Samsung SP-P410M review
This compact portable projector from Samsung uses an array of LEDs as a light source rather than a halogen bulb. This has two advantages: it starts up much more quickly as you don't have to wait for the bulb to warm up, and the light source doesn't need to be replaced.
Samsung claims that the LED light source is good for a whopping 30,000 hours - or the equivalent of three-and-a-half years' constant use. This compares with a few hundred hours at most for a halogen bulb, which then has to be replaced at a cost of several hundred pounds.
The P410m is remarkably neat and compact, and even comes with its own over-the-shoulder carry case. This makes it ideal if you frequently find yourself called on to give presentations using a laptop full of slides, only to find there's no projector or that it doesn't have the right connections for your Mac. Speaking of connections, the P410m is limited to a D-Sub plug and a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels. This means you'll need to remember to pack the appropriate adaptor.
Its other specifications are more impressive, though. A brightness of 1700 Ansi Lumens and contrast ratio of 1000:1 mean that you won't have to worry about switching the lights off. Image size ranges from 20in to 80in diagonally, depending on the distance of the projector from the screen, from the closest at 69cm to the maximum of 2.82m. In addition to the D-Sub input, there are inputs for RCA-style composite video and audio connectors, and a USB port to allow you to plug in a flash memory stick containing still images and video. Handily, there's also a tripod mount on the underside of the projector.
We found the touch-sensitive control buttons a little fiddly to use, particularly when navigating settings menus, but the remote makes that job easier. We were impressed with the vertical keystone correction, which meant we were able to ensure our projected image was distortion free.
The quality of projected images was impressive, though the relatively low resolution and lack of digital inputs means that this isn't a projector you're going to use to watch movies. It's more than good enough for hooking up to a MacBook Pro and giving Keynote presentations, though.