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Acer C20 pico projector

The first thing you are going to notice about the C20 is that it looks cool. More like a just-released smartphone, it well and truly banishes not-so-fond memories of the grey monstrosities that used to blight your school classrooms. The link with the smartphone is definitely something that ACER seem to be trying to promote with the press release, not untruthfully, stating that with the deployment of phones as all round entertainment centres we have a wealth of pictures, vids and music at our fingertips. Thus we are going to want to show them off, which is where the C20 comes in with its compatibility with the average pocket.

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Of course, this would all be pretty redundant were the product not to deliver, but from the C20 you get a 2000:1 contrast ratio so projections should be clear and void of vibration, whether you decide to have the size of your projection 13 cm (5”) or 168cm (66”) , where the C20 tops out. Sneakily, they’ve also chucked in an internal amplifier (lord knows where they find the space) so there won’t be any necessity to carry an extra speaker, which would kind of make the on-the-go idea behind the product redundant.

Similarly, if you always had to run the projector through your laptop it make it altogether less appealing and though you can do this if you wish the integrated SDHC reader means that you can use a Micro SD card for audio, video and pictures, whilst there is also a USB Flash capability, with pictures, videos and presentations all available for instantaneous deployment.

Any regular user of projectors will tell you that it’s all very well having nice contrast ratios, battery life, good standard lumens (brightness for the layman) and the like, but it all pales into significance in comparison to the life of the bulb. Traditionally bulbs in projectors give up quicker than me in a rugby scrum, but the C20 does away with this with its promise of a heady 20,000 hours life for its bulb. In case you are thinking of having regular 24 hour holiday photo fests (in which case I’m never coming round to your house) this should be fine for anyone. The lack of any tubes or breakable filament also means there’s a much less potential for interior snaps and niggles, whilst the fact that the C20 now uses the Colorsafe II DLP technology means the projector won’t be prone to the yellowish tints that often blight projected pictures after extensive use.

There’s a lot of these portable projectors coming onto the market at the moment, not least the MP160 AND MP180, reviewed here. What sets the C20 apart is its direct appeal to the everyday user- its all about appealing to the normal picture-taker/video-maker, not the travelling salesman or the manager in the boardroom. The price tag of £279.99 isn’t cheap, but then realistically this isn’t aimed at those at the low end of the market. With its promise of 20,000 hours of bulb life this is a sound long-term investment for those people that can afford it.