When I think of projectors I’m reminded of the huge Over Head Projectors we used in French class, or the bulky noisy devices that we used to screen a film at the end of term. Admittedly I haven’t really kept up with projector technology since but from time to time I’ve been subjected to a slide show presentation and projectors remain theses sizable devices whirring away at the back of the room. So when the 3M MPRO150 arrived at my desk, half of my excitement was in holding the thing. A micro projector, it really is small – only slightly bigger than an old candy bar Nokia. It definitely has the feel of a robustly built hi-tech gizmo, although the MPRO150 is no toy.
Being the n3rd that I am I threw away the instruction manual and attempted to simply use the device – with great success. Attaching a USB cable allows you to open the MPRO150 like a USB drive and simply drag and drop files onto the device. Anyone who has used a pen drive in the last 10 years should be comfortable with loading files onto the built in memory (which is 1Gb but there is also a micro SD card slot to you can expand the device’s capacity). After that you can simply unplug the device, point it at a wall and before you can even say “Boom” you will be able to give a slideshow presentation.
I found the MPRO150 a bit fussy with regards to file formats – *.pngs wouldn’t load and some *.jpegs wouldn’t display. Most worked perfectly however and I gave a 50” display of my holiday snaps. Despite just using a white wall the image quality was superb. Pdfs, MS Office files and most images were fine. It also plays back *.avi files, which I found pretty amazing – I projected an episode of Sealab 2021 onto my wall and it worked flawlessly. 3M also threw in a mp3 player just for fun – ostensibly so you can relax listening to some music on the way to a presentation but I have no idea why anyone would do this instead of using any of the multitude of other devices they have for this purpose. Still it works.
The MPRO150 comes with a little tripod and a built in stand as well as lots of connector. You can hook it up to pretty much anything – desktops, laptops or iPhones but for me the real magic of the device is to just use it as a standalone presentation tool. It’s so small that it can easily pop in a briefcase – or even a suit jacket. I loaded up the MPRO150 with my Cymande.ppt (Brothers on The Slide) presentation and was able to get 2 hours battery life out of it. The built in speakers won’t blow you away but it is easy enough to connect to a remote device.
“To mark its launch we are giving our customers the chance to win £500 of iwantoneofthose vouchers and one of 10 MPro150s,” said Nick Hughes, Marketing Manager for 3M’s Mobile Interactive Solutions Division. “To enter, go to our mobile u web site and simply tell us in 50 words or less the most memorable, funny or embarrassing presentation you’ve delivered or seen. One winner will also be made into a short viral video, which the winner can star in if they wish.”
Ideal for business folk “on the move” but also pretty cool for anyone who would like to project a 50” photo, movie or slideshow onto a wall, the 3M MPro150 is now available to pre-order from shop3M.com, amazon.co.uk and selected high street retailers including Dixons Travel and Micro Anvika at an RRP of £349.99 including VAT.