The 3M MPro120: It's About Time Pico Projectors Grew Up

3M pitching the MPro120 mini-projector as a "second generation" piece of hardware. For them, that means it's the first with the new MM200 projection engine. For everyone else, it could mean the first truly decent pico projector.

The last 3M pico experiment, the MPro110, was a mixed bag: Passable image quality was tainted by poor build quality and low battery life, and the overall experience, while promising, just wasn't quite there yet.

The MPro120 is a replacement for the MPro110, and on top of the verifiably awesome image quality from its liquid crystal on silicon imager, it multiplies battery life by a factor of six to four hours, pushes the life of its 12 lumen lamp to 20,000 hours, and adds stereo speakers, while hanging onto the prior product's 640x480 resolution and $350 price tag. Another difference: Assuming 3M's tightened up their hardware quality, people might actually buy one this time around. The MPro120 is due to land on September 1st. [3M]

COMING SOON TO A POCKET NEAR YOU: THE MPRO120

3M's New Handheld Projector Set for September Launch

ST. PAUL, MINN. (August 26, 2009) – This fall, Hollywood's biggest blockbusters are coming to a pocket near you! Less than a year after launching the MPro110 - the handheld digital projector that won the "Grand Award" in the gadget category of the Popular Science 2008 Best of What's New Awards – 3M announced today the September debut of the MPro120, the newest member of the MPro family. The MPro120 provides improved functionality, increased portability and an expanded feature set.

The MPro120 is the first projector to incorporate 3M's MM200 projection engine, the next generation of the MPro family. As announced at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show, the MM200 engine uses an advanced liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) electronic imager and boasts enhanced image quality with a full color gamut. The MPro120 provides users with a robust battery life of two to four hours (depending on brightness setting) - enough to watch a full-length film – and, in full brightness mode, achieves a brightness of 12 lumens. Featuring an integrated flip stand, tripod, stereo speakers and a variety of input cables, the MPro120 is ready to use "out-of-the-box" with a wide range of today's most popular video output gadgets. And, as with its predecessor - the MPro110 - the MPro120 will be the ideal projection solution for laptops and netbooks. Available optional accessories include an adapter cable for Apple® products, component video cable and car charger.

"Following the success of the MPro110, the MPro120 will further reinforce 3M's leadership position in the development and implementation of advanced projection technologies," said Mark Colin, general manager, 3M Projection Systems Department. "The functionality of the MPro120 represents technical achievements that were manageable only by the long-term commitment to research and development that is 3M's hallmark."

The MPro120 will be on-sale September 1 with an estimated price of $349. Optional accessories are sold separately.