3M has packed the MP180 with a number of features, but it tries to do too much. The device is ultimately let down by an inconsistent touch screen and high price.
Capable of projecting without a laptop, reasonable battery life
Poor touch screen, fiddly internet integration, no HDMI input, pricey
150x65x33mm, 30 ANSI lumens brightness, 800x600 SVGA, 4GB internal memory, micro SD card reader, DOC, PPT, XLS, TXT, PDF file format support, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
The 3M PocketProjector MP180 is a portable handheld projector designed for business users who regularly give presentations.
The projector is packed with a number of features, but is let down in the usability department.
In terms of design, the MP180 is almost identical in size and weight to the entry-level 3M MP160. The projector has dimensions of 150x65x33mm and weighs 338g, which makes it just about small enough to squeeze into a trouser pocket, although not comfortably.
3M supplies its proprietory VGA connector, and the device also comes with composite video/stereo audio output, a micro USB cable, three RCA adaptors, a carry pouch and a mini tripod.
Key features include a 2.4in LED touch screen, 4GB of onboard memory and a micro SD card slot. This makes it possible to use to the projector without having to connect it to another device such as a laptop, and is by far one of the most impressive features.
The touch screen contains a number of icons to access the internet, video, music, pictures, files, settings, Bluetooth and favourites.
However, the resistive nature of the screen, coupled with the lack of any dedicated home key, can make navigation very frustrating. When accessing the internet it is impossible to navigate back to the main menu without having to reset the device, for example.
The MP180 performs its core task well enough. The device can project images from 10in to 80in from a distance of just over three metres. Picture quality is more than reasonable, but lacks sharpness.
We would recommend sticking with a projection size of between 60in and 70in to get the best out of the device, and you'll need a pretty dark room too.
Users can move files between devices using Bluetooth, but this isn't the quickest method and it is easier to use the USB or micro SD card to transfer files.
Surprisingly, the MP180 also has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and allows users to browse the internet without connecting to another device. But this is a fiddly experience and it is not possible to search for connections, so you are limited to those that are displayed.
In practice, this feature is unlikely to be used on a regular basis, especially as the on-screen keyboard on the touch screen is minuscule. We found it an unnecessary addition.