How about using your mobile phone to beam an image or a presentation? There are phones that can be used as mini projectors.
This is an emerging technology and is catching on fast. However, big companies are yet to invest in this segment, save for Samsung.
There are many options from small handset companies such as Maxx, GFive and Intex. They may offer cheaper alternatives but they are not built very well. Here are some of the good options in this segment.
Samsung Galaxy Beam
Samsung should perhaps change its tagline to “We have a phone for everything”. At Rs 27,000 the phone packs in a lot. It is a fully functional smartphone running on Android 2.1, and its 12.1 mm frame can pack a lamp with 15 lumens. It is ideal for a quick business presentation.
Obviously with a projector packed into the device, the battery life does take a beating, but the specs say the phone can run 14 hours on 2G network and about 7 hours on 3G network. With the projector, it’s safe to assume the phone can run up to about 3 hours on a full charge.
The phone comes with a tripod and you would probably have to use office supplies to make a stand or keep it at the edge of the table, but it does come with an impromptu portable screen maker.
The telescopic rod extends out and has a small clip where one can place a sheet of paper and the base can support it during presentations. The sheet can be placed in landscape mode or portrait mode depending on your presentation.
The projector also tops up as a torch; and the intensity can be changed using the volume buttons and so too the colours. (Try beating Nokia 1100.)
Micromax competes in this segment as always with a low-cost alternative. The X40 is a dual SIM phone and the projector’s lamp is rated at 20 lumens. It is good value for money though the construction could be a bit more elegant.
The phone also comes with a tripod, so that should make presentations a bit more easy. The projector lens is also analog and the image can be focussed using a dial near the lens.
However, there are some glaring problems with the projector. The image is beamed at 90 degrees and anti-clockwise, and there is no default program to correct this and one would have to tilt their heads to navigate to the file.
The image corrects itself once the video being played goes into full screen. It also runs on a rather old Java-based OS. Better luck next time Micromax.
Spice M9000 Popkorn
The problems that plague Micromax are present in Spice as well; and a lot more too. It can play videos in 3GP format and the projector is not that great. The image projected is a pain in the neck (literally) and projects is projected at 90 degrees and anti-clockwise.
The build feels cheap and plastic. There are vents in the side to keep the projector cool. The phone includes a tripod, which is even more cumbersome than the one Micromax has, and includes an external speaker; no marks again for the quality of the speakers.
There were alarming reviews about the battery life. The phone’s price varies from Rs 6,700 to Rs 5,700; keep an eye out for bargains.