projectors

AAXA Technologies P4 Pico Projector Review

March 29, 2012
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Input Ports

Like many a Pico projector there are a couple of proprietary ports, one the ends in a USB connection to a computer, and one that results in an AV connection. The AV adapter port will have several proprietary cords, that will require an extra purchase, to connect to many devices like a PSP.

AAXA-P4-back.jpg

Non-proprietary ports include a micro SD card slot, a basic headphone jack, and a USB port. The USB port has many intended uses. There is mini-keyboard-mouse combination that can be purchased and plugged into the USB connection for better control of the Windows CE interface. The USB port will also take USB memory sticks for quick playback and upload of media.

The AAXA Technologies P4 has some internal memory, which is always appreciated. You can load some videos on it from your computer and the P4 becomes a standalone entertainment device. What would be really great, is if they listed how much internal memory there was in the manual. The AAXA website says that it has 2GB of internal memory.

Input Ports Callout
Included Adapters Photo
Lots of cables are included

All the ports are listed below.

Connectivity
connectivity.jpg

Menus & Manual

The manual lacks a certain amount of detail that would be helpful. For instance, the manual tells you to refer to the specs page to find out which files are supported, but when on the specs page there is no such list, we get a little frustrated. The pictures are a little cartoony and the writing is too basic. The idea is that the P4 should be so easy to setup, that in-depth description is not necessary. Well, we disagree.

Let's talk about the menus for a second. We had so much difficulty with the user interface, from problems finding the calibration settings, to making adjustments, to even choosing the proper input source. The confusing buttons on the remote were further confounded because different menus would change their functionality. Once you got used to using the directionally named buttons to navigate, a new set of menus would use the directional arrow buttons to get around, and then some menus used neither. There is no way to reset factory settings unless you turn the P4 off to restart it. However, a couple of times it would not turn off, rather the projection would turn off while the internal mechanics and the fan would continue to go, not allowing us to turn the P4 back on again, nor would it go quiet either. We had to wait until the batteries ran out before we could use it again, the P4 buzzing like an angry swarm of bees the entire time. This could be very embarrassing in a meeting.

Then there is Windows CE, a Microsoft interface for smaller devices licensed to OEM companies. This interface looks much like a classic Windows operating system and is intended to read files from the internal memory, like Microsoft Office documents of all kinds. This sounds great at first, until you read this in the manual:

"...rather than locking the Windows CE Desktop we have decided to leave this function unlocked. This allows users to enjoy the full capabilities of the Windows CE operating system. However if you choose to access the desktop, please make sure you know what you are doing. It is very easy to damage or corrupt the projector or the operating system through the Windows Desktop...AAXA Technologies does NOT provide technical support for Operating System issues. ACCESS AT YOUR OWN RISK!"

AAXA has provided the capitalized phrases on their own. This statement makes it sound as though only software developers should really be using the desktop, otherwise "It is very easy to damage or corrupt the projector", a $400 piece of equipment. There is not enough snark in the world to properly condemn this piece of buffoonery.

With such a lack of control, we have to recommend you stay away from this projector, especially because you could stumble into destroying it easily with no technical support from the company that allowed this to happen.

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. 3M MP225A 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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