The Guide To Pico Projectors 

 August 16, 2020


The Pico projector is a device that’s been around for over 10 years now, going through various evolutions until it reached the compact device that we know today.

Although it has changed through the ages, the main purpose of this handy system has always been to allow the user to project an image from somewhere small, like a smartphone, and make it bigger, bolder, and brighter than ever.

Not to be confused with a regular projector, the Pico projector differs in quite a few ways. Whether you’re looking at its different applications, the parts it’s made from, or the science behind how it works, this can truly be considered a unique invention of recent times.

These handy little devices might be small, but what they can achieve and the benefits they have for the user are seriously impressive.


Although the Pico projector began as something that only the wealthy could afford, nowadays you’re more likely to see an everyday person enjoying a Pico projector either at work or at home. They have countless applications and are easy and affordable to own, so it’s likely that this is one innovating appliance we’re going to see more and more of as the years progress.

This thorough guide is here to show you everything you need to know about Pico projectors, how they work, and how your life can benefit from owning one. With the technology now more accessible than ever for the average person, these once futuristic devices will soon be found in homes across America.

What Is A Pico Projector?

The simplest explanation for a Pico projector is a small piece of hardware that connects to another device and projects an image onto a wall or flat surface. Although it might sound simple enough, there’s actually a lot more to it than that and every different Pico projector offers something unique in its applications and features.

Pico projectors are known by other names as well, including pocket projectors, handheld projectors, or mobile projectors, all referring to their smaller than average size.

2003 saw the first variation of these handheld projectors and over the years they have become more efficient, compact, and versatile, now being used by everyday people as a new way to share and enjoy media and other applications both in the personal and business space.

These projectors were invented as a way to address the common problem with modern technology that screens seem to be getting smaller and harder to access. For those of us who enjoy gaming or watch movies on our smartphones, it takes a lot away from the experience having to squint and strain to see what’s happening on screen.

With a Pico projector, you get an enlarged and brighter version of what’s playing on your phone, your laptop, or even your gaming console.

These devices work quite simply but each has their own unique connectivity requirements and capabilities.

A standard Pico projector connects to your phone or laptop with an option of cords including HDMI or USB, and sometimes also connects with a Bluetooth signal between your device and the projector. Although they run on the same premise as a standard projector, they have quite a few differences and more benefits to the average user.

The Difference Between A Pico and Normal Projector

When looking at projectors, it might be hard to see a difference between standard ones and Pico models, other than their size. For the home or office user trying to decide which is best for their needs, it’s best to learn about the difference between the two so you can make an informed decision as they can be quite a serious investment.


Generally speaking, people choose a Pico projector for a few reasons. They’re usually a lot more affordable than a standard size speaker and can be used for many more applications.

Because they’re so small this makes them lightweight and easy to transport, so people can even carry them around in their handbag or backpack ready to go when they might want to use them.

Although standard projectors can display a clearer and brighter image, this is really the only benefit to be had. These are ideal for lectures and large meetings where it’s essential to be able to read very fine text, but other than that, the Pico projector has many more ways to use it and with greater of ease, too.

The Benefits Of Owning A Pico Projector

If you don’t already own one of these marvelous devices, you probably don’t realize just how many benefits you’re missing out on.

These are one of those amazing gadgets that can add value to your favorite pastimes and make it that much more enjoyable to do the things you already love. Here are some benefits to investing in a Pico projector and enjoying your media on a larger scale.


A huge problem that faces this country currently is the risk of falling TVs on our children and other family members. Although the flat screen TVs have been a popular appliance in recent years, they simply pose too much of a threat to our kids’ safety. Having a Pico projector set up takes away the risk and enhances your viewing experience at the same time.

Saves Money

When you have something as enjoyable as a Pico projector at home, there’s no need to waste money at the movie theater or video arcade.

You and your kids will benefit from hours of entertainment with this one simple device whether you want to screen the weekend football game or have your kid’s friends over for a Disney movie night, the opportunities are endless and virtually cost free.


Imagine walking into a business meeting and plugging your Pico projector straight into your laptop to give a presentation. There’s no fussing around with cords, adjusting settings, or trying to book a meeting room that has access to a projector.

