Small battery-powered projector, easy to use, can provide clear and bright original 1080p images.
Philips PicoPix Max One is a small battery-powered projector that is easy to use and provides clear and bright original 1080p images. It lacks some of the functions of other small projectors, but makes up for its shortcomings with an easy-to-use menu system, which is very suitable for watching movies or making presentations on the go.
Want a bright video the size of a wall? You need a projector. Unfortunately, your options are limited. With a commercial-grade movie projector, you can get super clear and bright images, which will leave dents in the wallet, ceiling and electricity bills. In addition, you can buy a miniature "pico" size projector, which has all the advantages of low price and small size, but can provide smaller, low-quality images.
Philips PicoPix Max One promises to provide large and clear 1080p images, while at the same time small enough to fit a backpack. Not only that, it is also battery-powered and supports USB Type-C. Is this the perfect compromise?
almost. This is not without problems, but there are many things worth mentioning here.
Picopix max one is a small full HD projector that can project original 1080p video up to 120". The onboard 3000 mAh battery guarantees up to three hours of viewing time, and the onboard USB-A port can be used for Casting devices (such as Chromecast or Fire TV sticks) provide power, making it very convenient to use as a portable media device for watching TV or giving presentations.
The main video input is HDMI, but if both functions are available on your device, there is also a USB Type-C port that can be used as a video input or power output.
Power is provided through the DC barrel jack and the included 65w power plug, if you don’t want to use the onboard dual 4 watt speakers, you can choose to provide 3.5 mm audio output, which is nothing to say-more or less good as a laptop Speakers, but to be fair, no projector can provide all such good audio, especially in this price range.
The projector is equipped with an infrared remote control, and has a capacitive touch button on the projector body, which can be used for menu jump without it.
In terms of installation, it has a single-threaded socket at the bottom that is compatible with all tripods, and most of the mounting plates for projectors, although its small size and light weight make it much easier to install than most others.
Unlike its brother PicoPix Max (different in size), this projector does not have an onboard wireless connection, nor an operating system capable of playing and storing media. You need to connect it to a laptop, smartphone or projection device. In other words, the price of PixoPix Max One is almost half that of PicoPix Max, which makes it a good budget alternative.
The contrast ratio of 10,000:1 and the projection ratio of 1.2:1 (D:W) make it work in a variety of settings, whether it is projecting a larger image on the living room wall or shooting closer on a smaller image It can display a clear image on the screen without many settings.
If you are in a dark room and can project a decent, non-reflective flat surface, the video can reach 120 inches and remain clear.
Installing Max One for the first time is very simple, just plug it in and open it. When projecting on a flat surface, automatic keystone correction is quite good, but any operation beyond this range requires manual keystone correction.
This can be done easily with the remote control, which is where you focus on the lens. The strange thing is that I cannot find the menu settings on the projector for this, so you really don't want to lose the remote control!
One of the benefits of not having an Android operating system is that it is really as simple as plug-and-play. No need to jump through menus, connect to Wi-Fi or set up user accounts.
For testing, we mainly used Chromecast without any problems. As for the battery, we managed to watch the entire movie on a medium brightness setting (while powering the Chromecast).
Before starting, I have charged it fully, so we can more or less watch movies directly on the box. The battery lasted for the entire process, until I turned it off, the battery still showed a certain amount of charge-you have to hold a long business meeting to extend battery life.
In fact, there is no problem with all HDMI usage. Unfortunately, USB Type-C cannot say the same thing.
Before proceeding, it is important to briefly introduce the USB Type-C video, because many of the problems here may not be the problem of the projector, but more of the adoption and specification of USB Type-C.
Video on USB Type-C (using a regular USB Type-C cable without a converter) uses DisplayPort Alt Mode. Not all devices support it, so it is difficult to find reliable information about which devices can be used. For my Google Pixel 4a smartphone, the Alt mode has been turned off in the kernel-level software. I'm not sure why this is the case, but fortunately, I have a Chromecast which is also easily sold by Google.
In my experience, even if I try to use multiple devices, I cannot directly use the USB Type-C video input. Your experience may be different. When this problem is still found in many consumer devices, it is unfair for me to mark it on the projector. Time may change, but if there is no firmware update, Max One seems to always encounter these problems.
More importantly, if you use a USB Type-C adapter dongle, this problem will not occur. These dongles have a built-in HDMI conversion function and are widely supported. If you are already using a dongle like this to connect your laptop to an external monitor, you won't have any problems.
One of the interesting features of the projector is its ability to charge USB devices, and the prospect of using the projector’s internal 3000 mAh battery as a power bank seems to be a huge bonus feature.
Unfortunately, no matter how I try, USB Type-C charging does not work properly. Turning on USB Type-C charging in the menu will not charge the failed device. After turning on the device, it doesn't work either. A slight USB monitoring indicates that the projector is controlling the power transfer negotiation, but it is strange that it is trying to charge from the device instead of actually charging, and changing the settings on the smartphone does not take any measures to remedy it.
In contrast, USB Type-A charging works normally, but only when the projector is turned on. Unfortunately, whenever the projector is turned on, the fan and projection LED are also turned on. This means that it can only be charged when the projector is actively used.
This is still good and a convenient feature, but it does mean that you can't use it like a regular power bank, because it is convenient to use on the go.
It's also worth noting that the absence of an onboard media player means you can't use a thumb drive to play videos. The USB Type-A port only provides power, and the projector itself does not have an onboard decoder for video files.
Unfortunately, because it could have been easily added, but it will increase the complexity of the operating system. As mentioned earlier, the more expensive PicoPix Max has these built-in features, which is a fair trade-off when you consider that the price of the Max One plus casting equipment is still hundreds of dollars cheaper.
So, this is a big problem. Considering the problems I encountered, is this projector worth buying? I would say yes, because most of these problems cannot be solved on the projector.
This is a powerful micro projector whose core is portability and ease of use. The padded bag makes it easy to carry the projector, Chromecast and HDMI cable. It will not replace a suitable home theater projector in the short term, but it does not mean it. When a decent speaker is plugged in, it works very well on movie nights, and unless you live on an airplane hanger, you may not need a larger screen than the 120 inches it provides.
Compared with other small projectors at this price, the attractive place is its inherent 1080p resolution, which is lacking in many other projectors. Of course, it does not have a built-in Android TV operating system or a built-in Bluetooth speaker, but in terms of image quality, it is difficult to find a micro projector that can achieve this effect in this price range.
Ian Buckley is a freelance journalist, musician, performer and video producer living in Berlin, Germany. When he is not writing or on stage, he is tinkering with DIY electronic products or codes in order to become a mad scientist.
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