The 3M Camcorder Projector: Share your photos and videos with everyone

Latest Gadgets If you have ever wanted to show the world just how great you are at taking pictures or shooting videos, the new 3M cp45 camera projector is the gadget for you. Instead of cramming around a tiny screen as you show your friends your latest snaps, with the cp45 you can use the built in projection technology to blow up your images and videos and share them for all to see.

3M-Camcorder

With the ability to take HD video images or 5Mp still photographs, the cp45 is small and light enough to fit in your pocket and carry around like a normal camera, thanks to a weight of 6.7 oz and dimensions that measure 4.9”L x 24”W x .94”H.

3M are targeting this range of mini projectors at a female market, although having seen their potential, there is no reason why other demographics would not be interested. The ability to project a picture or video makes them unique and is more than just a gimmick, making them ideal for more serious business use as well.

You can project your images on virtually any surface you could wish, and it is possible to reach an eye-popping size of 65in, ensuring nobody misses out on seeing the videos or pictures. Whether they like it or not.

Of course, said videos and pictures will take up memory, and the 2GB built in capacity is enough to store 25 minutes of video or 1,000 photos. A MicroSD card slot allows up to 32GB extra memory if needed.

A built-in microphone and speakers are the finishing touch to the projector, and you can record narrations to your pictures or moving images for a running commentary to proceedings. Your friends will love you for it. Possibly.

For more information, visit www.3MCamcorderProjector.com

Viewsonic launches revamped PJD5 projectors

A lightweight, high clarity projector is a vital tool for anyone in the world of sales, marketing or teaching. It can bring a presentation to life, but equally, if it’s substandard, could ruin a perfect pitch.

Viewsonic-PJD

Seasoned US manufacturer ViewSonic has taken a good look at its PJD5 range and invigorated it with a spring clean and some added functionality.  With a sleeker and more optimised design, the overall size of the units has been reduced by 20% weighing in at just 2.6 kg. The main benefit to users however will be the improved colour and clarity which has been significantly enhanced. Using ViewSonic’s BrilliantColour technology, the PJD5 range now features 2,700 lumens and a contrast ratio of 3000:1 which can be fine tuned to suit any type of presentation.

There are five model choices in the range, and whilst all of the are 3D ready and capable of accepting 120Hz input from sources such as Sky 3D, 3D Bluray or Sony Playstation,  the PJD5123 comes with SVGA resolution, the PJD5223 and PJD5233 with XGA and the flagship  PJD5523w with both WXGA and HDMI.

Oddly though, the range doesn’t support USB or memory flash drive functionality which is an oversight considering how important mobile media is these days, but there is a mini USB port for a mouse.

Trevor Holt, ViewSonic’s European Product Manager comments “We have made subtle but important changes, such as introducing a built in presentation timer, mouse control function via the projector remote control and enhanced security with Kensington slot and security bar.   All these new features continue to differentiate ViewSonic projectors from our competitors.”

If you are into 3D just be aware that whilst the PJD5 range is ‘3D ready’ you will need an additional 3D processor (the VP3D1) and a pair of compatible active shutter glasses too.

For business users though, this looks to be an affordable and lightweight range that will do your presentations proud.

The models are available from £249 plus VAT.

3M PocketProjector MP180 review

The 3M PocketProjector MP180 is ridiculously small. When the review unit arrived out our door, we thought someone had delivered the projector’s power adapter. In fact, thanks to a built-in battery, the MP180 doesn’t even need a powerbrick. Having won us over on form, then, the question is: how well does it project?

3M-Pro-150

Size and Look

Just to reiterate: the PocketProjector MP180 is just 150x65x33mm and weighs 338g. You could – just about – fit one in your trouser pocket, although you’d be subjected to a barrage of “is that a projector in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?” jokes.

The device is also coated in an extremely pleasant rubberised coating – if you like your gadgets tactile, the MP180 is arguably the most stroke-friendly on the market.

The touchscreen controls, however, are less easy on the fingers. They’re a bit fiddly (using old-school resistive touch technology) and the menus can be confusing. There’s no dedicated home button, for example, which means a complete restart of the projector is needed when you’ve finished with the internet option. Annoying.

The whole interface looks incredibly old-school – although in an alienating, rather than endearing, way. To be honest, it felt like we should have been poking it with a stylus.

 Features

Once you learn how to access the features, you’ll realise that the device is packed with them. It can connect to your Wifi to projector webpages, while also play videos, music and pictures stored on the 4GB onboard memory  (or from the microSD card slot), as well as stream from Bluetooth and output Office documents.

Another killer-feature is the built-in battery, which allows in excess of two hours of projection on the go. When playing media off the device – rather than through a laptop VGA cable – this drops a bit, but it’s an impressive feat nonetheless. The bulb also lasts 20,000 hours – pretty impressive.

