The Aiptek PocketCinema V50 offers a different design style to traditional projectors, looking more like a remote control and external hard drive hybrid than a projector. Part of this could be down to the 128MB built-in hard disk, but such a meagre amount of storage can't be the only thing taking up the room. An RGB LED light source also fits inside the V50, as well as a battery that allows around an hour of continuous use.
With a peak of 50 ANSI lumens of brightness we expected the Aiptek PocketCinema V50 to handle ambient light conditions better than it did; overall its performance was only acceptable. The integrated media player didn't do much to impress either, with a confusing menu that divides playback into audio, video and photos for one storage device at a time. It defaults to the onboard storage, but also caters for SD, SDHC and MMC cards, plus USB drives. PC and laptop connections are of course supported, but an adapter is needed if you want to hook up an iPhone or Mac.
We tried connecting an external hard drive and memory card loaded with video and found the results pleasing, once we finally managed to access them via the Aiptek PocketCinema V50's confusing menu system.
However, using the AV-in port wasn't as agreeable. It immediately kicks in when connected, preventing access to any other controls via the remote or buttons on top of the projector; even adjusting basic settings is off limits when an external device is connected. Fortunately, the focus control can still be used, being a manual wheel on the side of the unit. Using an Aiptek adaptor we also managed to project video from an iPhone via the AV-in port, but encountered the same control difficulties.
The Aiptek PocketCinema V50's speaker is small but provides decent audio and the overall image quality is good but not great. This is a projector you would need to spend some time with before being able to use it comfortably; there are much better alternatives available for when you need to get up and running quickly. You can't fault Aiptek's PocketCinema V50 when it comes to portability though, and once set up correctly, it offers decent projection quality and size.
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