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3M MPro review versus AAXA P2 pico projector review and shootout

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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October 27, 2009 5:37:44 AM

Hi another user asked for a review about pico projectors and I have been meaning to make a review about them. I purchased the 3M MPRO 110 after reading about this projector on the Toms Hardware.com products section and I was really excited about this new type of product. I spent almost $300 on this projector and I believed it was 720P resolution because of 3M advertising. I can truly say I am extremely disatisfied with this product.

Firstly this projector is NOT 720P (1280x720). It is really 640x480 - I did not know this until getting the projector and reading the manual. It can accept 1280x720 video signals from a laptop but really it only displays 640x480. I feel that this type of advertisement is wrong. Second the brightness is only 10 lumens. The 3M website shows many people using this projector as a presentation projector. This is not accurate. It cannot be used as presentation projector it is far not bright enough. The only use it has is for watching videos in complete dark with all the lights off.

Comparing the 3M to the the AAXA P2 pico projector is a big difference in brightness and resolution. This projector is 800x600 resolution and it is 33 lumens. It is 3 times brighter. Immediately you can tell the difference between the two projectors the brightness difference is BIG. Also with a higher 800x600 resolution I can tell a big difference in the text quality. The 3M projector when I try to display small text all the text becomes crushed or distortion. The AAXA P2 does not have this problem, even when I select 1280x720 resolution. And while the AAXA P2 it is still not bright enough for lights-on type of use, it is pretty good for half-lights-off use, a lot better than the 3M Mpro and so you can still host a presentation without anyone sitting in the dark!

My opinion is don't buy the 3M Mpro, they're advertising is not truthful since it is not 720p resolution and it cannot be used to make business presentations. In reality the 3M Mpro is just a toy. The AAXA P2 is much better of a presentation projector. Right now it is more expensive than the 3M Mpro 110 by almost over $100 but trust me it is worth it if you are looking for something better than just a children's toy. Also the AAXA P2 has built in video player, speakers, and remote control. It is a much better projector worth more than the extra $100 compared to the 3M. I bought it directly from AAXA:

http://www.aaxatech.com/products/p2_pico_projector.htm

However of course this is a review so I must be fair. The 3M has some strong points - it is smaller than P2 and lighter, about 75% smaller. Also the battery life is much longer, almost 2 hours when I use it when the P2 is only 55 minutes. Also the P2 fan is very loud compared to the 3M. Almost too loud to be comfortable where the 3M operation is very quiet. So those are the strong points of the 3M.

I have taken some pictures of both projectors. Here is the AAXA P2 Projector Versus 3M Mpro

Please take notice as to the brightness differences. The picture size is about 40" so the difference is large!



Please take notice of the text appearance. The P2 displays text well while the 3M Mpro crushes the text!



November 6, 2009 5:00:23 PM

Your are welcome! :wahoo: 
November 25, 2009 7:25:19 PM

I have an 'unbranded' version of the AAXA P2 projector (identical except for slightly different layout of the buttons). In most respects it is much better than I expected, especially the brightness and resolution.
The actual resolution is 800x600 but somehow when using it my laptop at 1024x768 it is still perfectly readable.
The brightness is such that in a normally lit room it is possible to view a 40" image well enough for presentations and such (though not for watching films or photos).
In a dark room it is more than good enough to watch a film on an 80" screen.

There are a few things that bother me about it though:
1. Fan is very loud
2. Image persistence. That is the same effect as with some CRT televisions and monitors - an after image of bright things remains (sometimes even for several minutes). Mostly the menus remain noticeable for some time after being cleared. I would have thought that such a thing did not exist on an LCOS projector and I am rather baffled by it.

That is about the only things wrong with the prjector itself. The other problems concern the media player that is built into it.

