When gadgets across all categories are headed towards smaller, more portable configurations, why should projectors be left behind? While mobile projectors aren’t exactly a new idea, they are still not seen too often, certainly not in the form of a well designed, robust product that can actually substitute for a full scale projector. The Sony MP-CD1 Mobile Projector takes a good shot at being exactly that.
In the box, along with the projector you get an HDMI cable, a USB-C charging cable, a micro-USB to USB-C adapter and a case for the projector. The projector body looks and feels somewhat like a powerbank in the +10000mAh range. With the aluminium polished build, however, it does feel quite premium to hold. In terms of ports, you get an HDMI/MHL in, USB-C charging, USB out and 3.5mm audio out. The case itself is just to protect it during storage and charging, and is of no use when you actually intend to use the projector since there are no cutouts for projection.
On the body, you have a multi-purpose power button and a focus slider. Pushing the power button briefly shows you the battery level via an indicator LED and also allows you to switch between a standard image mode and a dynamic view mode that offers more vibrant colour reproduction. There’s also an onboard speaker for the audio output. At the bottom of the device you get a tripod slot, as well as the fan output.
To start off, the included HDMI cable works perfectly. There’s no delay in detecting the input when connected to a laptop’s HDMI out. The onboard 1W speaker also shows no delay, but as expected from a speaker unit on a mobile projector, it turns out to be barely capable of pushing out average volume levels at a terrible quality. However, you don’t get to complain for too long since you are getting a 3.5mm output port that works smoothly with any headphone and speaker you might want to connect.
The MP-CD1 fires up in a quick 5 seconds, so there’s barely any waiting time. The picture at 105 lumens is fairly bright and crisp at 854 × 480, considering the small package that is projecting it. Switching to the dynamic mode really helps in situations where the projection surface may dilute the original image. It also accommodates for cramped spaces with a minimum throw distance of 1.15m. The onboard 5000mAh battery provides a good two hours of performance and also doubles as a portable power source via the USB-out port. While using the projector on an inclined surface or with a tripod, the Auto keystone correction feature kicks in that the image is adjusted for any potential tilt so that it always appears at the right aspect ratio to you. At Rs 30000, some might consider the MP-CD1 a tall order for what it offers, but if you take into account the portability, the wide number of ports available, as well as support for wireless HDMI dongles, this could be the best portable mobile projector out there right now.