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Wednesday, April 27, 2011
WowWee's Cinemin pico projector: A must-have iPhone accessory?
The Cinemin Swivel retails for around $300.
WowWee's Cinemin Swivel is one of the more distinct pico projectors on the market thanks to its swiveling design, which allows you to project images at various angles, including straight up at the ceiling.
In case you don't know what a pico projector is, as its name implies, it's a miniature handheld projector that's capable of casting a big image (WowWee says the Cinemin Swivel can project an image from 8 inches to 50 inches). The key to these pint-size projectors is that they use an LED light source that's very energy efficient.
Pico projectors come in different shapes and sizes; most cost between $300 and $400, and they currently sport resolutions up to 640x480 pixels, though the Cinemin Swivel only offers 480x320 pixels or HVGA resolution. This model uses DLP technology for projecting an image. That's the same technology employed in many rear-projection TVs, but projected on an external wall, movie-theater-style, instead of the backside of a TV screen.
The Cinemin Swivel is similar in size to competing pico projectors, but the 3M MPro120 is slightly smaller and more compact. Weighing in at 6.4 ounces and measuring 5 inches by 3 inches by 8.5 inches, the Swivel model does indeed fit in a pocket (or easily slips in a laptop bag) and comes with a protective sleeve, as well as an adapter for iPhones and iPods.
The projector is designed to sit on a flat surface, then tilted slightly upward (yes, there's a hinge in the middle of the projector that allows you to tilt the front up). Like other pico projectors, this one doesn't have any keystone settings, so getting a perfectly rectangular image does take some tinkering, and you do have to play around with the focus as you move the projector around.