Acer K10 DLP pico projector
Smaller than its own power brick
Review Acer’s website describes the K10 as a "travel projector", but we reckon the tiny size and weight of this LED unit qualify it as a Pico Projector.
Acer's K10: lighter than its own power supply
The photos don’t do the K10 justice. Its dimensions are a diminutive 127 x 122 x 52mm tall, including the rubber feet. The weight of the bare projector is 540g, according to our kitchen scales, but you need to add another 630g for the 19V power brick. This is a pain as it takes up the same amount of space as the projector.
However Acer has a trick up its corporate sleeve. We are told that the K10 can be powered by the AC adaptor from an Acer laptop. This means you only have to carry one power brick and can give presentations with the laptop on battery, while the K10 runs on mains power.
Although the K10 is a DLP projector, the specification is quite unusual. For starters, there is the LED light source, which has a rated life of 20,000 hours. That ought to mean that you'll never need to replace the lamp. By contrast, an Acer PH530 projector has a rated lamp life of 2000 hours which means that the bulb will deteriorate after a couple of years of regular use and it costs £159 to replace.
The downside of the LED light source is a brightness rating of a mere 100 lumens. We're used to projectors having a brightness of at least 1000 lumens, and 2000 or 3000 lumens are quite common. The consequence is that the K10 has a projection distance of 0.6-2.4m and a diagonal picture size of 38-152cm. These figures are one tenth of the ones you get with most projectors, which is logical as the brightness rating is also one tenth of other projectors'.
@ Jolyon Smith and non-fans of fans
LED lamps HAVE to run cool, certainly a lot cooler than HID. A hot die kills off the output light intensity. Couple that with the fact a lot of light is output (although 100 lumens isn't that much, even when considering colour losses) at not much efficiency means cooling is still needed. Turn the fan off, the LED might get as hot as HID - but you won't get any light.
My estimate: that LED will have to lose at least 6 watts (and that's assuming the latest tech is used – say a P7) and that's assuming a perfect cooling system. Keeping a small component cool without active cooling will require a large, expensive and heavy heatsink; for this application it is better to use a cheap, SMALL and LIGHTWEIGHT fan.
I still have my Toshiba FF1 ... bought as an early adopter at the start of 2006. 500g LED projector with mains plus 2 hr rechargeable battery pack, supporting 800x600 and 1024x768; also has fully featured remote (not that you need it). I paid £350 then - seemed a lot at the time, but it did (does) what it says on the tin, and is ideal for travel use.
Although the colours (particularly reds) are a bit harsh and lacking 'warmth', and the brightness means it really needs a dark room to shine, it is still quite possible to enjoy a full length movie running only on battery, with a projected image easily equivilent to that of a 60" Plasma screen ... and unlike the Acer in the review, it is almost completely silent.
I actually looked it up as I couldn't believe that this Acer is being touted as a new gizmo 3 years on ... http://www.wedgwood-group.com/toshiba_tdp_ff1_multimedia_projector.htm ... turns out the Tosh has been discontinued and they haven't replaced it with a similar spec.
I can only conclude that it is too niche a market (£300+ for a low res, low intensity projector is quite steep). The current netbook craze will no doubt give this an initial sales opportunity, but the old Tosh was a much better product IMO - if they couldn't find a market for it, I think Acer will struggle (particularly at the quoted price).
Pretty nifty but...
...since Samsung (I think) look like they are going to be building projectors into mobile phones, I'm a lot less impressed by the smallness of this projector.
As one of the posters above points out, old fashioned bulbs get very hot and until they replace that with something that generates a lot less heat, these things are always going to be too big, which is a shame because it would be nice to have one small enough to be able to carry around.