Based on its general appearance and features, the Boxlight Bumblebee projector is surely a sibling of the Mitsubishi Pocket Projector PK20. But we prefer the Bumblebee's rounded edges, which make it easy to slide in and out of its small carrying pouch. There is no similar pouch for cables, and surprisingly no VGA cable for connecting to a laptop.
For laptop-less operation, the Bumblebee has an SD Card slot. To use it, you must save your PowerPoint slideshow on an SD Card as a series of JPEG image files. We had some trouble getting the projector to recognize that an SD Card was present, and there was about a one-second lag time between slides. We also had some trouble getting the Bumblebee to display video files; the only video it did show satisfactorily was an MPEG-4 file.
Our test unit came with the $199 optional battery, which attaches to the bottom of the projector and adds considerable bulk (an extra 0.8 pounds in weight and nearly an inch in height). The battery worked well, but it seemed to have a loose connection, sometimes causing the power to shut off when we moved the projector.
In our performance tests, the Bumblebee beamed out 24 lumens in its standard power mode. By comparison, most AC-powered projectors are capable of producing at least 1000 lumens. The Bumblebee has a low-power mode for saving battery life, and a high-power mode, which ups the brightness by 20 percent but casts a greenish tint on images and increases the fan noise considerably.
We were surprised to learn that the Bumblebee's lens system does not elevate the image. This means that in most tabletop applications you will have to prop up the projector to see a full image. The Bumblebee's remote control has an excellent chance of winning our Worst Accessory Award for 2006. Its labels are impossible to read; its buttons are hard to push; and its functionality is low. To use the remote, you must aim it precisely at the projector's single infrared receiver on its back panel.
Despite its remote, the Boxlight Bumblebee does have some advantages. Its SD Card slot makes the projector a good accessory for digital photographers eager to show off their work to audiences who don't mind darkened rooms. And its two-year warranty is twice as long as that of its Mitsubishi sibling. But despite its rounded design, the Bumblebee has a few rough edges.