These can add a level of professionalism to everything you do and help to present you as a capable and tech-savvy employee.


Investing in a Pico projector gives you access to one of the most versatile media players ever invented. These handy devices can be paired with your smartphone, gaming console, tablet or computer and will enhance everything you do. Some even come with built-in apps for the office and entertainment, giving you an even greater range of what you can do with them.

Saves Space

Whether it’s in your handbag or your home, owning a Pico projector means you can save space for things that really matter.


Getting rid of your standard TV and using a Pico to watch your favorite movies and shows mean you no longer need a TV cabinet, cords, or bulky television.

Improved Experience

Once you’ve tried gaming on watching a movie using your Pico projector you’ll never want to turn back to a TV or computer again. These can significantly enhance your viewing experience, make colors brighter, pictures larger, and give you the feeling that you’re at the cinema without ever leaving your house.

How Does A Pico Projector Work?

Projectors are a fascinating invention in that they work with a lot more technicality than people might think at first glance. There are a few different types of Pico projection technology, but for the purpose of this guide, we’ll show you how the popular DLP or Digital Light Projection technology works.

The standard DLP projector uses unpolarized light to work and it flips this around with the use of tiny micromirrors. The illumination source in a DLP Pico projector is an LED lamp and this passes through the lenses to reach these micromirrors.

These mirrors have been designed to only allow certain wavelengths through and to filter out the rest, sending them to a homogenizer optic. Once it’s passed through the optic, it moves to a condenser lens which sends it to a 45-degree surface mirror and that reflects the light on the DMD (digital micromirror device).

When the light has been reflected off the micromirrors it then passes through the projection lens and onto the screen, taking with it whatever image is there. Because these mirrors have such a high switching and setting time it puts them at an advantage when compared to other types of technology as it enables high refresh rates and vivid content.

The Anatomy Of A Pico Projector

For most of us, we usually buy an electronic device without giving much thought to how it works or the pieces inside. However, to enable you to choose the best Pico projector out there and understand how your favorite new gadget works, here are some of the key parts that make up these amazing systems.


Depending on which Pico projector you choose, the battery options may be different. Most come with a rechargeable battery source that will get you a minimum of 60 minutes play time, but there are others with more.


The electronics inside a Pico projector are quite complex, and allow all of the parts to come together and work. Some parts you might find in this area are the chips, light engines, laser diodes, and electromagnetic coils.

Laser Or LED Light Sources

These parts will depend on how your projector is run, and the two most common types are a laser or LED.


Lasers are used in Laser Beam Steering where a mirror helps to move the laser around, whereas LED works with a lamp that helps to project the image for you.

Combiner Optic

A combiner is the part of a projector that takes two separate light beams and merges them into one. At the same time, they filter a specific wavelength range from each of the beams to create the image.

Image Technologies In A Pico Projector

There are a few different technologies at play in a Pico projector, each of them operating differently to bring your image to life. Here are some acronyms you might hear of in your quest for the best Pico projector and what they actually mean.


This refers to Digital Light Processing and it means a display device that uses a digital micromirror device.

This type of technology is used in many different forms of projectors, including those at the cinema, and it is an image that has been created by many tiny mirrors that are laid out on a chip. Each of these mirrors represents a pixel in the projected image and helps to display it.


Laser Beam Steering refers to a technology used in projectors featuring a small silicone device with a mirror in the center which moves quickly vertically and horizontally in order to steer the laser beam to capture and reproduce an image one pixel at a time. This technology gives a wide color gamut to the projector and gives the best possible picture quality.


Liquid crystal on silicon is like a mix between tradition LCD and DLP technologies. These feature mirror backed liquid crystal chips that help them to reflect the light but they also block light at the same time, just like an LCD. Usually, projectors made with this technology can be considered pricey and are not generally found on domestic models.

Applications Of Pico Projectors and How to Enjoy Them

If there’s one major benefit to owning a Pico projector it has to be just how much use one can get out of it. These are one of those amazing devices that be used in all aspects of work and play, so the more you can do with yours the better. Here are a few popular ways that people use their Pico projectors:


We all love to stare at our phone screens throughout the day, but it’s nice to imagine it being bigger for a change.


