Added to that the K10 doesn’t have a zoom so you need to move the projector to change the size of the picture and then tweak the focus. Acer has included a 0.25in camera tripod thread on the base of the K10 so you can raise this tiny projector up to adjust the height of the picture. We were able to use the feather-like K10 on an incredibly flimsy camcorder tripod and the picture was entirely stable.
Not much in the way of portage
Setting up the K10 is a rapid process as there are so few options to investigate in the menu. You make adjustments using the menu button and four-way navpad on the top of the projector - there's no remote control. Presumably, this cuts costs by a modest amount but the likelihood is that Acer simply didn’t think a remote control was necessary.
Options include the display mode – standard, bright, video, black board and two user-definable modes – brightness, contrast and the ability to flip the picture around. There is no option for switching between Normal and Eco mode, which sounds sensible as there's no need with an LED projector to make the usual trade-off between brightness, bulb life and noise. The brightness rating is already very low, so is the 28dBA noise rating, and the life of the light source is huge.
These figures don’t tell the full story, though. The brightness and contrast on our review sample were both set at 55 per cent which seemed bewilderingly low. But the settings were correct. The displayed image rapidly becomes unpleasantly bright and washed out as you crank up the brightness and contrast any further. Yes, it’s true - this 100 lumens projector is unusable with the brightness set anywhere near maximum.
Not much desk space required
We were also surprised that the projector was unpleasantly noisy. It’s not so much the volume of the cooling fan - 28dBA is very quiet - but the tone of the sound was annoying. Make no mistake about it, we could happily live with the Acer K10, but we expected the projector to be utterly silent and our expectations were misplaced.
@ 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.
Projectors need fans for cooling. They need cooling because the lamps in them get very, VERY hot. Typically the brighter the lamp, the more heat it generates and the more cooling it needs.
This projector on the other hand is not only not as bright, but it uses an LED lamp which in comparison with traditional projector lamps are very, VERY cool (thermally, not just because they are a hip and happening tech).
So a projector that uses an LED lamp should not need as much active cooling so fan noise should be vastly reduced if not entirely absent.
If anyone ...
... has a video driver that offers the option of 858x600 then feel free to let me know. For the record I was using Catalyst 9.2