LG HS102 review

20 May 2009
Our Rating 
2/5
Price when reviewed 
509
inc VAT

Following on from Dell's M109S LED projector (see What's New, Shopper 255), LG has launched its assault on the ultra-portable market. The HS102 is roughly 50 per cent bigger than the M109S, but it packs a more powerful 160-lumen LED lamp.

Compared with the M109S's 50 lumens, the HS102's lamp is noticeably brighter. In fact, when projecting an image up to around 70in in a dimly lit room, you'll forget this isn't a traditional bulb-based projector. Colours are accurate, details are sharp and motion is smooth. Our only complaints are a distracting shimmering effect on block colours and relatively poor contrast.

With a native resolution of 800x600 pixels, the HS102 lags behind most business projectors, and it isn't widescreen. There's no zoom, either, so to get the image size you want, you'll have to position the projector accordingly. For business travellers, however, these are acceptable compromises.

We were shocked - though not literally - by the giant power supply, which is around half the size of the projector. The HS102 may weigh only 780g, but add in the 540g power supply and you're left carrying 1.32kg. This is around the same weight as many inexpensive bulb-based ultra-portable projectors. An optional external battery, which LG claims will power the HS102 for two hours, costs an extra £160 including VAT.

Unlike Dell, LG has built in a media player, so you can simply insert a USB flash drive into the rear and watch videos and slideshows. This could save you carrying a laptop containing a PowerPoint presentation, and is ideal for watching TV shows or movies in your hotel room. Disappointingly, file support is limited, though it will display JPEG images and play DivX, XviD, MPEG1 and MPEG2 video codecs. There's also an MP3 player, but the puny 1W mono speaker isn't loud enough for listening to music. Thankfully there's a minijack audio output, so you can connect a set of headphones or speakers.

Like Dell, LG has opted for touch-sensitive controls on top of the HS102. We found these responsive, but would have preferred physical buttons. The slim remote control has more comprehensive controls, including volume, keystone correction and fast-forward and rewind buttons.

On the rear of the HS102 is a VGA port (a cable is included along with an adaptor to convert it to a component video input), plus a proprietary AV input. The bundled AV cable has composite video and mono phono connectors. Oddly, these are male, so you can only connect devices with female phono cables. Most digital cameras and camcorders have cables with male phono plugs, so you'll have to buy an adaptor to join the cables together. Given the size of the projector, we're surprised LG didn't include a standard composite video input.

We were initially attracted by the HS102's small size and low price. However, the bulky power supply and expensive optional battery are disappointing. The built-in media player saves it somewhat, but most business travellers will need to carry a laptop with them anyway. If you need to make presentations on the road, an ultra-portable projector and netbook make for a more flexible and not much more expensive pairing.

Details

Price £509
Details http://uk.lge.com
Rating **

Specifications

Projector technology DLP
Lamp brightness 160 ANSI lumens
Lamp life 30,000
Lamp life in economy mode 30,000
Contrast ratio 2,000:1

Picture

Native resolution 800x600
Max compressed resolution 1,920x1,080
Aspect ratio 4:3
Other aspect ratios none
Throw ratio 1.4
Mirror image yes
Invert image yes
HD Ready no
Special view modes sports, film

Inputs/Outputs

VGA input yes
DVI input No
Sound inputs phono mono
Composite input yes
S-video input no
HDMI input no
Component input via VGA
PAL support yes
SECAM support yes
NTSC support yes
Audio output 3.5mm
Others inputs/outputs USB mass storage port

Other

Noise (in normal use) 31dB
Size 50x154x117mm
Weight 780g
Internal speakers yes (1W mono)
Extras remote, cables (power, VGA, composite video and audio), component video adaptor
Remote special features USB
Power consumption standby 4W
Power consumption on 90W

Lamp

Lamp cost (inc VAT) N/A
Lamp supplier N/A
Lamp cost per hour of use N/A
Lamp cost per hour of use (economy) £0.00

Buying Information

Price £509
Supplier http://www.1staudiovisual.co.uk
Details http://uk.lge.com

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