model for two reasons. The size and the brightness of the illumination from the device. After getting my device I made some discoveries.

the battery that comes with the device will last around an hour. so be quick with your presentations. if you happen to buy the remote control you will need to know 2 things. there is not an ON button on the remote. and it is an infrared remote control. The infrared sensor is on the back of the PK301; so you will need to either stand behind the unit or place some sort of reflective device behind it.

The PK301 focuses very well, has a very sharp image, and the color is very vivid.

The brightness of the unit is great for screens that do not have any room lighting reflecting off it. If there is any room lighting reflecting off a white screen. you will not see the projected image very well. As long as the screen has no extra lighting on the screen, the projection works very well.

It will project a screen up to 59 inches and keep the quality of the image.

The PK301 has software stored on the onboard memory for the device. I would suggest installing but don't bother with upgrading the software. If you upgrade the software you will not be able to upload power points to the unit. at least not without using a work around. the work around being that you use PowerPoint to save the presentation slides as separate .jpg images. oh and the serial number for your software comes with the packaging. so do not throw away your cheesy directions.

I like this unit and I will still use it in smaller presentation rooms. as for large rooms I need more Lumens from the lighting. a Larger unit will be much more useful.

If you're thinking of using this for in your room personal theater, this is a good unit. just remember to keep the lighting in the room in mind before buying one.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2010
I think every product review of the PK301 on the web says something like: "the PK301 will play videos directly from a hard disk". But, in fact, the PK301 does not support external hard drives. This is clear in the user manual which you can find on Optoma's web site. Page 4 of the user manual says:

"USB device: Support USB Flash Drive up to 5V/150mA, but does not support USB Hard Disk Drive"

There is a USB cable included, but you can only use it to attach your PK301 to your computer to add/delete files from the microSD card which you (may) have installed in your PK301. You can also download the user manual and the MediaConverter Windows software from an internal read-only drive.

If you want to play videos from a USB thumb drive, you MUST buy this proprietary USB cable which is not included: OptomaBC-PK3AUSY Micro USB To USB (type A Female, .3M,) for the PK201 and PK301

Yes, the optional remote control does not have an "off" button. Also, the receiver for the remote control is on the back of the unit so you can't control the unit from the front or side. Sheesh. Those are the worst of the usability issues.

The unit has performed well so far for our video nights. If you're wondering about the screen size versus distance from the screen, you should check out the table in the user manual. Basically, you can't have the unit more than about 10 feet from the screen before it starts to get too big and fuzzy. The table in the user manual lists the max screen size when the unit is about 8.5 feet from the screen, but that seems a bit short.

Videos must be converted to a flavor of MP4 in order to play directly off of the microSD card or thumb drive. Note to Mac users: you can use the free Handbrake application to convert the videos. Check out the FAQ about this on the Optoma web site.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2010
If you want to use the device to carry around media, be sure to get a microSD card because the onboard memory is less than 100 megabytes; up to 16GB supposedly is supported - I used an old 1GB card from a phone I had and it worked fine (a 16GB is on order). Using the device to carry the photos, movies, and presentations was useful; you do end up driving the device directly, and because of its small size, you'll also want the remote as you get tired of pressing the small buttons and rocking the device picture, so you'd need to order that too as noted in another review.

The MediaConverter 3.0 software is not intuitive, buggy, and the help data almost non-existent; I think this is only needed for converting videos however - for photos just using the PC's external drive interface seems to work fine. The MediaConverter created two photos that the device couldn't read, for example, but dragging them separately worked just fine; converting a Powerpoint presentation also failed the first time, but worked the second (it also told me I needed Office Powerpoint 2007 which I already had). The MediaConverter says to just "drag and drop" files, but that never worked, I always had to use one of the other two direct selection methods.

It is amazing how poor the documentation is for the software, as well as the device; I was able to figure everything out, but if you're not as used to computery interfaces your mileage may vary. If you just drive the device from a laptop, that would not be an issue though. The small size is everything for this device; you do sacrifice brightness and resolution compared to the bigger models but this guy does a credible display job, and the size makes it something you don't need to think twice about throwing in your travel bag.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2012
Just over a year in, and of course my screen is FULL of dead pixels. The unit is basically unusable. DO NOT BUY. Was fun while it lasted.
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