Quality

All these features would be for naught if the projection itself was terrible – which it isn’t. With a native output of 800×600 (and a maximum of 1280×800), the resolution is fine – the brightness, however, is questionable.

The 30 lumen lamp means that it’s great for dark environments – but in a well-lit conferencing room there would be little to see. Stretching beyond 80in is a definite mistake – as is projecting at an angle. There keystoning effect (where the top of the image expands disproportionately outwards) is extremely noticeable.

In optimal conditions – dark, about 60 inches from the wall and projected straight-on, the MP180 creates a bright and enjoyable (if a little fuzzy) image. The battery exceeds expectations and the huge range of features mean that there are definite pluses to the device.  Really – it’s a super, portable projector.

The issue is, with projectors like the only-a-bit-more-expensive (but not portable) Epson TW450 on the market, the projection of the tiny MP180 pales in comparison – even if the other features are noteworthy.

Epson EH-TW5500 projector review

It’s big, it’s heavy – but it’s beautiful. No, we’re not reciting the tagline from Shallow Hal – we’re talking about the Epson EH-TW5500 projector – one of the biggest, baddest, bestest home projectors. Oh, and it’s one of the costliest too – around £4,000 at release, although thankfully you can pick one up for much cheaper now. We’re going to have a hands on with Epson’s latest and greatest at IFA in about a month’s time and thought we’d stop to have a look back at one of their flagship classic models.

Epson-EH-TW5500

A lot of thought has gone in to making sure the projector doesn’t detract from the movie experience, which is why if the TW550’s design could speak, it would say “shhh, you’re ruining the movie.” The bulbous body comes in a non-reflective, matt black finish – minimising distraction by melding seamlessly into the dark.

The TW5500 is also aurally unobtrusive, with the Eco mode producing just 22dB – deathly quiet.

Picture-wise, it’s phenomenal. We could go on about the Full HD output, an almost perfect sharpness at Blu-Ray resolution and the wonderful colour palette. Instead, we’re going to talk about blacks.

Epson boast of an ambitious dynamic contrast ratio of 200,000:1 – an incredible number. Unfortunately for sceptics, the performance is exactly as promised. The blacks in films are extremely dark – far more so than any other LCD-based projector. Honestly, it’s like you’re at the cinema.

Other great features include the 2.1 optical zoom, along with extensive vertical and horizontal image-shifting options. You can perfectly position the projected image from even most off-centre positions.

The projector is relatively small on inputs – but all the essentials are there. It takes two x.v.Colour-compatible HDMIs, a component video input, and an RGB PC input. This does make it extremely simple to set-up – especially with the included remote for changing input sources and turning the projector off and on.

The performance is exceptional – even at the price-tag. No serious home-cinema fan should go without one of these. If you break down the quality of projection – as well as an included five-year warranty on the projector and the lamp – the price feels a lot more reasonable.

For more info head here.

Epson TW450 projector review

In case you’ve forgotten, projectors are cool. They were cool ten years ago, when they cost an arm, weren’t very bright, had poor resolutions and the bulb ran out after 16 seconds, requiring an expensive replacement. Now that the Epson TW450 has fixed four out of five of these issues, however, projectors are very cool indeed.

Epson-TW450

The TW450 throws 2500 lumens (brightness) to a size of 33″ to 318″. It’s good in day-light conditions, and great in darkness. We pumped the size up to 140″ before we ran out of house and the picture was stunning.

The beautiful image quality is in part due to the brightness (you’d expect 2000 lumens for the RRP £600 pricetag), and part due to the 720p resolution. Standard quality DVDs look great, but throw on some HD footage (we tried Life) and you’ll be awe-struck.

The Epson has loads of input ports, including composite, S-video, component, VGA RGB, USB type B, USB type A, RCA and an HDMI. There’s no pass-through, however, so you’ll need to plug it into your computer everytime you use it.

The lamp will last 3000 hours in normal operation, and 4000 hours in eco mode. We really like the eco-mode: the brightness only dims a lit, power consumption falls and the noise level drops right down.

We noticed a bit of noise on the 29dB fan in quiet scenes, but in eco it fades right into the background. Whatever mode you’re in, however, you’ll likely be too engrossed in the outstanding picture to notice any noise.

There’s a built-in 1 watt speaker for no-hassle set-up, but you’ll be wasting an excellent cinematic experience if you play your sound through it.

Aside for its notable performance, the TW450 is extremely practical. It turns off instantly (no need for the fan to keep running), while the small size (228 x 295 x 77 mm) and light weight (2.3kg) mean it’s a cinch to move around.

