AAXA Technologies P4 Pico Projector Review
This comparison shows how bare bones functionality will always win over ineptly complex features. We really liked the 3M MP225a. It had the dimmest projection of all the picos we tested, but this didn't bother us as much as it would with the others because it was so easy to use. There is one plug, mainly for Apple devices, which can be adapted to VGA as well. There is no menu system or interface, relying instead upon the connected device to drive the navigation. One connection and you are ready to go, great for secret movies in the dark and other such fun.
We would never use the word fun to describe the P4. This pico from AAXA looks appealing because it has a good features list and plenty of included accessories, but the poor usability detracts from any enjoyment. We don't really want to know about the menu system unless it's absolutely necessary, instead we were forced to plod through unintelligible gobbledygook that AAXA passed off as a coherent user interface. This is not even to mention the meltdown function called Windows CE.
Picos are supposed to be portable, quick, and easy. Otherwise we would say go with a larger projector because they have better ports, brightnesses and pretty much every other stat. If you're going into a presentation, you could really embarrass yourself with the P4. It would be hard to screw up a presentation with the 3M MP225a, it would require that you do not know how to use your own iPhone.
Blacks & Whites
The AAXA Technologies P4 projected a slightly brighter picture and showed much better grayscale detail than the 3M MP225a.
The 3M MP225a had better color performance in all three of our tests. For this reason we think the 3M MP225a makes for a joyful movie night in the dark. You can get a very colorful and quick movie going for a crowd of sleeping bagged stowaways with the 3M MP225a. Or you can fumble with settings and incompatible ports using the AAXA Technologies P4.
The 3M MP225a showed some really bad artifacting in our motion tests. It was so bad that we had to double check it with actual content. Watching content, we didn't see the same issues. When you project a picture onto a wall with an inconsistent texture, the motion seems to matter less than the colors and the picture quality.
Comparatively, the AAXA Technologies P4 had great motion processing, some of the best we saw on a pico projector so far.
The 3M MP225a showed a bit of bowing of straight lines, whereas the AAXA Technologies P4 showed more pixel flare. This means images on the 3M MP225a will be slightly distorted at places, but sharper throughout than on the AAXA Technologies P4.
The beautiful simplicity of the 3M MP225a is that there is only one plug. You can get an adapter to connect it to a VGA signal, but mostly it is intended to be used with Apple devices like an iPhone/Pod/Pad.
There are plenty of options on the AAXA Technologies P4 for connections, but we had difficulty because the VGA connection seems to only support one resolution that needs to be preset on the computer before connecting, and the AV cable connection did not adapt well to other devices.
Get Our Newsletter
Real advice from real experts. Sign up for our newsletter
Thanks for signing up!