3M MP160 and MP180: Wireless pocket project-awe

I’m not going to lie to you: I am no entrepreneur. I am also not a businessman, a salesman, team leader, or one of those people that comes into your office twice a year in a vain attempt to make you ‘Expert’ level Excel. I think computer games are alright, but I certainly wouldn’t call myself a computer game ‘geek.’ I take pictures on trips, but am just self-aware enough to know that no-one- and I mean no-one, wants to come round to some godawful evening I where show them off and brag about how I found myself on some Scally-infected beach in South East Asia. I watch films occasionally, but normally only when I’m hungover and the concept of moving and engaging my brain in anything other than pretty people running around blowing stuff up and/or taking their clothes off is enough to make me reach for a warm tumbler of the previous nights rum. I am, in fact, the polar opposite of the target audience of the 3M MP160 and MP180 projector. When they had early board meetings and drew up all the different demographics of who they wanted to target, who they needed to appeal to make their projectors fly in the 21st century marketplace (not literally, though if it did I probably would be), I was so far off that whiteboard I might as well as have been at the bottom of the sea.

It is odd, therefore, that when I first read the press release of these brand new mobile projectors, I actually uttered the words; ‘that is so very useful.’


In a nutshell, the MP160 and MP180 are little baby projectors that you can carry around with you, in your briefcase/bag/lunchbox. They do not have an abundance of wires as you just charge the badboys before you need them , and they’ll run on their lonesomes for a healthy two hours (bit of a stitch if you’re up for a late night Passion Of The Christ fest, mind). You just plug them into your laptop, PC, smartphone, DVD player, TV, camcorder, basically anything with an output and boom, you have a wall-filling projection, with 30 lumens (I don’t know either) of brightness.

From what I can gather from this ‘ere press release, the M180 is for those of you that need a mini computer’s worth of info on you at all times. Its got 4GB of internal memory, and will take your micro SD card (good for those Full Moon Party pics), and USB so you can have all your stuff on you and be ready to present in the event of any emergency. It’s all controlled by a fancy touch screen, which comes further into its own when you consider the M180 has built in WiFi capability, so you can stream videos and such like from the internet. The fact it does all this and weighs only 338 grams and in a 150 mm x 65 mm x 33 mm package is something I find vaguely mindboggling and not dissimilar to the thoughts my oldest nephew would start experiencing if he tried to logically dissect the whole Santa Claus phenomenon.

The M160 is a little more straightforward; it has those all important 30 lumens (a unit of brightness for image quality – 30 is low for a real projector, which would output 2000, but ok for a mini one like this – Ed.), but it’s sans (French for without) the mobile office. So no Memory slot, internet, touch screen etc, but its still fine to hook up to other devices and will project games, videos and pictures onto walls, ceilings etc. It’s a more everyday and, though prices haven’t been confirmed yet, it is estimated that this will be reflected in its lower $349 price (as opposed to $399 for the 180).

All in all, if you are the sort of person that’s going to use one of these, it seems like a no-brainer. The only sticking point would seem to be the battery life, but you can just whack that on charge so lets not get bogged down in that eh? I won’t lie and say that I’ll be getting one (unless 3M want to send me one- nudge nudge, wink wink), but for those that need projections and entertainment on the go, these would seem to be your next port of call.