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August 25, 2009
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John Rivera P1 Technology Helpdesk
with John Rivera

P1 Tech Help: PowerPoint in the palm of your hand

Your supervisor tells you that during line up — or worse, in a special meeting — he or she is going to be giving yet another (yawn) PowerPoint presentation. You walk in the room and look for the bulky projector everyone is accustomed to but find none. Your spirits lift. Maybe there’s no slide show after all?

The supervisor starts the meeting and you see the presentation appear on the wall. Again, you look for the bulky projector but it’s just not there. Now you’re confused. Finally, you see that the image is projected by a device no larger than the palm of your hand. No, it’s not Star Trek or some other Sci-Fi movie. It is, in fact, a truly portable image projector.

Let’s think about a slightly more interesting scenario. During roll call you need to share some information on a suspect who has just been reported to be back in the area, or maybe you want to show the surveillance video of a crime from last shift, or maybe you want to go over a PoliceOne article and have a discussion about it. This little device sounds a little more interesting to you? It should.

There are several companies manufacturing different micro projectors. I will mention only a few (from 3M Company, AipTek, Toshiba, and Dell) and leave it to you to choose which projector will suit your needs.

The 3M Company recently introduced the MPro 110 micro projector that is no bigger than the palm of your hand and has received positive reviews. Some reviewers said they prefer the 3M because they claim they are brighter, have a longer battery life, and work well in a lighted room. One thing to consider is that it needs an external source for images, presentations, and video.

While Toshiba’s TDP-FF1AU micro projectors are a little more expensive than the other competitors, they easily fit in your pocket like the 3M or AipTek and include USB cables, a remote control, as well as a collapsible screen.

The Dell M109S is slightly smaller than the Toshiba TDP-FF1AU but does not offer some of the options the Toshiba TDP-FF1AU does.

Finally, AipTek offers two models, The V10 and the V10Plus. They both offer several features some of the others don’t, such as the capability to have an SD card inserted for large amounts of data (including things like movies). Yes, this particular micro projector can play movies. Both V10’s even have stereo speakers and four gigabytes of internal storage. The V10Plus even has the ability of recording media.

AipTek is the only Micro processor offering these features and can be easily carried in a computer case or shirt pocket.

All of the projectors I mentioned can be hooked up to external video via cables supplied in their prospective packaging. Some even supply carrying cases and tri-pods for presentations and range from $299.00 to $699.00.

All of the projectors can be purchased through Amazon.com, a local electronics store or directly from the manufacturer. Just search online for your favorite projector for the best price.

Imagine the possibilities of having the ability to show a photo, video image, or even a document without the hassle of setting up a bulky projector. We’ve come a long way, baby.

About the author

John Rivera is a Patrol Officer with the Bremerton Police Department. John’s career BPD started as a Volunteer Reserve Officer and while he volunteered his time as a reserve officer he work as Police Officer at Naval Base Kitsap. He was hired full time in 2006 and attended the Washington State Police Academy. While at the academy, John was selected as the class “Techy” to help with the technologically deficient class instructors. Before John’s law enforcement career, he gained his computer experience through earning a degree in Computer Programming and then working in the computer industry as a Network Administrator and Systems Engineer for several companies. Contact John Rivera

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