JK Imaging - which has taken on the Kodak licensing for several product categories including digital cameras and portable projectors - has announced the iShow wireless pico projector. We caught up with Kodak to have a little play to see what it offers.
While a portable projector is nothing new, there is something a little different about this one - it's wireless. It has its own Wi-Fi network so you can connect your iPhone, Android and Windows devices to it, allowing it to project your images, videos and documents. You can also connect it to your laptop or PlayStation, as well as most other devices that can source a Wi-Fi connection.
With smartphones and tablets, you will have to download the free iShow app to control the projector, but once you've done that, the idea is that you can project anywhere you like.
The app will automatically find any eligible files on your device and allow you to control what you want to view on the projector. From a laptop, once you have connected to the projector's Wi-Fi, you have to find the file you wish to project manually.
We tried iShow with both a laptop and an iPhone and found they were easy to use in both instances. The projector connected easily to each device without a problem and there didn't seem to be any lag between the projector and device's reaction.
The app will allow you to control the keystone, as well as the volume if you are playing video. On a laptop, you control the volume in the same way you normally would, using the volume keys.
The iShow runs on its own built-in li-ion battery which is said to give you around 1.5 hours on a full charge before you will need to charge it again.
There is an internal speaker, as well as an earphone jack if you don't want everyone around you to hear what you are watching. The sound was reasonable when we were had a play with it, but we were sitting right next to it, so we aren't sure how powerful it would be from the other end of a room.
There is a control on the side for adjusting the focus which is very simple to use. It slides left and right and the image will come into focus in front of you. There is also a HDMI port at the back of the device.
The iShow will give you between 5 and 50 inches projection, and is 50 Lumens bright. It achieves a resolution of 854 x 480, with a contrast ratio of 500:1. In comparison, with roughly the same body size, Acer's C20 PICO projector has a contrast ratio of 2000:1 and creates an image 66-inches on the diagonal.
We found the image it displayed was quite strong, but the room we were in was relatively dark so we would be interested to see how it copes in different lighting situations.
It comes with a flip-out mini stand underneath, allowing it to stand at the angle it needs to project and stop you having to get the Yellow Pages out. When it is flipped back in, it sits flush with the rest of the body.
The iShow is relatively small and lightweight, and would fit in the back pocket of your jeans if you felt a burning desire to carry a projector around everywhere with you.
There was one small thing we noticed when it was on, and that was that you could hear it whirring away. Not so much that you wouldn't be able to hear what you were watching, but we wouldn't describe its operation as particularly quiet.
The Kodak iShow is currently being trialled in France with Orange, but is said to be coming to the UK in the next couple of months and is expected to cost between £179 and £199.