Despite its modest dimensions, the 3M MPro 150 Pocket Projector is capable of beaming your presentations at up to 50in on a bare wall.

The 3M MPro 150 Pocket Projector first caught our eye at this year’s CES where it was demonstrated beaming presentations at up to 50in on to a bare wall. Given the MPro 150’s modest dimensions - the projector is roughly twice as thick as the remote control we use for our telly - we thought it a pretty neat trick.

A few months later the 3M MPro 150 Pocket Projector is being stocked in the UK, bringing portable presentation convenience to the nation’s business buffs.

The 3M MPro 150 Pocket Projector is an oblong black box that weighs 157g and can display Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and Adobe PDFs. Photos and videos can also be shown on it, although its limited light intensity and resolution support mean you’re unlikely to use it for extended gameplay or watching feature-length movies. Bitmap, Jpeg and Mpeg4 video can be viewed on it; it also supports MP3 audio.

The 3M MPro 150 Pocket Projector can project multimedia content from a connected laptop or PC, an MP3 player, mobile phone or camera. Given the expectation of audio, photo and video-capture features on so many items of gadgetry these days, the simple miniUSB connection allowing it to be hooked up to most such devices is welcome. There’s an HDMI port to allow output to an HD video display too.

Better yet, the 3M MPro 150 Pocket Projector can accept microSD media cards and has its own internal 1GB of flash memory. The media card slides into a concealed slot towards the rear of the right of the projector. This means you can take the presentation with you safely stored on the projector with no need to pack a clunky additional piece of kit.

Apple users keen to make use of the 3M MPro 150 Pocket Projector’s presentation skills can purchase a separate adaptor cable. A car charger and a component video cable can also be bought separately. A small tripod with flexible metal legs is supplied as part of the standard kit. This screws in to the bottom of the MPro 150 and can be sheathed in its cardboard tube for easy transportation.

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>> NEXT PAGE: Powering the MPro 150 Pocket Projector and Controlling playback and sound

Despite its modest dimensions, the 3M MPro 150 Pocket Projector is capable of beaming your presentations at up to 50in on a bare wall.

Powering the MPro 150 Pocket Projector

The 3M MPro 150 Pocket Projector can be mains-powered or run off its rechargeable lithium-ion battery. A flashing red LED indicates charging is in progress; once a full charge has been reached, the status light disappears. 3M cites a useful off-mains time of around 90 minutes before a recharge is required.

The lamp is rated for 2,000 hours of use, but throws out only 15 Ansi lumens of light. By comparison, full-size business projectors tend to boast around 2,000 Ansi lumens. Despite the 3M MPro 150 Pocket Projector’s ability to display an image up to 50in across, it’s therefore fairly indistinct. Drop down the display size to 30in across - still plenty large enough for a small group meeting - and you get a more defined, brighter image. Next to the lamp on the front of the projector is a horizontal scroll wheel to adjust the focus. There's no option to keystone-correct the image, though, so you can end up fine-tuning the position of the tripod and projector quite a bit.

Given the limited brightness of the 3M MPro 150 Pocket Projector, you’ll need a darkened room in which to use it - but it needn't be so dark you can't see your presentation notes. There are three sunshine icons to allow you to indicate the prevailing conditions to the projector.

Controlling playback and sound

Controlling the 3M MPro 150 Pocket Projector is done directly on the device itself - there's no separate remote control to lose. Given the daintiness of the tripod, this can lead to a bit of wobbling about. More importantly, to switch between showing photos and, say, an Mpeg4 video, you need to go through the menu settings and select that type of media. A fiddly process. Also, if the 3M detects the presence of a microSD card, by default it assumes you want to access content from this and places the SD card menu at the top of the scrollable list. There's an option to Star items and mark them as favourites, which helps a bit.

The 3M MPro 150 Pocket Projector is very quiet in operation. Only a faint whirring can be heard and that only if there's no other sound. 3M suggests in its marketing materials that you could use the ultra-portable MPro 150 as an MP3 player - our review sample came with some examples preloaded - but when we plugged in our headphones to test this idea we got only mono playback. There's no mechanism for adusting the audio levels on the device either and the audio output is only sufficient if you've a small, attentive audience.

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>> NEXT PAGE: Specifications and our expert verdict

3M MPro 150 Pocket Projector: Specs

  • Portable LED projector
  • 15 Ansi lumens output
  • 20,000 hour LED energy-saving light
  • VGA (640x480-pixel) resolution display
  • images viewable from 8in to 50in across
  • HDMI
  • microSD card
  • mini USB port
  • headphone/speaker port
  • DC mains connector
  • mini tripod
  • adjustable focus
  • on-body navipad
  • supports MP3
  • Mpeg4
  • PDF
  • Word, Excel
  • PowerPoint files. 1GB internal memory
  • 2GB microSD card supplied
  • rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • 90 minutes + battery use
  • Portable LED projector
  • 15 Ansi lumens output
  • 20,000 hour LED energy-saving light
  • VGA (640x480-pixel) resolution display
  • images viewable from 8in to 50in across
  • HDMI
  • microSD card
  • mini USB port
  • headphone/speaker port
  • DC mains connector
  • mini tripod
  • adjustable focus
  • on-body navipad
  • supports MP3
  • Mpeg4
  • PDF
  • Word, Excel
  • PowerPoint files. 1GB internal memory
  • 2GB microSD card supplied
  • rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • 90 minutes + battery use

OUR VERDICT

There are some great aspects to this solidly built projector. It's neat and compact and weighs only 155g. Its non-slip rubber coating makes it easy to grip and we like the fact you really can slip it into an inside jacket pocket to take out and about with you. We were also impressed to find the battery lasted longer than 3M led us to believe. We got more than 2.5 hours active use from the MPro 150 Pocket Projector with no indication that the battery was fading and no excessive build-up of heat.

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