Pico projectors FTW!
There was a time when Pico projectors have started to become popular to the point where even smartphones started having them. Sony’s MP-CL1A Mobile Projector is mostly targeted to users that would want a way to easily pitch presentations or if you just want to watch a movie in a screen that’s bigger than your TV. Note that the MP-CL1A is a compact mobile projector so there will be limitations. Still, its performance is what made us like it from the start.
The MP-CL1A weighs as much as any other smartphone so weight won’t be a problem. The projector comes with a nifty cover that also acts as the adjustable stand when positioning it. Its primary port of connection is HDMI, but it also supports Miracast so you can connect to it wirelessly.
The projector has an internal 3,400 mAh battery that can be charged with a micro USB cable. Interestingly, there’s a USB out port also present that can be used to get power from the battery, instantly making the projector into a portable power bank. It also has a built-in speaker, though it’s not the best. Luckily there’s a 3.5 mm audio out so you can connect headphones or an external speaker.
This projector uses a laser diode so there’s a stern warning to not look at the light source directly to avoid damaging your eyes. It can project a 40-inch image from about 102 cm away and can go all the way up to 120-inches from about 305 cm away.
Basically any HDMI-based device that you own is compatible with the MP-CL1A. I have got a lot of presentations and movies saved on my iPhone so I used it as a primary source and connected it to the projector using the required adapter.
I viewed Wonder Woman which has elements of day and night shots that the projector was able to product without any problems. Granted the room I tested it on was with closed curtains and near pitch black so performance is desirable. The video does get washed out the more light comes in, so this projector won’t work well outside during daylight.
I also tried connecting wirelessly using Miracast with a Samsung Galaxy S8, and while it had initial problems at first, I managed to connect it without any hassles (as long as you are in the same Wi-Fi network).
The laser diode also means that no adjustment is needed since it instantly focuses the image. You can navigate the menu using an onboard switch.
The battery managed to last for about two hours so those seeing the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings won’t be possible on the MP-CL1A.
It’s not for everyone, but overall the Sony MP-CL1A Mobile Projector delivers what it promised: giving you an easier way to enjoy a bigger screen without having to churn out a lot of money.