When I moved into my new place a few years ago there was one thing I was sure about. I just didn’t want to have a TV. Now don’t get me wrong I LOVE watching TV and I love watching movies even more, but my place is pretty small and if I had decided to buy a big TV it would have had to have been the focus of the whole living space and I thought it might be quite nice to try and do other stuff occasionally.
You know what I mean, you get home and what is the first thing you do? Put the TV on. I wanted to try and escape that and be more productive with my time, especially now that Netflix has 200 series that I could watch until I’m 200 years old.
So I basically watch Netflix and some catch-up TV on my laptop, which is fine but there is still the odd movie that I don’t get to see at the cinema that merits a ‘cinematic’ experience. The Irishman is a perfect example. to watch it on a small laptop seems almost sacrilegious.
So anyway, when I saw the PicoPix Micro PPX320/INT (also available are the Nano (slightly lower spec, Up to 60″ screen size) and the Max (Up to 120″ with 3 hours battery, 120″ image in Full HD and up to 3 hours of battery life, plus built-in stereo speakers) it seemed like a good compromise between big screen experience, portability and price. Even better Philips offered to send one over so I could give it a test drive.
Small, but beautiful
I’ve had the projector a couple of weeks now and have to say that it’s a pretty cool little box. The first thing that strikes you is how small it is. Around the same size as a packet of 20 cigarettes it really is pocket-sized and the supplied stand screws onto the bottom to give it a stable base even on not so flat surfaces.
Another great thing about the PicoPix Micro is that it has a really short throw. So that means you can project images of up to 200cm (80″) from less than 2 metres away. Obviously the further away you take the projector the bigger the image, common with a lot of projectors there is no way to reduce the size of the image if say for convenience sake you wanted to place the projector behind you.
Easy set up
Once out of the box connecting to your Wi-Fi is fairly easy. Basically it’s a bit like connecting some kinds of smart bulbs, it creates a wi-fi network within yours and then once set up it auto connects every time. By doing this you can connect to your computer or phone wirelessly and either cast your screen or screen share depending on your device or OS. As I have a mac I found the projector was pretty good at this (and with an iPhone) although with my Pixel 3 phone I did have a problem screencasting to the device. Apparently this is only an issue with Google’s own phones (at the moment) and other Android based devices will cast directly to it without any issues.
You can also plug in a memory stick via USB with .mov files or .mpgs or photo files and play them through the projector too. A really cool way to use it is be to plug in a Google Chromecast (note the projector has a Type C mini HDMI connection so you will need a cheap adaptor) and play Netflix / Amazon and all the other Apps iPlayer etc directly through it. An Amazon fire stick would work really well too. If you want to avoid hogging all your WiFi you can also connect your laptop or computer directly via HDMI too. This would also be great for business presentations and you could even plug in a Google Stadia set up and play your games REALLY big on the wall.
The PicoPix Micro uses a special powerful LED light and colours are pretty good. According to Philips it will last for 20 years (30,000 hours) if it’s used 4 hours a day. Which is much better than conventional projectors. Power consumption is much lower too, so it has green credentials too!
In practice, I found you really need a dark room to get full benefits of the LED light and the fine-tune focus dial on the side is very sensitive in order to get the picture really sharp.
This being a fairly budget model (around £250 to buy) it doesn’t show in 4K, which may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s definitely something to be aware of if you’re forking out for 4k Netflix or are planning to plug in a BluRay to the projector. There is a 3.5mm audio out connection so you can plug it in to your external speakers, if you’re watching in your bedroom you may find the 2W internal speaker to be loud enough.
One of the many cool features is the internal battery, which will give you 115 mins of projecting (enough for most movies) cable free. So you can take it out into the garden on Summer nights with a white sheet and have your own drive-in experience (but without the car or expensive popcorn).
All in all the PicoPix Micro is a budget projector, but it does have some really great touches and for someone who enjoys watching TV or movies occasionally but doesn’t want a big TV clogging up the place it’s both excellent value for money and something that should last long enough for you to see the next generation of Marvel superhero movies from the comfort of home.
PicoPix Micro Mobile projector PPX320/INT
Display technology: DLP
Brightness: up to 150 colour lumens
Resolution: 960 x 540 pixels / Resolution supported: 1920 x 1080 pixels
Screen size: 10″ to 80″ / Screen distance: 80 cm to 200 cm
Aspect ratio: 16:9 / Throw ratio: 1.2:1 Contrast ratio: 500:1
Focus adjustment: manual
Keystone correction: auto
Integrated media player: yes
Operating system: Linux
Sound: Internal speaker 2W
For more info visit www.philips.co.uk. Look out for our competition to give away one of these projectors in the next few weeks. Product supplied by Philips, but all thoughts are my own.