Review: Optoma PK320 Pico Projector
At a Glance
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The Optoma PK320 delivers outstanding brightness, connectivity, and file-format support in a small package.
The Optoma PK320 may be small, but this pico projector is no lightweight when it comes to features for both business and leisure. It's the only projector in our latest review group that comes with an analog VGA cable (to support older laptops), a remote control, and a built-in viewer for Microsoft Office documents.
In addition to the VGA cable, Optoma gives you an AV cable and a short USB cable, but an HDMI cable is an extra-cost option. The PK320’s other ports include Mini HDMI, AV, and Mini-USB connections. The USB serves only to transfer data from a computer to the PK320's 2GB of on-board storage (1.4GB of which is available to users). If that isn't enough on-board storage for your needs, you can slip a card into the projector’s MicroSD card slot. Among the four pico projectors we reviewed for our latest roundup, the PK320 has the most complete connectivity and storage lineup, which helps to justify the unit's high price ($374 on Amazon as of October 29).
Weighing just 8.3 ounces and measuring 4.7 by 2.7 by 1.2 inches, the PK320 is one of the more petite models we examined; it’s also one of the most pleasingly designed, with curved corners and a shiny black case. Its navigation keypad buttons light up in blue for several seconds when you press any one of them.
The DLP-based PK320 has a native resolution of 854 by 480 pixels, which is typical for the category, and it supports a maximum input of 1280 by 800. Optoma rates the unit's brightness at 100 lumens when it's connected to a wall outlet, and at 25 lumens when it's on battery power. In my tests, images projected on battery power looked good as long as I didn't try to make them larger than a couple of feet (diagonal) in a brightly lit room. When I connected the PK320 to the AC adapter, it projected bright and large images.
Powering on the PK320 brings up an attractive menu with icons for choosing a media viewer (music, video, photo, or Office), a video source, or settings. This Optoma model provides more image-adjustment choices than most pico projectors, including a gamma-control option.
The PK320 can decode an unusually large number of file formats, including AVI, MOV, MP4, 3GP, CMB, FLV, WMV, and ASF video; JPEG and BMP still images; MP3, AAC, ASF, WMA, FLAC, RA, OGG, and WAV audio; PowerPoint, Word, and Excel files (both legacy and XML); and PDF documents. As on other projectors with 1-watt speakers, the audio is weak, but you can plug speakers into the headphone jack.
Optoma provides a sturdy neoprene case and a quick-start brochure; the full user manual is available online and in the PK320's internal memory.
In the end, although the PK320 is expensive, it’s the most flexible and full-featured portable projector in this roundup.
Note: This review is part of a four-product roundup. For more, return to the introduction, or click the links below to read our other reviews.