Pico Projectors

The pico projectors category includes the latest in ultra-portable projectors, micro projectors, and pocket projectors for laptops and other convenient device integration. See below for a list of pico projector reviews and information pages.

Pico projectors, are hand-held portable devices that use a solid state light source such as LED instead of a conventional lamp.

Loosely defined as under 0.75 lbs., they are considerably smaller than similar “pocket projectors” or “mini projectors,” which are therefore over 0.75-1 lbs. Thus, these pico projectors are no larger than the size of a pack of cigarettes.

Since the first pico projectors emerged on the market a few years ago, each subsequent generation’s performance, on average, has exceeded its predecessors. Each year, picture quality, resolution, brightness and even inputs have become more advanced and are expected to continue to improve in the future.

Pico projector brands: 3M, LG, Optoma, Samsung, AAXA.

Pico Projectors Reviews

about Pico Projectors

Pico projectors are less than 1 lb., fit comfortably in the pants or even shirt pocket, and are extremely convenient for portable uses. They typically use DLP or LCoS technology with an LED solid state light source. They are one size class smaller than pocket and mini projectors.

True, pico projector resolution remains significantly lower than typical business or home theater projectors, and brightness is not likely to reach the levels of standard size projectors.

However, the picture quality, color, and brighness of recent pico projectors is an improvement upon even the previous year’s models. We presume pico projector imaging will continue to be made better with new technological advances. For example, the brightest of 2009’s pico projectors was only 12 lumens, whereas some of today’s pico projectors measure up to 50 lumens and are more versatile than ever before (as of the end of 2010).

Without a doubt, pico projectors are a lot of fun. Their incredibly small size and excellent portablility make them great for video gaming, movie watching, or mobile presentations (so long as they’re bright enough for your environment).

Above, the pico projectors reviewed in 2010. From left, clockwise: Optoma PK201, LG HX-300G, 3M MP150, Optoma PK301, and the AAXA L1. Not shown: the AAXA P1 Jr.

Let’s take a look at some of the significant features of pico projectors.


Pricing for Pico Projectors is usually around anywhere from $100 to $799 retail price; but most are available for $200-$400.

Notable Specifications

  • Brightness: 8-60 lumens
  • Native resolution: VGA to XGA, also wide screen models
  • Contrast: 1000:1 to 2000+:1
  • Light source life: 20,000+ hours, most rated 10,000-30,000 hours
  • Warranty: typically 90 days to 1 year, parts and labor (varies from brand to brand)
  • Inputs: Composite video is standard, and some offer VGA input, USB input and/or a card reader, and HDMI (typically a mini-HDMI jack)


  • Extremely small – around the size of a wallet, some less than 1/2 inch thick, weigh around a half a pound or less
  • Most have more than one type of input in addition to standard composite video source
  • Increased compatibility as memory cards and USB slots are becoming more common
  • Some offer built-in multimedia players
  • Battery life around or just over 1 hour
  • Relatively quick recharge (3-5 hours)
  • Most have audio – 1 or 2 speakers, and some have audio out for external speakers/headphones
  • One year warranty is most common so far (though some have 90 day)
  • Long life LED light source

Check out our 2010 pico projector report for more in-depth analysis, comparisons and reviews of specific models: A Guide To Pico Projectors

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