Review: 3M MP180 Mini Projector

By Branko Miletic

  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible
  • 30 lumens of brightness
  • Two hours of projection time

Whether you call them micro, pico, tiny or hand-held; small projector technology has been growing rapidly for the past four years. Yet, it’s taken US tech giant 3M to finally deliver what could be called the finest pico projector available.

The 3M MP-180 is a great little unit. And by way of interest, it also probably is one of the bigger pico projectors on the market, which in itself is telling – I mean, you can only go so small before the loss of size destroys the initial purpose of the technology. However, at 35 mm x 50 mm x 150 mm and a whisker under 340 grams, it’s not exactly huge.

When switching it on, it automatically brings up the menu screen, from which you choose you desired network – wifi in my case, although you can Bluetooth if you want to, and then after logging onto your network, the unit automatically brings up whatever is the main image source on that network – my laptop in this case, and starts projecting it.

In other words, you can download and access a plethora of stuff off the Net, you can play all those movies you have downloaded onto your PC, and any home movies, pictures from your digital camera, saved YouTube gems and anything else you have on your media.

The MP-180 comes with 4GB built-in of memory, 2 x 0.75 W speakers, two hours of battery life, an 80-inch screen size and 30 lumens of brightness.

The 30 lumens and the 800 x 600 resolution won’t help much when you are presenting to say the General Assembly of the United Nations, but with buck’s nights, baby showers, 21st birthdays, State of Origin get togethers, dinner gatherings, business presentations, kids parties, work functions, bar mitzvahs, movie nights, sales meetings, school projects and the like, the MP-180 will work a treat.

Furthermore, the MP-180 comes with VGA, Composite Video, Component Video inputs and outputs, USB Mini 2.0 and a Micro SDCard port along with power cord and adapter for every type of power outlet imaginable. It comes with a tripod, which means you don’t need to use a book or a piece of wood to angle it the way you want.

The only gripe I have about the MP-180 is that it could have had a better menu screen. The screen does work – if you have long fingernails, a love of monochrome displays and the patience of a saint.

Pros: small, fast, easy set up and decent enough picture as long as you darken the room
Cons: dodgy menu screen, battery life

4 Shacks out of 5