LG Minibeam projector line shines bright with battery-powered additionsView gallery - 5 images
Once the preserve of company boardrooms or dedicated home theaters, projectors now boast much shorter throw distances, are smaller and cheap enough to appeal to a much wider market. LG has already staked a claim on the portable projector market with its Minibeam line, which now sees the addition of two new battery-powered units, the Ultra-Short Throw (UST) PH450U, and the compact PH150G.
As a UST projector, the PH450U can sit 33 cm (13 in) away from a surface to throw up an 80-in image in 720p resolution. The rechargeable battery lasts a respectable 2.5 hours, which is enough time for the average movie but a portable Peter Jackson experience might be out of the question. The LED lamp shines with 450 lumens, displays a contrast ratio of 100,000:1 and is said to last up to 30,000 hours.
All up, the PH450U doesn't have the resolution, brightness or even portability of the PW700, but its battery power and short throw distance may set it apart. And if there's not enough wall space, the PH450U can be sat up on end to project onto horizontal surfaces like the ceiling, tables or floor.
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Media can be connected to the unit through USB or HDMI, with compatibility for an MHL cable to connect that HDMI to the micro-USB port of a smartphone or tablet. LG's Triple Wireless feature means video, audio and power is supplied sans wires, with content streamed to the projector via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Screen Share.
The PH150G can be connected to media through those same avenues, but at 11.5 x 11.5 x 4.5 cm (4.5 x 4.5 x 1.8 in) and tipping the scales at 450 g (1 lb), it does so in a form factor that's half the size of the PH450U – although not quite as small as the Minibeam Nano. It boasts the same 2.5-hour battery as the PH450U, but brightness is reduced to 150 lumens and it requires some extra distance over which to throw images of up to 100 inches.
The PH450 will be available in Europe and North America in September for US$649.99, while the PH150G will roll out in North America, Europe and Asia first at $349.99, before becoming available in other regions.