projectors

3M MP225a Pico Projector Review

A deplorably designed pico projector.

March 25, 2012
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Conclusion

The 3M MP225A ($299 MSRP) is a very simple pico projector to be used with Apple devices on the fly. There is an optional VGA cable that we used to test this 3M pico, but the available resolutions and resulting motion performance were less than passable.

Setup could not be easier with this device. There is no remote, no user interface, and no adjustments to be made. It is just a vehicle for projecting whatever connects to it. We like this idea. Why does a pico projector have to be more complicated than this? The peak brightness is not strong enough to use any other mode than brightest and the various inputs are determined by what is plugged in. Keep it simple we say.

In addition to easy setup, the color performance was some of the best we have seen on our pico projector roundup. We put a lot of emphasis on color performance because it requires tricky engineering, good mechanics, and it is the crux upon which a strong picture stands.

The easy setup has its drawbacks though, mostly because of a lack of connectivity. It's hard to recommend this device to any non-Apple users. The VGA cable costs extra, can only be used with certain resolutions, and showed poor performance in our motion tests. If you plan to hook up a computer, there are other picos that are made specifically for this purpose.

Another mark against this 3M pico, the poor peak brightness really limits the environments in which this projector becomes useful. So, you may have some great colors, but good luck seeing them in the day time. Try watching in a vacuum sealed box underground.

We had fun with the 3M MP225A. The ease of setup, the Apple connectivity, and the low buy-in cost will make this projector a popular device. We do not recommend it for presentations because it is rather dim and does not have any internal memory. But, for late-night, under-the-covers-already, watching-on-a-wall, it will do the trick.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Tour & Design
  3. Blacks & Whites
  4. Color Accuracy
  5. Motion
  6. Viewing Effects
  7. Calibration
  8. Connectivity & Media
  9. Power, Noise & Heat
  10. Optoma Pico PK320 Comparison
  11. Aiptek PocketCinema V50 Comparison
  12. AAXA Technologies P4 Comparison
  13. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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