If you’ve been paying attention to the trends in tech, you may have noticed that projectors have been making a push in the market. Specifically, many companies have been coming out with pico projectors, which are very small, portable, battery-powered projectors for on-the-go use. One of the options out now is the United Objects Smart Beam Laser projector, which is a small cube-shaped projector that packs a punch.
First of all, let’s take a look at the design of the UO Smart Beam. The projector has been built very well, and feels really solid in the hand, with what appears to be an aluminum body encasing the internals. It can probably take a beating, which will be great for on-the-go use. The projector measure in at 2.2 inches cubed, meaning it’s incredibly small and portable. It also weighs just under a 0.5 lbs, making it very light. In addition, the projector looks very modern and professional, allowing business professionals to use the projector in meetings without it being an eyesore.
Now for the features. For such a small size, it’s pretty amazing what the company was able to fit inside. The projector boasts a minimum of 60 lumens, 1280 x 720 resolution, a laser-driven light source, 4200mAh battery, and wireless streaming from some Android, iOS and Windows devices. Now, 60 lumens may not seem like much when compared to other full-size projectors, but it is easily visible in low-light to completely dark settings. The battery is enough to last about 2 hours according to the company, which is about right based on my testing, meaning a full-length movie can be watched just with the battery.
Setup is incredibly easy. Plug in the projector to a power source (or if it’s already charged, just turn it on), plug in a video source via the DLNA/MHL/mini-HDMI port or stream from a PC, Android, or iOS device, and that’s it! The projector has built-in speakers, which are alright and good for on-the-go use, but I would recommend using a different audio device by plugging your video source into a different speaker for better sound if possible. Focusing is done automatically, thanks to the laser-driven light source, so you don’t need to worry about that. The only drawback I found with the setup is the lack of any keystone adjustment from a laptop or Android device, meaning the projector has to be at the right height to get a rectangular image. However, if you are streaming from your iOS device, you can adjust the keystone in the SmartBeamLaser app. The best solution to the keystone issue (if you’re using a laptop or Android device) and one I highly recommend is the tripod with projector mount you can purchase from UO for $20.
As for the picture, I was truly surprised at how good it looks. The image above shows about a 40″ image with overcast daylight coming through a large window on the side (the camera makes it seem darker than it actually was), and everything could easily be seen. I also tested projecting about a 120″ screen, and movies look pretty good, though dark scenes are a bit difficult to see.
All in all, if you want to save some space with a small projector, or you want to bring one with you on a trip for presentations or entertainment, the UO Smart Beam Laser is a fantastic option! It’s a bit pricey at $379.99, but it can be used in many different scenarios, and I would definitely recommend it if you are considering a pico projector. The projector can be purchased from KDCUSA’s website, and I do recommend purchasing the tripod as well.