Acer K11 LED DLP Pocket Projector First Look
- Product Name: K11
- Manufacturer: Acer
- Review Date: February 08, 2011 01:00
- MSRP: $419
- First Impression: Pretty Cool
- DLP technology
- Mercury-free LED light source (30,000 hours)
- 200 ANSI lumens
- 2000:1 contrast ratio
- Native SVGA resolution of 858x600
- 4:3 aspect ratio (can also be adjusted to a 16:9 aspect ratio)
- Ports - HDMI, USB 2.0, SD card reader, analog RGB/component video (D-sub) and composite video/audio (3.5mm 4-pin mini jack)
- Built-in speaker with 1-watt output (additionally, external speakers can be connected)
- 1.3 pounds
- 4.8" W x 4.6" D x 1.7" H
There are very few things more impressive than arriving at a meeting or at a friend's home and pulling a projector out of your wife's purse or, better yet, your pocket. Suddenly, you've got an audience (or the audience that you already had) enthused and interested. Pocket projectors can take a business meeting and make it a special event. And when you aren't taking it to business meetings, it can turn your kids room into a screening room for the latest Pixar opus so the adults can watch their own movie or a sporting event in the main theater. Regardless, we've found no end of uses for pocket projectors and we love to see more of them released.
Acer has brought to the market the world's smallest projector (for now) called the K11. While the picture above doesn't really show it, check out the back:
Check out that HDMI port. It practically takes up a 1/4 of the back of the projector. That's tiny. the K11 features an LED backlit DLP display technology with 200 lumens and a 2000:1 contrast ratio. While the native resolution is SVGA (858x600) and 4:3 aspect ratio, it can be configured for 16:9 for video playback. There is an RGB port (D-sub), an USB 2.0 port, and an SD card reader (not sure where that last one is). Composite video and analogue audio can be connected by a 3.5mm 4-pin mini jack. Acer specifies that the K11 can work with external speakers (maybe through the 3.5mm jack?) or you can use the built in 1-watt speaker.
Yep, 1 whopping watt.
But a projector this small isn't about the size of its speaker, it's about the size of the case. The Acer K11 is 1.3 pounds (we know guys with wallets heavier) and is 4.8" wide, 4.6" deep, and 1.7" tall. We looked around the house for something the same size and we came up with one of those cases that has a bunch of tiny screwdrivers for fixing eyeglasses and getting the covers off battery powered toys (though the projector is a bit thicker). That's tiny. Heck, depending on the size of your monitor, the above photo might be bigger.
The LED lamp used in the Acer K11 will keep down the heat plus offer a long life for the projector (rated at 30,000 hours). Acer has included an Auto ECO Mode to increase this lamp life even further. By the time the lamp needs replacing you might be on the market for a new projector. By then, they'll probably install them in your finger.
Other technologies include ColorSafe and SmartFormat. ColorSafe keeps the DLP colors crisp and clear even with prolonged use (Acer says it makes the projector "virtually immune to color decay"). SmartFormat makes sure the K11 supports many different PC formats and make sure that resolution changes doesn't faze the projector.
Of course, more than anything your boss will want to know the price. Sure the lamp will last forever and it's small enough to impress even those more jaded technophiles, but if it breaks the bank, it's a no-go. No worries there as the Acer K11 is currently offered for only $419. That's practically an impulse buy to many corporations.
If you own the business, maybe you don't want the Acer K11. You want a huge, full featured projector that you take home every weekend to watch Lord of the Rings marathons. But if you have salesmen that need to impress, or if you are lacking a dedicated meeting room, a pocket projector is a must. The Acer K11 has a lot going for it. It's small, light, and portable, it's got an LED lamp which means you'll probably have to replace the projector before the lamp dies, and it is very reasonably priced. With an integrated speaker, HDMI input, and a focus on supporting all the different PC video outputs, the K11 looks to be a trouble-free projector for the businessman (or woman) on the go.
For more information, please visit www.us.acer.com.
FYI: The SD card slot is on the back at the bottom of the projector. If you look at the enlarged photo of the back, you can (somewhat) clearly see the card slot at the bottom of the back right on the back with 'SD' written right next to it. Pretty slick.
10+ years ago, before DLP and LCD when everyone used CRT projectors, you could expect about 200-300 lumens from the average $10,000 projector. This is what people used to create 80" images in their executive board rooms and high-end home theaters. Now, we are seeing things the size of about half a dozen CD cases stacked together putting out the many lumens and it blows me away.
I'm not a fan (AT ALL!) of Pico projectors, and even these pocket ones should not be destined for the home theater, but for a kids gaming room, a dorm room for the freshman headed off to college, or for the road traveller who wants to enjoy something bigger than the 30" display the hotel provides, this is a heck of an option!
It is nice to see the lumen count rising, and hopefully we will see more full size projectors which use larger LED engines to deliver 700+ real world lumens for pricing that remains reasonable.
Still, would be nice to see a full fledged review of this projector with some critical viewing and observations on sharpness and image uniformity with some different sources from SD cable to Blu-ray thrown at it... Maybe a PC presentation or two as well.
Let me know if you need help with that review!