Your smartphone can easily connect to a Pico via a cord or wireless technology so that you can experience everything going on in the palm of your hand on a much greater scale.


Gamers love a chance to play their favorite titles on a big screen, but for most of them, the biggest space they’ll get is through the TV. Many of the modern Pico projectors are compatible with gaming consoles like Xbox and PlayStation so that you can directly connect your games to the device and enjoy them like never before.

Movies And TV

The most popular use these days for a Pico projector is in a home theater setup, with people able to connect their projector to a smartphone, tablet or laptop and project a movie screen of up to 120 inches.

Because the Pico projector is so portable you can view it anywhere from the wall to the ceiling and it works best at night with minimal light. These are especially great for families as well because there’s no risk of the TV falling on them, which accounts for over 20,000 visits to the ER each year for children.


If you’re looking to use your Pico projector for more than just entertainment they make a great device for work too. Rather than setting up your laptop to the company’s dated projector or trying to send files via email for a presentation, you can simply plug your Pico directly to your laptop for your own personal slide show.

The Quality Of Video In A Pico Projector

Depending on the specifications of your Pico projector, you’re going to achieve different levels of quality. Usually, a Pico projector can show you their native resolution and this is the best way to determine the quality of picture you’ll get. However, you should also factor in the number of lumens which is the light emitted by the projector that helps to achieve brightness.

Regardless of the type of projector you get, these devices always work best in low or no light. If you require something for use at the office, for example, you’ll need to find one with a good resolution that allows people to read text and enough lumens to counteract the light coming from elsewhere in the office.

For those using their Pico projector at home to watch movies, it’s far easier to dim the lights and ensure no interruptions so your video quality and lumen count might not be as crucial.


For LED-based projectors, there is still some way to go in achieving the perfect picture you’d expect to find in a movie theater. As these are operated by laser-based projectors capable of achieving more colors and brightness, it’s not possible to completely recreate their boldness but thankfully the modern age of Pico projectors can come close enough for the home user.

What The Future Holds For Micro Projector Technology

Although it’s tough to say at this point what will happen with micro projector technology if the trends are anything to go by then we can expect to see more laser-based projectors and fewer LED lamp models. This is all thanks to the technology behind lasers being easier to create and a greater desire from the public to have a laser-based projector.

At this point, it’s rare to find someone who can afford a laser projector as they generally retail for a few thousand dollars. The main draw of them is that they offer a wider color gamut than an LED lamp can, but that’s not to say the LED still isn’t capable of so much more.

The laser projector is still such a large device when compared to a standard Pico, so this can be offputting to some looking for compactness.

Another area where we can expect the trend to continue is with the size and compactness of these Pico projectors as they undoubtedly get smaller but more powerful at the same time. Soon, it will be commonplace for people to carry around their micro Projector with them ready to share media, files, and presentations as they’re on the go.

Final Thoughts

It’s always exciting when a new invention comes along that makes life more enjoyable and easier, and that’s exactly what the Pico projector has done. There are so many great uses for it and it takes the media and gadgets you already have and makes them better, so it’s one of those handy inventions that add life to everything you already enjoy.

The future of the Pico projector and other home media devices such as this is an exciting one, as it’s already come so far since its first origination over 10 years ago. As more of our time is spent in the online space and a huge focus on file sharing and social media continues to grow, the Pico projector will become something even better in the years to come.

Understanding just a little about the technology behind these amazing devices and how they bring simple images from your smartphone to something huge and wondrous on your wall at home will give you an insight to just how amazing a Pico projector is.


With technology always evolving, it’s interesting to ponder where it may lead in the future and what it means for the home movie buff or office professional in the years to come.

Whether you plan on using your Pico projector at home while having a home movie night, playing hours of games or want to bring it to work and give a boost to the boring presentations you do, there are so many exciting ways to use this gadget.

Best of all, they’re well within the budget of the everyday person and are something that will get years of regular use. All you need to do is find the best one to suit your needs and you’ll never look at your media another way again.


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