Tag Archive for Dell M109S

Pico Projector No. 2: Optoma PK 101

Optoma PK101 Projector

Optoma PK101 Projector

Yesterday, I discussed the first of two pico-projectors to hit the market: The Dell M109S. Today I’ll discuss the second, the Optoma PK-101 PICO Pocket Projector which, coincidentally, became officially available yesterday. I’ve only been able to find it online at Amazon.com (pre-order) and eBay at this time. It sells for $399, $50 less than the Dell M109S, but don’t stop reading yet.

First off, these units aren’t meant to replace your large home video projectors. Home units, which are designed for lit room viewing, are much much brighter than these mini-projectors, but the home units aren’t exactly portable or easy to transport and setup. And you certaily won’t fit a home unit in your pocket or handbag. These mini pico-projectors are portable, and are very very easy to setup. The Optoma PK101 will fit in your pocket, and the Dell M109S will fit in a slightly larger pocket. (FYI, you may very well see a pico-projector in future cellphones and portable computers for projecting images on a wall or other light colored surface.)

Back to the PK 101 from Optoma

The PK 101 is much smaller and lighter than the Dell M109S. It’s just over half an inch thick, 2 inches wide, and 4 inches long. It weighs only 4 ounces — a third the weight of the M109S (13 ounces), but the PK101 is only a fifth as bright as the Dell unit.  The Optoma is rated at 11 lumens versus the M109S’s 50 lumens. (Current home theater units are rated at 1,000 to 2,500 lumens).

The PK101 runs on a battery, which lasts for 2 hours of usage. There is a second battery included which can be swapped when the first one dies. The Dell M109S runs on an AC adapter, and there is no battery option. The PK101 has a AC adapter, too. The lower lumens rating is probably intended to conserve the PK101’s battery life. Both units work best in a dimly lit or dark room.

The plus side for the PK101 is that it is supposed to include a cable for connecting it to your iPod, so you can project video and slideshows. The Dell M109S can also be connected to an iPod, but you’ll have to buy the connecting cable from Apple: Apple Composite AV Cable – Apple Store (U.S.). The cable costs $50.

About Connectivity

The PK101 connects to iPods and iPhones with its included bundled connection kit. It can also be connected to camcorders, DV-Cams, and Digital Cameras with their standard composite AV Outs with the PK101’s included composite cable. You can also connect it to DVD Players and other video players. The same holds true for the Dell M109S (Note: I mentioned earlier a special cable is needed from Apple to connect the M109S to a iPod or iPhone).

Dell M109S

Dell M109S

The Optoma PK101 isn’t configured for connecting to a laptop or computer. unless the computer itself as a special video output.

The Optoma PK101 is the more atractive of the two units with its sleek finish, though some have complained it is prone to showing fingerprints and smudges. The Dell M109S has a brighter and sharper image, but no battery option. For computer and video connectivity, I’d be prone to go with the M109S. If I were more interested in iPod video connectivity, I might be inclined to go with the Optoma PK101, though I could always get the Apple cable to connect to the M109S.

I think the three questions you need to ask yourself when decing on these two units are: Do I need an option to run on a battery, or will I usually have access to a power outlet? What will I connect to more: an iPod or a computer? Do I want to drop it in my pocket or carry it in a briefcase or bag?

Update (Mar. 31, 2009): Connect Optoma PK-101 to a MacBook Air

Apple Micro-DVI to Video Adapter

The Optoma PK 101 is designed to connect to devices that have composite video connections. The MacBook Air has a mini display port that can be used as follows:

  • DVI output using Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter
  • VGA output using Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter
  • Dual-link DVI output using Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter

This is according to the MacBook Air’s Technical Specifications web page.

According to a MacBook Air Developer Note from Jan. 18, 2008:

The MacBook Air ships with a micro-DVI to DVI adapter and a micro-DVI to VGA adapter. A micro-DVI to video adapter, which provides composite and S-video support, is sold separately.

The Apple Micro-DVI to Video Adapter (shown above right) is available from the Apple Store in the US and Canada for $19. Apple says, “The Micro-DVI to Video Adapter was designed specifically to fit the slim profile of MacBook Air. The adapter connects to the Micro-DVI port on your MacBook Air and provides both S-video and Composite video connectors so that you can view content from your computer on such devices as TVs, VCRs, or overhead projectors with S-Video or RCA (Composite) connectors.”




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Ultra-portable Presentations: The Dell M109S Projector

Dell and Optoma have each released an ultra-portable projector recently. Dell has the Dell M109S On-the-Go Projector and Optoma has the Pico PK-101. Today I’ll discuss the Dell M109S On-the-Go Projector.

Dell M109S

Dell M109S

The Dell M109S is an amazingly small projector. As you can see it truly fits in the palm of one’s hand with every dimension between 1-1/2 inch and 4-1/4 inches, and it’s weight is less than one pound (0.80 pounds to be exact).

This just-about-pocket-sized projector could be used to deliver business or ther presentations in small gorup or conference settings. College students could find it useful for course presentations. It could also be useful for travel for connections to portable DVD players, console game stations, or laptops for projecting videos, movies, or games. Update (12/16/08): If you purchase a $50 Apple Composite AV Cable – Apple Store (U.S.) you can attach it to your iPod and project video or slideshows onto a wall.

The M109S uses Texas Instruments DLP (Digital Light Projection) technology. DLP uses millions of tiny mirrors and reflectors that work in concert to create stunning colors and highly-accurate images. This same technology is being used in digital movie theatres and in home entertainment and theater systems.

Connecting the Dell M109S On-the-Go Projector is a breeze since its included multi-input cable lets you connect to notebooks, desktops, DVD players, gaming consoles and other video devices. So there’s no need to search for or carry a multitude of adapters.

For you techies who need to know the specs, here they are:

  • Ultra Portable – At 3.64″ x 4.12″ x 1.46″ and a mere 0.80 pounds, you’ll hardly notice it’s in your laptop case.
  • 858 x 600 SVGA Native Resolution – Displays up to 480,000 pixels with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
  • Contrast ratio: 800:1 typical (Full On/Full Off) – Projects clear images and easy-to-read text.
  • Long Projection Life – The M109S utilizes mercury-free LED light source of usage life up to 10,000 hours, helping to save money and reduce maintenance to a minimum as no replace of LED module light source is required.
  • Password Protection – Keep critical presentations safe and secure.
  • Green Machine – With the efficient, mercury-free LED technology, you can help protect the planet and your bottom line.

If you combine this with one of the ultra mobile, ultra portable netbooks like the Dell Inspiron mini 9 or the Asus Eee PC and you’ll have one of the most compact travelling presentations ever. You’ll dazzle your clients more than ever with your great presentation and your amazing projection system.