Do you need a pico projector? Probably not, unless you’re contractually obliged to deliver the same Powerpoint presentation on the state of the rubber hosing industry to audiences in Swindon, Nottingham, Leeds and Blackpool within a nine-hour window this coming Wednesday. Still, you should want one regardless, and this one in particular.
See the bigger picture
The Philips PicoPix PPX 1430 has a name as dull as its primary function, but inside there’s a blindingly bright bulb that’s capable of pumping out a really rather nice picture that can extend to about six feet across before it starts to fade seriously. So long as you’ve drawn the curtains, obviously.
It’s a tidy little design with a small stand that levers out from the base to angle it up above a tabletop. There’s also a mini tripod in the box. You can feed it video from a number of sources. There’s a miniUSB socket to allow you to copy files from a computer to its 2GB of internal memory, an SD card slot, a 3.5mm AV input and another port that can take VGA and component video input.
Happy to play ball
Video format support is quite impressive and the PicoPix managed to play everything we loaded it up with. It has its limits though: 1080p/50fps footage caused it to stutter and it has a habit of losing audio sync if you fast forward through certain files. Even so, 720p video played perfectly, and the natural softening of the image when blown up on a wall is actually quite forgiving for lower quality YouTube downloads.
You wouldn’t expect much sonic power from a box this big and you don’t get it, but there is enough volume to broadcast to a small room. If you need more you can hook it up to a sound system via the 3.5mm output. There’s even enough battery to see out a movie, although if you’re planning to watch Titanic on your bedroom ceiling you’ll have to plug into the mains to go the distance.
The PPX 1430 is a great little companion that’ll give you a satisfying big screen experience in all sorts of situations, although it’s not cheap for such a dinky little thing.