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Philips PicoPix PPX4010 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £250
inc VAT

Smart, light and extremely portable, but the PPX4010's tiny resolution holds it back


Projector type: LED, Native resolution: 854×480, Video inputs: Mini HDMI, Lamp life: 30,000h, Lamp brightness: 100 lumen, Dimensions: 68x66x22mm, Weight: 83g


If you constantly find yourself giving presentations on your tiny laptop screen, a pico projector is a godsend. They’re small enough to pop into your bag and they’re usually very easy to hook up to your laptop, tablet or smartphone thanks to their wealth of wired and wireless connection options. However, while they’re a good idea in theory, we haven’t yet found one that’s wowed us enough to recommend it for everyday office use. 

The Philips PicoPix PPX4010 has its fair share of flaws, too, but at least it looks the part and is very easy to use. With a footprint of just 68x66mm, it’s smaller than a Post-It note, and it only weighs 83g and measures 22mm thick, too, making it incredibly light and portable. It more than meets its purpose as something you can plonk on a table and get going with quickly, and its stylish design means it won’t look out of place either. The metal coating is cool to the touch and looks very classy, although it does pick up grease and fingerprint smudges fairly easily.

One of the PPX4010’s strengths is its simplicity. It doesn’t have many ports, for instance – just a Mini HDMI port and Micro USB power port on the back – but everything you need (including all the necessary cables) comes bundled in the box, so you won’t need to buy any extra adaptors.

The Micro USB power port is particularly handy, as it means you can power the PPX4010 directly from your laptop, saving you from having to find a plug socket or carry around an additional power supply. A double-ended USB cable is supplied in the box, just in case you need to use two USB ports, but I was able to power the PPX4010 off a single USB3 port on my laptop. It’s a shame Philips hasn’t included more in the box, though, as the similarly-priced PicoGenie M100 comes with a tripod and carry case on top of its required cables. It also doesn’t have any wireless connection options for use with your smartphone or tablet. 

Still, the PPX4010’s 100 lumen LED projection system, which is about the same brightness as a mid-range set of bicycle lights, is pretty serviceable even in a brightly lit office. This is important as many modern offices don’t have light switches, and instead use banks of lights that are controlled by motion sensors to save energy. As such, projector brightness is essential, as it’s simply no good if everyone has to squint to see your presentation clearly. 

I tested the PPX4010 in a corner office with windows and automatic lighting, and I was able to see a fairly bright image up to a projection distance of around 130cm away from the wall, which created an image with a 41in diagonal. I was just about able to stretch it to two metres (which produced a 63in display), but at this distance you really need to turn the lights off the get the best image. Any further away and the PPX4010’s 100 lumens just isn’t strong enough to produce a clear, legible picture. As a result, you’ll want to place the PPX4010 as close to the wall as possible and keep its brightness slider on maximum, as its low and medium settings just aren’t very useful, even if you have the lights turned off. The LED is rated for a 30,000 hour lifetime, which is par for the course for LEDs. You can’t replace them, either, so once it expires you’ll have to buy a new projector.

However, as is so often the case with pico projectors, the PPX4010’s biggest problem is its paltry 854×480 resolution. That’s the same resolution as the 6in screen on a Nintendo Wii U controller, only in this case it’s spread over a much larger area. No modern programs and operating systems are designed to operate at this resolution, so you either get a near-illegible image or are forced to use huge fonts in your presentations and documents.

Thankfully, the PPX4010 isn’t particularly noisy. A dull whine can be heard from it at all times, but nothing more. It also doesn’t get too hot; my temperature sensor measured the metal surface at around 32 degrees, which is more than acceptable.

The Philips PicoPix PPX4010 might be one of the smartest-looking pico projectors we’ve seen for some time, but it still suffers from all the same issues we’ve complained about before. The technology hasn’t moved on far enough for it to be a legitimate, good value purchase, and in this case the PPX4010’s low resolution, comparatively low brightness and lack of wireless connections are all quite major setbacks. As a business expense, the PPX4010 will probably come in handy just enough to make it worthwhile, but for me, the £250 PicoGenie M100 is still my top pico projector of choice, as it comes with more accessories than the PPX4010 and has more flexible wireless options. 

Projector typeLED
3D supportNo
Contrast ratio1500:1
Native resolution854×480
Native aspect ratio16:9
Throw ratio1.4:1
Max diagonal at 7ft distance63in
Projection distance50-500cm
Optical zoomNo
Mirror imageNo
Invert imageNo
Lens shiftNone
Video inputsMini HDMI
Audio inputsNone
Video outputsNone
Audio outputsNone
Noise (in normal use)28dB(a)
Internal speaker (power)None
Card readerNone
Image formats readN/A
Document formats readN/A
Lamp life30,000h
Lamp life in economy modeN/A
Lamp brightness100 lumen
Price including VAT£250
WarrantyOne year RTB
Part codePPX4010

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