Overall, we were blown away by the Epson. We never expected such performance from such a slight – and affordable – projector. Some might argue that for a perfect cinema experience, the fan is a little loud (in silent scenes) and the blacks aren’t as dark as they could be. We’d counter that no sub-£1000 projector could fix those issues, and you should stop being a pedant.

When you take into account  that you can get one for £498 at Pixmania (you’ll need this discount code), it really is a fantastic deal. We try a lot of electronics at Latest Gadgets, and we’ve never been so tempted to convert a review into a purchase as right now.

http://www.vouchercodes.co.uk/pixmania.co.uk

LG CF3D Projector: Full HD 3D projection

Projectors are pretty cool. When your friends would boast of a new, 40-inch LCD TV, you’d humbly invite them round to sit in front of your home projection cinema experience. Then along came 3D TVs, and your projector was relegated to obsolescence and PowerPoint presentations. No more! LG have created a full HD 3D projector within a single box.

LG-Projector

Usually 3D technology uses two separate lenses to overlay images, thus creating passive 3D images, like you’d find at the cinema. It takes a lot of effort to manually calibrate the two projection screens. LG had enough of this, and so developed a way to reduce the polarised light technology into a single lens.

This means that the projector, the CF3D, is extremely easy to set-up and use – no calibration needed. Simply use it like a standard projector – it’s probably the simplest and most manageable home 3D projector on the market.

It’s no slouch in the technical specs department, either. The projected image can easily stretched 200 inches, while it has a rating of a full 2500 ANSI-lumens (brightness) and a 7,000:1 contrast ratio (pretty darn good).

As the machine is officially 3D certified, it’s got a refresh rate of 60 Hz per image – or a silky smooth 120Hz for 2D imagery.

Best of all, as a passive projector, new 3D glasses cost about £2 from your local Vue cinema. They are less expensive, lighter and with bigger frames than the “active” solutions found in television sets. The CF3D ships with six free pairs – already saving you £400 over a competing 3D TV.

Are we excited? Just a little bit. Projectors were always a better way to watch films than TVs, and now with more affordable 3D, hopefully the projection market will only grow.

Firebox Christmas Preview: MiLi iPhone Projector, Gyro Flyer, Lomo Panoramic 360 camera

Latest Gadgets were invited to see the goodies that will be available at Firebox.com this Christmas. You probably know Firebox.com as they offer a range of products including quirky gadgets to random toys, but are almost always unusual and exciting. Here are our top gadgets to watch out for.

LoMi-iPhone-projector

Ever wanted to watch a video stored on your iPhone on a big screen? The MiLi iPhone Projector projects video and photos from your iPhone to any wall spanning up to 70 inches. If you do not have an iPhone, don’t worry as it connects to the Blackberry via USB and DVD players, mp3 players and mobile phones via the AV-in plug. The projector produces a 640×780 VGA image which is not bad for a portable projector. You can connect it to your laptop if you have the video or presentation saved on your laptop. On the audio side of things, it has built-in 2W speakers and if you really want to pump up the volume, you have the option to add speakers using the AV-out slot. The optimal projection size is 40 inches and it has a handy remote. A charge time of 4.5 hours provides 2 hours of projection time, just enough time for a movie. The MiLi iPhone Projector beats it nearest competitor, Optoma Pico PK 101 DLP Projector, as it has more battery life and can provide a larger image if you want to go to 70 inches. With its clamshell design, it is portable and perfect for travellers. I would have liked a higher resolution but there has to be a trade-off with portability and other features. Available for £219.99 here.

Firebox

We also got to play with the Gyro Flyer R/C Helicopter. This remote-controlled helicopter is easy to fly and well built so you can crash it a few times like I did and it will be just fine. Once you get the hang of the controls you will be up, up and away. The Gyro Flyer can be controlled with precise movements so you can land perfectly and it has an advanced gyroscope for in-flight stability. The remote is twin-toggle transmitter that doubles as a charger. A 20 min charge gives 6-8 minutes of flying time. It’s a short time but it will be fun. It does not have the video that the Hawk Eye Spy-Copter has but it is sturdy and great for kids. Available for £39.99 here.

360-degree-lomo-cam

The Lomo Panoramic 360° Camera is a camera with a difference. It provides a whole different view on things as it captures 360° panoramic images of everything around you. It uses 35mm film and a manual rubber band drive. It works by you grabbing the handle, pull the ripcord and the Lomo will spin round 360° taking everything in view. The shots are 4 times longer than a standard landscape shot. This would great for holidaymakers so you can get some unique shots.  The Lomo generates up to eight 360° shots on a regular 36 exposure 35 mm roll. I know it uses 35mm roll which some of you may consider ancient but I think the shots you can get are worth it. If this could be made to take digital photos this would be faultless. It is a fairly large camera so you will need space for it. Available for £99.99 here.

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.

Acer-c20

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.