The Aiptek PocketCinema V20 is a stylish pico projector with a gloss black top and chrome banding around the side.

This reveals space for an SDHC/SD/MMC flash memory card slot, mini USB port and a mini VGA socket. You can then hook up your Mac to provide a maximum image resolution of 640x480. Unfortunately, you can’t use the projector with an iPhone using the cables supplied. Additional resolutions aren’t supported by the Aiptek PocketCinema V20. It compensates for that by including 2GB of internal memory. Sound is produced by a single 0.5W speaker.

On the top of the Aiptek PocketCinema V20 are touch-sensitive controls for power, a four-way cursor and menu options, which pull up a graphical user interface. This enables you to find certain kinds of files stored in the memory, as well as giving you control over keypad sensitivity, language and so on.

Since there’s a complete absence of any kind of picture or keystone correction, you’re left with what the lens and 15 ANSI Lumens brightness can give you. The result is slightly brighter than the 3M MPro120, but again you have to balance image brightness against picture size with 2m being the maximum possible. Again, it’s a toss-up between showing your presentation to a crowd sitting in virtual darkness, or getting them to view a fairly tiny image.

The Aiptek PocketCinema V20 is capable of producing clear and bright images, as long as you keep the picture size small. However, our particular review unit had problems staying in focus – the simple act of taking a finger away from the focus wheel often knocked the projector out of whack, and if that didn’t do it the images on screen eventually lost focus on their own.

We raised this issue with Aiptek, which was surprised by our findings, so we probably just had a bad sample. However, it’s a good idea to check whether any unit you’re looking at has the same problem before you splash your cash.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Aiptek PocketCinema V20 [PCA]: Specs

  • LCOS projector
  • 15 ANSI lumens
  • Image Size: 0.15-1.65m
  • Projection Distance: 0.21-2m
  • VGA (640x480)
  • Native Aspect Ratio: 4:3
  • LED, JPEG photo playback, MP3 playback, built-in 2 GB flash
  • Manual Zoom/Focus
  • Mono Speaker(s)
  • 0.5 Watt
  • Remote control
  • SDHC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, USB, audio line-in, mini-phone 3.5mm, VGA
  • Carrying case, tripod
  • USB cable, VGA cable, A/V cable
  • Power adaptor - external
  • ArcSoft MediaConverter
  • 23x55x125mm
  • 145g
  • LCOS projector
  • 15 ANSI lumens
  • Image Size: 0.15-1.65m
  • Projection Distance: 0.21-2m
  • VGA (640x480)
  • Native Aspect Ratio: 4:3
  • LED, JPEG photo playback, MP3 playback, built-in 2 GB flash
  • Manual Zoom/Focus
  • Mono Speaker(s)
  • 0.5 Watt
  • Remote control
  • SDHC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, USB, audio line-in, mini-phone 3.5mm, VGA
  • Carrying case, tripod
  • USB cable, VGA cable, A/V cable
  • Power adaptor - external
  • ArcSoft MediaConverter
  • 23x55x125mm
  • 145g

OUR VERDICT

A compact and lightweight pico projector with built-in memory, the Aiptek PocketCinema V20 has a flash memory card slot, mini USB or VGA connections, and benefits from low noise and a rechargeable battery. We did, however, find a focus issue with our unit. It produces a small image and there is no keystone or picture controls.

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