MiLi is more known for their portable power solutions for the iPod and iPhone. However, they also have their own pico projector in the form of the MiLi Power Pico Projector. This foldable portable projector also acts as a charging station when connected to a power source so it’s still within their line of products right?
As an iPod/iPhone accessory, the MiLi Projector is definitely a nice-to-have. The ability to project your display in a huge way is truly an exciting option especially for people who have made these gadgets their mini desktops and video players.
If you’re thinking how it performs as a pocket projector, read on for our review.
Out of the box, the MiLi Projector is hands-down sleek and attractive. At first glance, you wouldn’t believe that it is a projector at all, with its foldable design and portable pocket-size dimensions. This device was designed primarily for the iPod (Classic and Touch) and the iPhone. I tried attaching it to an iPod Video but it was too thick to fit on the dock.
Just like other MiLi power packs, it has the familiar 4 LED lights to indicate battery life when in use or charging. The button at the center toggles these LEDs on and off. Underneath those LEDs is the IR sensor for the remote.
It comes with VGA and RCA input leads allowing you to connect your laptop/computer, DVD players, and yes, even your beloved PS3.
The buttons on the device and the remote are not as intuitive as I want it to be. It’s not one of those gadgets that you can figure out without reading the manual. I learned that aside from pressing the power button on the projector, you also need to press the power on the remote.
It would be really helpful if the buttons have indicator labels. Some of the standard buttons are recognizable, like the Power button and the Volume Controls (although the Volume Controls did just have plus and minus signs). However, the button to the right of the Volume Controls, who would have thought that it was for AV/VGA out selection? What’s good is that you don’t need to press those buttons though since a simple touch will do.
The remote control that came with it has two cryptic buttons, the UD and RL. Turns out they’re used to adjust the overturn of the image (UD = Up/Down and RL = Right/Left). Aside from that, it’s things are pretty self-explanatory.
The location of the sensor on the MiLi’s body was also a cause for frustration. I had to point the remote in front of the sensor which is located at the base of the projector and this is troublesome if it’s placed on the floor. If the sensor was placed somewhere more conspicuous for proper line of sight, it would function more effectively.
A minor flaw in the design is the slot for the VGA cable. The cover is almost always getting in the way, making it hard for the cable to fit into the port. And if I wasn’t as careful as I was, I’m pretty sure that the cover would have detached from the body the first few times I have used it.
There’s also some room for improvement on how the stand was designed. The ability to adjust the levels of inclination would make this more versatile. The same with the dial for lens regulation. It would have been nice to have some traction on the dial for a more accurate focusing.
The MiLi Projector is capable of beaming images up to 70 in. in width with a 640 x 480 resolution. That’s already like having your own personal cinema. However, we don’t recommend more than 40 inches because of the 10-lumens.
Adjusting the display is quite easy. There’s only the focus wheel that you need to worry about. To increase or decrease the size of display, all you need to do is move the projector farther or nearer to the wall. A nifty trick is to adjust the projector part to point upward the ceiling so you can watch your videos while lying in bed.
The 10-lumen brightness is sufficient in my opinion, although for one to really appreciate the display from 3-4 meters away, the room must be pitch dark. And the wall you’re projecting on should be white or a few shades off white in order for you to have somewhat “œcrispy” colors. However, if you intend to project videos from just a few feet or a meter at most, some light seeping through the blinds wouldn’t be an issue. Well, it might “œkill” the movie theater feel to it, but if you’re not too keen about the ambiance and all that then the 10 lumens would definitely do.
Sound-wise, the MiLi projector should not be expected to give out home theater audio quality. It was ok and loud enough for a small enclosed room, but flat and with no bass boosts or anything like that. Simply put, it’s like having one of those generic earphones plugged into your ear.
The battery life was also considerably long, withstanding a 2-hour movie marathon with a few more minutes left for mini-clips and audio-playing.
Here’s a caveat. For the iPod/iPhone, projection is limited to videos only. This means that anything that is not playable on the iPhone’s native video player (like VLC player), the MiLi cannot project. A workaround to this is to jailbreak your device and install an app called “œDisplay Out” from Cydia. This may not be an option for some, but for those with already jailbroken devices, this app will be your new best friend! YouTube videos work though.
The MiLi projector can also charge the iPod/iPhone during playback, however, this is only possible if the MiLi is plugged in.
Overall, the MiLi is a pretty decent portable and pocket-sized projector. I can’t clearly say though that it will be worth the price (Php26,000) because there are already quite a number of products with greater projecting power at price ranges that are equivalent (or less even) to that of the MiLi. But if for the aesthetics, the foldable design and its portability, the MiLi is definitely on my shortlisted options for portable projectors. And with Christmas just around the corner, it’s going to be one perfect gift for your technology-loving self and for the entire family.
MiLi Pico Projector Specs:
- Li-Pol Battery: 11.1V / 1,200mAh
- Input: 14V 2A
- Output: 5V 1A
- Projection Screen Size: 5 to 70 inches
- Resolution: 640×480 pixels
- Contrast: 100:1
- Brightness: 10 Lumens
- Projection System: LCOS RGB
- LED Lifetime: 20,000 hours
- Projection Source: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPod Series, iPad, MP4, DVD Players and Laptop Computers
- Available Color: Black-Blue
- SRP: Php26,000 (contact [email protected] to order)