Maxon Visimax

A tiny, portable projecter.

Maxon Visimax
  • Maxon Visimax
  • Maxon Visimax
  • Maxon Visimax
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Tiny size, decent picture, acceptable battery life

Cons

  • Washed-out image when in a lit room

Bottom Line

If you are travelling and want a large screen, or want to hold a presentation on the go, the Visimax is a great option. Battery power means you do not need to carry fiddly power cables and it comes with everything you will need to hold an impromptu information session.

Would you buy this?

There are times when you wish your iPod had a larger screen or that you did not have to lug around a "portable" data projector to each one of your clients and plug it in. The Maxon Visimax solves these problems and adds a bucket-load of convenience to the task of projecting.

If you have not heard the Maxon name before, do not be surprised. Previously focused on the sale of Next G and CDMA data modems, the Visimax is the company’s first foray into the world of projectors.

The Visimax focuses on portability. When we first saw it in action, it was paired with a PDA, connected through the composite video cable that comes standard with the projector. Both devices were running off battery power. This meant that the presenters were free to move the presentation wherever they saw fit, offering a fantastic amount of convenience to prospective users. This is definitely the chief selling point of the device.

Running off the same battery found in older Canon digital stills cameras like the Digital IXUS 75, the Visimax is rated at 30 minutes of battery life. In our real-world testing we found it even lasted longer than that, at 32 minutes from a full charge on a fresh battery. This isn't a particularly long battery life, but if it forces executives to cut down on unnecessary waffle then it is A Good Thing.

Despite having a battery the Visimax is not particularly heavy; at 120 grams it is lighter, in fact, than the camera its donor battery comes from. It is small enough to fit in a suit jacket pocket, being roughly the same size as a packet of cigarettes.

The 15 lumen, five Watt LED lamp outputs a 640x480 pixel image with a contrast ratio of 200:1 over a short distance to create a 12in picture. This minimum distance is usually the best bet due to the low lumen count, but you can stretch the screen size to a maximum of 60in at a pinch. A tiny speaker is also built in, but it does not output much in the way of noise — for that you will need the external speaker set the company is planning to sell on its Web site.

The picture created is surprisingly decent when in a dark room. Naturally the introduction of any natural or artificial light will soon see colours washed out and the picture almost completely lost, but if you have got access to a controlled environment you will be impressed with the image such a small device can create. It is not up to the colour standards of models like Toshiba’s SP1, but given that it is a tenth of the size its achievements are very impressive indeed.

We were equally impressed by the number of extras included with the Visimax. As well as an AC power adapter and battery the projector came with a carry pouch, two types of tripod and two cables for connecting either a VGA or composite video device.

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