Acer – K10 review

LED-based pico-projector
Photo of Acer – K10

The size of a digital projector is governed to a large degree by the heat its lamp produces. With a conventional halogen or mercury lamp that’s a lot of heat, and so the projector is the size of a hi-fi separate. Acer’s K10 projector is the size of four CD jewel cases piled on top of each other, because it doesn’t use a lamp.

Instead, the light comes from a bright LED source, which generates little heat and is much more efficient in converting power to light. Even so, it only puts out about 100 lumens when most self-respecting conventional projectors are rated at around 2,000 lumens. So can you see the picture it produces?

Fortunately, yes. Although the K10 is noticeably less bright than a typical business or home cinema digital projector, it produces a usable image, particularly if you lower the ambient light by drawing blinds or dimming the lights. It has a resolution of a slightly strange 858 x 600 pixels, but this means it can handle an SVGA input without problem.

The image itself, from this DLP-based device, is clean and suffers very little shimmer on moving images. While it struggles a bit with dark interior scenes, it’s usable as a TV or movie projector as well as for its primary purpose in displaying business presentations. The only fly in this ointment is that its cooling fan (the LED light source isn’t cool enough eschew one) is obtrusively noisy.

Sockets at the back of this glossy black box take standard analogue VGA and composite inputs, while push-button controls on its top panel operate an on-screen menu, which includes versatile keystone control as well as the usual size and colour corrections.

There’s just the question of where this projector fits in the marketplace. It’s not small enough to be a truly pocket device, which would be more of a novelty product, and not bright enough to be a compact version of a general-purpose projector. It’s ideal for anybody needing to do a quick presentation at a small meeting, though.

The K10 comes with a separate, black-block power supply, not much smaller than the projector itself, but Acer has cleverly made sure it can run off the standard power supply provided with many of the company’s current range of laptops. This means you can share the same supply between both devices, as long as you charge your laptop first and run it from its batteries.

As a final bit of lateral thinking, the K10 has a standard camera tripod mount underneath, so with a telescopic tripod you can set it up almost anywhere.

Company: Acer

Contact: 0870 853 1005

Why would you need a digital projector with a 100 lumens output that's still too big to put in a pocket? As a snappy and convenient tool for small-audience presentations. As well as being competent at this, it's LED light source has a long life. It's a shame the fan is annoyingly noisy, though.