iDea Pico Review – A Pocket Projector Packing a Powerful Punch
Every so often a gadget comes along that fits so well into my life that a few days after purchasing it I feel like I have been using it for years, that is where the iDea Pico comes in, an LED projector that combines an exceptional build quality with, a tiny form factor and an incredible high definition display. The concept is simple, a projector that can connect to almost any device wirelessly and project the desired content in glorious 1080p onto any surface. Place it on your desk and it can easily replace your monitor, place it in your lounge and depending on the wall space available you now have an obscenely large TV. In my test we set the projector up on a coffee table and spent the evening watching Breaking Bad at around 120 inches.
The iDea Pico has now been discontinued and replaced by the Idea Pico P200A which can be found on Amazon here, and can find our new review here.
Check out the official promo below:
The unit arrived with every accessory you could need for such a device, it comes in a hard shell travel case, lined on the outside with fabric and containing an insert made of a firm but soft foam. inside the case is a car adapter with two USB ports so you do not have to forgo charging your phone or sat nav as well. Also included is a small remote for navigating the projectors interface, a fully adjustable tripod and a charger.
Connecting and using the projector could not be easier, turning it on brings up a menu with options for Android, Windows, iOS, OS X, DLNA, WiFi and microSD meaning the vast majority of devices can connect in some manner. To connect the Pico to the internet you have two options, the first is via the projector’s settings menu using the d-pad to enter your password, alternatively you can connect to the projector’s built-in hotspot and navigate to http://192.168.49.1/ on your device and connect there, as soon as you are online you can begin watching.
While the official specifications state that you can expect 4 hours battery life out of the device I imagine that this is based on perfect conditions, I found that by connecting via Androids native display casting the 5000mAh battery managed around three and a half hours before having to connect it to a power supply via micro USB.
The internal speaker is better than any you are likely to find on a phone and will certainly suffice when out and about however if this is something you will be using as your primary TV you will be wanting some external speakers which can be connected via the 3.5mm port at the rear of the unit. The Pico does have an internal fan to aid with cooling however, its noise is almost imperceptible and entirely so when audio is playing from the device.
The Pico is 80 lumen which means, that you would likely need to dim the lights when using it, in a fully dark room the picture shows up great, but when the lights are on it appears muted. It’s still usable but nowhere near as enjoyable.
When connecting through a wireless connection it is worth noting that the Pico requires sturdy internet. When connecting as an external display in Windows’ we found that video occasionally did not match up to the audio by a few seconds and that image did skip at times. This we put down to our internet at home which at the time was experiencing some difficulties due to weather and was down to 0.6 Mbps at times.
- Gaming – Android games have never looked so good! You think Asphalt had some impressive graphics before, wait till you see them take up an entire wall!
- Movies & TV – Tilt the projector straight up, lay back in bed and finally get started on that Netflix marathon you’ve been planning.
- Google Glass – A proud owner of Glass? Using screencast you can share what you see with the world on a bigger screen than ever before.
- Public speaking – Boot up Power Point or Google Slides and there you have it, a presentation on demand.
- Music Videos – At a party? Liven it up with the videos to your favourite tunes.
The micro SD allows for the playback of the following formats:
Video format: AVI/MOV/VOB/MPEG/MPG/RM/RMVB/MKV/WMV
Audio format: MP3/WMA/WAV
Image format: JPG/PNG
This is a superb product and adds some great potential to Android as well as your computer, it has become a semi-permanent fixture in my home and I wouldn’t be surprised if it made its way on to many Christmas lists this year.