Mitsubishi Pocket Projector PK20 Review

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Editors' rating:

A compact projector that weighs less than one pound.

A year ago, Mitsubishi invented this product category with its PK10. Now, in its second foray into this market, the Japanese giant has created a model that is practically identical to the Boxlight Bumblebee in terms of features, performance, and general design. The only real difference we see with the Mitsubishi Pocket Projector PK20 is that it comes with a screw-on tripod mount. This unusual feature may be necessary because like the Bumblebee, the PK20 does not elevate its image and therefore must be propped up to display a presentation in full view.
As with the Bumblebee, the PK20's small carrying pouch is much too small to accommodate any of the needed cables, let alone the AC adapter. Also, there is no VGA cable for connecting to a laptop. For laptop-less operation, the PK20 relies on an SD Card slot. To use it, you must save your PowerPoint slideshow to an SD Card as a series of JPEG image files. We encountered similar problems with the PK20 as we did with the Bumblebee: The projector had trouble recognizing that an SD Card was present and was unable to show certain video files.
Our test unit did not come with a battery, so we could not measure performance with this accessory. An accessory we were provided with, however, was the same ill-conceived remote control that accompanied the Bumblebee. Again, the labels were impossible to read, the buttons hard to push, and the functionality just this side of useless. And on that rare occasion when you do have to use it, you must carefully aim the remote at the projector's single infrared receiver on its back panel.
Mitsubishi deserves credit for being honest about this projector's brightness, or lack thereof. In our performance tests, the PK20 produced only 23 lumens in its standard power mode; this is almost two orders of magnitude lower than many new AC-powered projectors, but surprisingly close to Mitsubishi's claim of 25 lumens. The PK20 has a high-power mode, which increases the brightness by 20 percent and bumps up the fan noise considerably.
As with the Bumblebee, the PK20's SD Card slot enables digital photographers to show off their work in darkened rooms. The Mitsubishi Pocket Projector PK20 is an improvement on the company's early battery-powered models, but we'd rather wait for the next version.
Other One-Pound Projectors:
  • Boxlight Bumblebee
  • Casio Super Slim XJ-S35
  • InFocus Work Big LP120
  • Toshiba TDP-FF1AU
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Brightness Less than 2000 Lumens
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