3.By far the biggest problem is the very poor resolution of the media player which is a shame since the projector itself has such good resolution.
I estimate the resolution is barely 320x256, if even that. This makes it almost useless to show presentations without using a laptop.
4. The brightness and contrast seems all wrong - most of my photos appear 'over exposed' when viewed with the inbuilt media player. No amount of adjustment of the brightness and contrast controls fixes the problem. Again, if I connect the laptop (by the VGA connector) and view the photos from it they appear perfect, I would say almost as good as they look on the laptop screen. Somehow videos seem to display with better resolution than jpeg images, which is quite a mystery to me.
5. You can switch on the projector with the remote control but you cannot switch on the media player with it - you have to press and hold the play button on the projector itself
6. You cannot fast forward or rewind videos from the remote - again you have to do it from the buttons on the projector itself.
7. The video player does not have much audio gain. With many videos it is OK but with others that have a soundtrack recorded at too low volume (which seems very common) cranking up the volume to maximum still doesn't get any useful loudness. Same videos play well on other players I have, I just have toturn up the volume more than usual.

I highly recommend this projector for use with a laptop or other device with a VGA output but not so much if you intend to use it 'standaolone' with the internal media player.
The media player is good enough for watching a film (if you're not too fussy about quality) but not for much else. The image quality is just too poor.
December 4, 2009 3:49:53 PM

Hi,

Thank you for purchasing and reviewing AAXA products! One thing to keep in mind is that while there are many products that may look like our product and some which may in fact comprise of AAXA's optical engine and imager driver, some companies do private label our products and may use an onboard media player not supplied by AAXA. Our P2 projector employs a 640x480 resolution media driver and a 800x600 native resolution which accepts a PC-VGA input of up to 1280x720.

Another thing to keep in mind is that we do not really limit how some of our clients market our products as we have seen some claim 40-45 lumens which is actually the peak lumen rating or our optical engine. :) 

Cheers,

AAXA Technologies Inc
December 4, 2009 8:50:08 PM

Video player / picture player resolution seems good to me! Maybe the systems are different!

December 14, 2009 10:35:30 AM

The P2 is the clear winner for me, wait until the next generation of pico's though - the next 3M will hopefully be higher res and as a result cleaner.

http://forum.microprojector5.co.uk
Anonymous
May 2, 2010 3:20:54 PM

fyi, lumens are on a log scale, so 10 vs. 33 is more like a 25% increase in light output, not a 300%....
May 28, 2010 3:47:33 PM

My Aaxa P2 Experience

Product was poorly manufactured, did not live up to advertised specs, and on board video processing was defective. I bought directly from Aaxa. There is a 20% restocking fee that is not completely disclosed on site. It cost me $100 to find out that this product is fraudulent in its advertised specs, and when I finally got in contact with Aaxa, it became clear that the company could care less about customer service and satisfaction. Truly an example of epic fail on behalf of the product and a company that should stand behind their product. Although I strongly do not recommend the product, purchase from Amazon. It is a sad day when a third party broker is more committed to customer satisfaction. Epic fail on all aspects of good business.
July 13, 2010 4:51:35 PM

This is a great post with good comparison pictures of different projectors... all the reviews on the nest just "talk" various specs, features, and performance but it's really hard to tell how they compare relative to one another. I've been looking at getting a pocket projector for doing small group presentations with a self-contained, cordless solution. I will be doing presentation in small groups (10 people max) in areas that can be darkened enough to pull a 50"+ screen. I've settled on either the AAXA M1+ (their larger, brighter unit) and one of the newer Optoma units. I'm leaning towards the AAXA due to the higher brightness and the more robust media player (reviews on the Optoma units have stated their onboard media player has trouble with common file formats).
Anonymous
November 5, 2010 2:55:14 AM

Mini projector, also known as micro-projector, TRT-Lcos portable projector. Mainly through the 3M LCOS RGB three-color projection-ray machines and 720P chip decoding technology, the traditional compact of the huge projector, portable and small, entertainment, practical, living closer to projection technology and entertainment.
February 9, 2011 11:14:42 PM

Sorry to dig up an old thread, but anyone have any thoughts regarding AAXA's new laser projectors and how they compare to 3M's new MPRO 180 projector? They are about the same price...
February 15, 2011 4:50:18 PM

I've seen the aaxa laser projector in action. it's pretty cool, but the fan was a little louder that i would expect. the owner played a powerpoint presentation directly off of it though, which impressed me.
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