Not everyone can afford, or install a typical entertainment projector in their home or office. But, the craving for the â€œbig screenâ€ experience is always there. The K135 projector from Acer is a rather neat offering - good performance, simple to set up, and the small form factor makes it perfect for most homes and allows the flexibility of being carried around. Worth an investment, if you want to enjoy a weekend movie regularly, on a projection size four times the TVâ€™s size!
Based on the requests we get from readers and close friends alike, the idea of having a good projector at home is not outlandish anymore. There are many reasons for this, prime ones being more affordable price points and also the smaller sized options suited for users who may not have the luxury of oodles of space at home. The smaller projectors, also known as Pico projectors, are gaining popularity of late. Having said that, not many of the Pico projectors are worth the money, because more often than not, their claims turn out to be a case of biting off more than can be chewed. However, the Acer K135 is one positive example, that promises only what it can deliver, and delivers it well.
Build & Design: Pocket projector
You don't have to spend a lot anymore to procure a capable projector in a form factor that can sit in the palm of your hand. Try putting the K135 on your outstretched palm, and it fits perfectly, without feeling heavy.
On the top are the hardware keys - power, menu, source and direction. The left and right side remain completely clean, as in no buttons, but there are the critical cooling vents. On the back are all the connectivity ports - HDMI / MHL, USB port and the memory card slot. The manually adjustable focus controller sits exactly above the lens.
The buttons on the K135 are rather simple and nicely labeled, and you really cannot get confused. Changing source, or accessing the settings is a breeze. The only niggle is that the K135 does take time to bring up the source menu at times.
Performance: Don’t let the size fool you
The K135 LED projector has a native resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, and will easily receive content from sources as high as 1080p. From a distance of 2 feet from the wall, the projected image was around 60-inches.
The multiple connectivity options give you a sense of flexibility that most projectors of this size don’t. You have the standard HDMI, memory card slot and USB for media playback, but the Mobile High Definition Link option just adds so much value. The HDMI to micro USB cable allows you to connect a smartphone or tablet to the projector, directly, and project what is on the screen of the device. This is an excellent and convenient way to watch pictures from your latest family vacation. And the fact that the MHL cable is provided as a part of the package just adds a lot of value.
The virtual projection ceiling for the K135 is around 65-inches, beyond which things are just not as sharp as one would like. Consider the fact that this is actually a Pico projector and not actually a home entertainment one, this is extremely impressive. The focus dial offers a wide enough sweet spot, allowing for finer adjustment of the sharpness, than some similar sized projectors. We played back a variety of 720p and 1080p media content as well as still images through multiple HDMI sources - WD TV Live, an Android smartphone and an HD DTH connection, and the results were impressive. And this included the telecast of Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix on Star Sports HD2, which was the perfect test for fast moving visuals - in which the K135 did extremely well. Colour reproduction is quite neat, and the perfect setting, we believe, would be at 55. Speaking of which, the Acer K135 does have a limit to which you can stretch the brightness and contrast levels. During our tests, 55 for each was the maximum we could go to, before colours started looking washed out and skin tones looked more like sunlight reflecting off milky white paint.
This is the 65 - inch projection from the Acer K135, as we watch the F1 U.S. Grand Prix from the Circuit of the Americas. The experience, is excellent, at least for those who want to experience sports and movies in the typical "big screen experience".
For a projector this size, 500 lumens is on the higher side than what is usually on offer, but this does mean you need absolute darkness to actually enjoy the experience. Projectors above 2000 lumens can handle some bit of sunlight or ambient lighting trickling in.
In most cases, you would ideally like to connect the Acer K135 to external speakers for a wholesome audio experience. However, the 2W mono speaker does do a surprisingly good job as far as vocals are concerned, and can be used without any issues in case there is no other option.
To Buy or not to buy?
Not everyone can afford, or install a typical entertainment projector in their home or office. But, the craving for the “big screen” experience is always there. The K135 projector from Acer is a rather neat offering - good performance, simple to set up, and the small form factor makes it perfect for most homes and allows the flexibility of being carried around. It is worth an investment, if you want to enjoy a weekend movie regularly, on a projection size four times the TV’s size! The only real alternative is the BenQ GP2, but we aren’t really sure how many people would load movies on their iPod Touch or iPhone, and that too compatible till the iPod Touch (4th Gen) and the iPhone 4S.