Last year we reviewed the 3M MPro120 Pico Projector which enables sharing content from portable devices on a larger screen. It was a great LED based technology, however MicroVision was showing of their laser powered ShowWX+ at Macworld 2011. Although originally announced late last year, this pico projector offers one main advantage over competition: infinite auto focus for a crisp picture.
“We’re on a mission to eliminate the squinting and huddling that occurs when mobile device users share content,” said Alexander Tokman, president and CEO of MicroVision. “SHOWWX+ is designed to simply and quickly connect to today’s hottest new portable devices so users can display and share large vibrant images and video with ease.”
The ShowWX+ projects at a 16:9 widescreen WVGA 848 x 480 pixel resolution and supports VGA, composite, and component inputs. Support for HDMI or HD resolutions is notably missing. Some of the latest pico projectors from CES 2011 already had 720p capabilities. MicroVision offers adapters to ensure compatibility with iPads, iPods, and iPhones. They even list apps such as Netflix and YouTube which support outputting video.
According to a MicroVision representative, the ShowWX+ should last about two hours on a single charge. The battery is user-replaceable, making carrying spares an easy solution for extended run time. The projector can reach up to 100 inches in diagonal size. Unlike most projectors which offer a small dial for adjusting focus, the laser scanning display technology automatically ensures a crisp picture. The internal 15 lumens laser boasts a bright uniform picture, but we would need to test those claims. Pico projectors generally suffer from dull images.
The ShowWX+ is available in stores for a MSRP of $449, making it more expensive than most alternative solutions. The high price is mainly due to the expensive laser projection technology. Traditional LED and DLP pico projectors are generally more affordable to manufacture. For those looking to buy one of these, we suggest shopping around: Amazon offers it for $385.
Link: MicroVision ShowWX+