£399.00, $557.00, 399,99 €<
Compatibility: Macs, iPhones, iPads, HDMI devices
In what it claims is a world’s first, Acer’s C250i Portable LED Projector has an ‘auto portrait mode’. In a nutshell, if you’re watching iPhone videos in landscape mode, and want to switch to (say) TikTok in portrait mode, all you have to do is turn the projector on its end. The picture switches from horizontal to vertical display automatically. It has two head mounts so you can install it on a tripod in landscape or portrait mode too. The projector has a strange yet compelling aesthetic. It’s basically a cylinder with a twelve-sided polygon at each end, and a twist in the middle. It looks great, and the twelve sides mean you can angle it to beam its visuals upwards where necessary, or even straight up at the ceiling. It’s certainly versatile.
Get the LED out!
The C250i uses an LED for its projection. As a result, it works as soon as you switch it on (no need to wait for it to warm up), and you don’t have to keep changing the bulb. We’re told the LED will last for 30,000 hours if you use Eco Mode or 20,000 if you don’t. It’s a little large for a mini projector, measuring 19cm end to end and 10cm in diameter and weighing 790g, so it’s not as portable as some mini-projectors, but it’s hardly a chore to carry around. On the plus side, it boasts a 1080p pixel resolution, which is also bigger than most mini-projectors, and you get a neat drawstring bag for the projector, its remote and any cables you might need to keep things all together.
The projector’s internal, rechargeable battery lasts for up to five hours on a single charge, so you can watch a couple of decent-sized movies before you need to plug it in again. Or you can plug it into the mains while you view – the choice is yours. It can be used as a portable power bank for your mobile devices too.
When it comes to connections, the C250i has everything you need. You can use a Mac or Apple mobile device over a wired or wireless connection, and you can connect a HDMI device such as Apple TV or a Blu-ray player. There’s a USB-C input too, and you can enjoy media directly from a USB thumb drive or a microSD card. If you want to use the device for games, you can mirror your iPad or iPhone screen, but unlike some mini projectors, it doesn’t have a built-in Android system from which you can run apps like games, Netflix and catchup services directly.
As you’d expect from Acer, the picture quality is excellent. Its brightness seems about average for an LED projector, and you can get a fair-sized picture without distortion. Sound quality is OK but nothing to write home about. You’d hardly expect surround-sound audiophile quality from a portable projector, and if this isn’t good enough for you, there’s a headphone socket you can use to connect headphones or an external speaker set.
Overall, the Acer C250i Portable LED Projector is recommended. It’s very versatile and has a better resolution than most portable projectors, but it’s also a little more expensive and heavy too. If that’s fine for you, go for it.