Review: MicroVision SHOWWX+ Laser Pico Projector

I love technology. I am a man of gadgets and gizmos, of thingamabob’s and doohickeys. I buy gadgets I don’t need simply because of the technological impressiveness of the gadget. Sometimes that works out great, and sometimes I end up with an expensive piece of decoration. If I had purchased the MicroVision SHOWWX+ laser pico projector currently being sold at ThinkGeek, I think I’d be somewhere in the middle of ecstatic at the technology, and unable/unwilling to use it often enough to get a return on the cost.

This is not to say that the MicroVision SHOWWX+ isn’t a good projector. It’s only slightly larger than an iPhone 4 (there is a comparison shot just after this paragraph), but size alone does not a good gadget make. It’s sleek, compact, and easy to use, but good design does not make a gizmo unforgettable. It’s lightweight and portable, but practicality itself is not enough to support a $369.99 price tag. At the end of the day, one question, and one question alone, really makes or breaks the value of a projector. Does the projector…project?

The projector does, in fact project (though the video may take a few moments to load):

Now, you may notice that the room is fairly dark. This is because the projector only achieves a brightness of 15 Lumens, which has a very hard time combating any kind of additional lighting. If you want to get the best performance out of this tiny projector, you need to be in the dark to get it. On the other hand, the laser image never needs to be focused, and has a good color correction option within the device’s menu. Additionally, the image can be scaled up (depending on your distance from your projection target) to 100″ diagonally.

At the end of the day, the MicroVision SHOWWX+ laser pico projector isn’t something I would use around the house for normal viewing. It is, however, a fantastic device for taking on trips. Going camping? Set up a sheet and you’ve got a screen for your whole family, or your whole group of friends, to watch a movie on. It’s great for mobile office use as well. Need to make a presentation in a place without a projector? No worries, you’ve got one in your pocket that will more than work well enough to display presentation videos and slides. For $369.99, you’re really putting out a lot of money for something. If you’re looking at a holiday gift this year, and this is on your radar, make sure your recipient will get good use out of it. If he or she will, it’s a great buy in spite of the short battery life and need for dark environments.

Review

ProsCons
Lightweight
Portable
Easy to use
2 hour battery life
15 lumen brightness needs dark environment
Hefty price tag
Rating
75 out of 100

I’m the Ambassador of Kickyourassador. I am the Walrus. I’m on a highway to the Danger Zone. I am the Kwisatz Haderach.

I do things with words that have a generally geeky gist.

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