The 3M PocketProjector MP160 is a miniature projector that feels good in the hand and resembles a cordless phone in terms of design and form. A rubber coating protects the outside of the projector, which offers a set of buttons to control volume and power, and a manual wheel for adjusting focus. The entire package is also surprisingly light.

Initially, we were surprised at the brightness of the 30 ANSI lumens projection, though this turned out to be down to the white-and-red 3M splash screen; the picture became very dim once video began playing. Ambient light is no friend of the 3M MP160, but it can project a nice large picture at its 800x600 SVGA resolution when conditions are right.

The built-in speakers did an acceptable job playing back video. Getting that video onto the projector in the first place is the issue, though. With no built-in storage and a single VGA-AV port with a pair of differing connection cables included, you're rather limited as to the device you connect to. In order to send media from devices without standard VGA or composite outputs a separate adaptor is required.

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For such a small unit, the 3M MP160 is fairly loud in operation. It also suffers the same fate as other small projectors when plugged into the mains or an external device, in that it's easily jogged. It does have a tripod mount on its underside, but a little kickstand at the front of the projector is probably all you'll need when in an office environment. The kickstand also makes the device usable as a personal projector for travel and other smaller confines, but you need to be aware that misalignment leads to a misshapen display, which requires manual adjustment.

When the battery is low we found the 3M MP160 tended to switch off without warning. However, after a full charge it provided a couple of hours of use when connected to a composite output playing sound and video.

Next page: Our expert verdict >>

3M PocketProjector MP160: Specs

  • 30 ANSI lumens projector
  • SVGA (800x600) resolution
  • rechargeable battery - claimed battery life 2 hours
  • projector images up to 80in diagonally across
  • 150x65mm
  • 30 ANSI lumens projector
  • SVGA (800x600) resolution
  • rechargeable battery - claimed battery life 2 hours
  • projector images up to 80in diagonally across
  • 150x65mm

OUR VERDICT

The 3M PocketProjector MP160 is definitely an office-centric projector, designed more for presentations from a computer than video playback. It has the right portability attributes - good battery life and lightweight design - but is let down in terms of connection and overall performance.

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