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XDO Pico Projector review: pocket-sized battery-powered projector for broadcasting your screen anywhere

XDO Pantera Pico projector review pocket-sized battery powered projector for broadcasting your screen anywhere zdnet
  • Editors' rating
    7.8 Very good

Pros

  • Does not need main power to operate
  • Auto vertical keystone
  • Bright 70 ANSI lumens screen

Cons

  • Tripod feet tend to slide
  • Remote control sometimes non-responsive

Like the sound of a pocket-sized projector that you can take anywhere?

The XDO Pico projector is a 63mm cube weighing 210g, yet this projector will connect and deliver a display up to 50 inches from around 3 metres away. It has an on board battery of 3,300mAh -- about the size of a slimline mobile phone -- so it can be charged up and used without the need for a power supply for around 90 minutes.

The XDO  Pico projector has 70 ANSI lumens, and its LED light is supposed to last up to 30,000 hours. The projector has a 350:1 contrast ratio, a projection ratio of 1.35:1, and an aspect ratio of 16:9. It has automatic vertical keystone correction, which is useful to get that perfect oblong image.

In the box, there is the projector, an HDMI cable, a power adapter, an aluminum tripod and clamp, a user manual, and a remote control (which needs two AAA batteries to work). 

There's a sliding lens cover on the front of the projector and a manual focus wheel to one side of the lens. The other side of the unit has the power switch, the mini HDMI slot, and an indicator light. The rear of the Pico has a USB slot, a DC charging port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the top of the projector is a touch screen, which invokes the mouse to navigate around the on-screen settings.

I found the touch screen far easier to use than the remote control. Some of the settings would not respond when I clicked them from the remote control, yet others worked really well and were responsive. I eventually gave up with the remote and switched back to the touch screen. 

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The projector is running Android 7.1.2, which has a patched for security date of April 2017. The kernel version was 3.10.104 updated April 19th 2021. Although I tried to do a system update, the system said that it's actually up to date. The Pico projector has 1GB RAM, and just over half is available to use. It also has 16GB storage space with just over 10.5GB available

There are a few options for connection: connect it to your PC using the supplied HDMI cable; connect it to the internet via Wi-Fi; connect it to your phone's Wi-Fi; or use Bluetooth to connect to a mobile device.

As there is no Ethernet port, you need to use an external USB cable to connect to your RJ-45 connector. You can also connect the USB cable directly to your computer to copy files over to the projector.

I downloaded the EShare app from the play store and connected it to the projector to get TV mirroring and casting to and from the projector. This was definitely my preferred option, as I know my way around the phone and found this to be the easiest method to use. However, the lag on my Wi-Fi made watching YouTube videos difficult when on the mirroring setting, but it's perfect when TV mirror is used.

The display is fairly bright when In use, and its on-board 1W speaker is adequate for a small room. Connect it to your Bluetooth speaker for a much better sound output.

I found that the tripod feet slid around; if there were silicone feet on the bottom of the tripod legs, I believe the projector would grip the surface and not easily move. Unfortunately, I also found that the user manual referred to settings which were not available on the projector or were in a different place.

Sold as an add-on for the Pico Pantera PC, at $130, the XDO Pico Projector stands on its own as a go-anywhere projector with an in-built battery that lasts for a reasonable amount of time. Its 70 ANSI lumens give a reasonable picture -- even in daylight -- and its touch screen works well.

All in all, the XDO  Pico Projector is a useful mini-projector. Put it in your pocket, and you'll never need to cluster around your phone to show off your latest TikTok video to friends.