AAXA P4 P4X Pico Projector, 95 Lumens, Pocket Size, Li-Ion Battery, HDMI, Media Player, 15,000 Hour LED, DLP ProjectorCUSTOMER REVIEW
I purchased this projector in Oct 2011 directly from Aaxa. I am a teacher working in two schools and I use this projector nearly every day. I connect my iPhone 4 and iPad 2 to it and also play video files from the internal drive or a flash drive, mostly successfully. The specs are the best in this category at the moment, and the design is good. There are a few details that other reviewers have not mentioned, however:
* The fan noise is more than noticeable. It’s actually a little annoying.
* The power button is situated such that the P4 can be switched on in a crowded bag pretty easily.
* The buttons are not very responsive. My feeling is that this is more of a system software issue than a purely hardware issue. Button clicks frequently get no response or a delayed response. I feel like the system software is not quite ready for prime-time.
* While it’s impressive that they included any sort of internal speaker, it’s only usable in a very quiet environment and then really only for speech. There’s really no point at all to listening to any sort of music track with it. If you plan on using headphones, then you’re fine, but if you need to run a cable to a pair of external speakers then you’re losing the cable-free benefit of a battery-powered device. If you don’t mind plugging it in for power then you might as well get a brighter pico projector.
* The P4 does NOT mount properly on any external computer, and I’ve tried several Mac and Windows machines. The manual says very clearly that it should be able to do this. When connected via USB, it might mount for just a moment, but then it will immediately unmount or produce some kind of error message. I’ve had absolutely no success transferring files directly from a computer to the P4. When I contacted their support staff about this, I was told that I should put my files on a flash drive, and then move them from the flash drive to the P4. This is very disappointing and inconvenient. (Are other users having this problem? I’d like to know.)
* Transferring files from a flash drive involves going into Windows CE, which requires the additional purchase of the little USB keyboard. The keyboard is pretty cool, but it’s somewhat expensive, and because it’s so small, it’s awkward to use.
* When copying files, I’ve frequently had weird anomalies where the P4 seems to think there are two copies of the file, with slightly different directory paths, and it gives me error messages that it is unable to find the second file. Irritating!
* Video playback always starts with the first video in your directory, requiring you to stop playback, go back to your directory listing, and select the file you want.
* Although the internal flash drive is 2 gigs, the operating system takes up a great deal of that, so there isn’t more than a couple hundred megs onboard, and that’s not much room for decent-quality video. I have not tried using an SD card.
* The color reproduction, even on a flawless white wall in a dark room, is mediocre at best. There are a few settings to adjust the color, most of which are totally unusable. My expectations were not that high, but I wouldn’t want yours to be, either.
* The P4 doesn’t sync as readily via VGA as you’d expect. If your cable gets jerked out, you can’t just plug it back in. You’ll probably have to manually re-sync it or possibly restart the P4.
* The battery does not last more than 70 minutes.
None of these issues are substantial enough for me to return the unit or recommend against buying it, but they might matter to you, depending on your planned use. The basic utility of the P4 is massive, although the shortcomings are constantly annoying. I look forward to future units from Aaxa, where we’ll hopefully get 120+ lumens (laser driven?) from a longer-lasting battery, better and more adjustable color, and perhaps some kind of wireless a/v streaming. But for now, this is a very handy and useful device.