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About this Blog: Paul Mah keeps a lookout for the coolest, best-looking and most functional tech gadgets, electronics and accessories to fuel your digital cravings -- with an eye towards enhancing work productivity and efficiency.

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FAVI Mini Projector Lets You Pack a 100-Inch Display in a Laptop Bag

The FAVI Mini Projector is a portable LED projector that weighs less than a pound and works with a wide range of input sources, as well as USB flash memory or an SD card.

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The FAVI Mini Projector (RioHD-LED-4) by FAVI Entertainment is a portable projector that weighs less than a pound and that should fit into most laptop bags. Designed for business use, the FAVI Mini Projector supports a range of input resolutions (1080p/1080i/720p) with a mid-range display resolution of 1024x768. The gadget supports input connectors for VGA, HDMI, composite video and audio. And a 2.5mm headphone connector, SD card slot and USB port can all be found on the back panel.

The FAVI Mini Projector comes with internal video media player software capable of playing AVI movies and other media files from the integrated SD card reader or a USB flash drive. A headphone jack lets you listent to audio via headphones, and you can also play music via external speakers, including the Logitech Mini Boombox that I reviewed last week. The FAVI Mini Projector comes with a built-in speaker that's offers audio levels of roughly twice the volume of most laptops.

The FAVI Mini Projector Experience

Setting up the Mini Projector was quick and easy. Just attach the included tripod stand, plug in the included power brick and grab the remote control. Unfortunately, that remote has only a power button and a scroll wheel used for adjusting the focus on the projector--and it doesn't come with any of AAA batteries it needs to operate.

I used the Mini Projector to play a movie on my iPad using an Apple VGA Adapter and connect to my laptop via VGA to play media files off an SD card. The image quality was decent but not great, with the focus easily adjustable via the scroll wheel on top of the projector. A "vertical keystone correction" feature let me use the Mini Projector's OSD (On Screen Display) menu to eliminate the trapezoid image that resulted from tilting the projector upwards. And though I didn't specific test the feature, the Mini Projector is also capable of reverse projection.

In terms of brightness, the Mini Projector performed poorly in a well lit room. With the lights off, the Mini Projector performed acceptably, though drawing the shades made the images more clear. The cooling fans were audible but not too loud, and the projector stays relatively cool during use and was only slightly warm after a few hours of continuous usage. The included media player is accessed from the remote control, and it's capable of playing various AVI and MP4 formats, as well as most graphic files, though not all codecs are supported.

It's somewhat strange that FAVI Entertainment opted for a mini-VGA port instead of a standard one, since there seemed to be sufficient space for a standard VGA port on the back panel. Thankfully, the company included a mini-VGA to VGA cable in the package. I thought that the remote control could be better labeled, though a quick glance at the Quick Start guide quickly answered any questions i had.

Like most projectors, FAVI has positioned the IR receiver just beside the lens on its front. This is not optimal. however, since you're likely to sit just behind the Mini Projector with a laptop or tablet. In my case, aiming at the wall in front of the Mini Projector bounced the IR signal back to the projector, though your experience may vary depending on the shape of your room.

Conclusion

Sales executives or employees who need to make regular presentations to small groups will surely appreciate the FAVI Mini Projector. While it can hardly be considered cheap at $299.95, it does come with a wide range of input ports and a built-in media player. Ultimately, the gadget's appeal may be limited to users who require portability and plan to use it in smaller rooms.

The FAVI Mini Projector can be pre-ordered at FAVI Entertainment's product page here, though it's currently out of stock, or at Amazon and other online retailers.

The FAVI Mini Projector comes with media player firmware that can read from a SD card and/or USB flash drive. (Note the fan intake on the left side.)

FAVI Mini Projector playing Matrix Revolutions (Close up shot)

Playing the same movie from where I'm sitting about 10ft (9m) away

Small footprint: The Mini Projector with tripod stand and remote control beside my iPad.

 


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