Favi PJM-1000

The plain-vanilla Favi PJM-1000 pico projector uses liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) projection technology. Though this projector's features are limited, it can handle small presentations where the textual content is more important than the graphical look of the displayed images. But if you want a projector that can manage stand-alone presentations or display attractive color graphics, this model is not for you.

Weighing 6.4 ounces (with battery), this 0.9-by-1.9-by-4.4-inch projector fits as easily into your hand. Its best features are its 640 by 480 native resolution and its brightness rating of 12 lumens. But its 10,000-hour LED life is only half of what competing models offer and its lithium-ion battery lasts only 50 to 60 minutes. The unit lacks internal storage, a memory card slot, a speaker, and a media player, so you must depend on external sources for presentation content and for sound.

The PJM-1000 projected a viewable 25-inch-diagonal image at 3 feet from the screen in low ambient daylight, and a 50-inch-diagonal image at 6 feet in a darkened room at night. In our image quality tests, it displayed legible text in PowerPoint slides and other images, but its graphics performance suffered from washed-out color.

In our tests with still and moving images, it displayed relatively light color tones that had less saturation than the originals. The PJM-1000's image quality was lackluster in our screening of the Monsters vs. Aliens DVD, in podcasts using a fifth-generation iPod Nano and in YouTube clips using an iPhone 3GS. The PJM-1000 also slightly overscans (that is, crops out) the edges of various images, though we don't consider this a major problem.

The PJM-1000 is painless to set up and operate, and it comes with a flexible 4.5-inch tripod stand, in case you don't want to hold it in your hand. Its only controls are a focus dial and an on/off switch. Favi supplies VGA and composite video cables, but we had to use a third-party cable (not included) to connect the projector to an iPod or an iPhone. The PJM-1000 doesn't let you stretch out the battery life by using a lower-lumen economy mode. But if the battery conks out, you can always plug the projector into a wall outlet using the lengthy 75-inch power cord included in the package.

Macworld's buying advice

The Favi PJM-1000 is sparse on features, and its image quality isn't as colorful as that of its rivals, but its bargain-basement price may appeal to budget-minded users.

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