Lightning Review: Maxon Visimax Portable Projector

visimax projector.jpgThe Gadget: Australian company Maxon's Visimax pocket-friendly projector. The Price: $594 The Verdict: Not for everybody. There are two main groups of people who will want one of these mini-projectors from Maxon: Road Warriors who want a lightweight, portable way to show off their presentations from a mobile device without having to take a laptop with them everywhere, and caravan owners who can't live without some form of digital entertainment when they get away from the big city.

The good news is that both these camps will be fairly happy with the results of the Maxon projector. It's extremely lightweight - even when you combine the tripod and the power cable into the total weight figure, you can still barely notice it in your bag. And even though it uses proprietary ports, it comes with a VGA cable and a composite cable connector which means you can plug in pretty much any video source you've got, from your PC to your iPod.

The inbuilt speaker doesn't pack a lot of punch, but that's why Maxon sell speakers on their website - you can plug in any powered speakers using a standard 3.5mm headphone cable.

In a dark room, you can easily get the screen size up to about 50 inches, although that does require the Visimax to be over 2 metres away from your screen. And when you do get that far away, the 15 lumens struggles a bit. In fact, in bright sunlight you're going to struggle to really see anything, so think about that before making a purchase.

The battery lasted about 35 minutes before it needed rejuicing, and the included tripod feels well made and looks pretty good too.

Even from reading the specs, we knew that this would never be the ideal home theatre device, and it's not. The colours appeared fairly washed out and the picture a bit grainy if you made the screen too large. But those weaknesses can be forgiven given the projector's size and light weight. If you're after a portable screen larger than your laptop, then this has your name written all over it.

[Maxon Visimax projector]