Acer's P1265 is a portable projector with a well-balanced selection of features, excellent image quality and an impressively low cost. It's available now for around £430.
At 3kg, the projector itself is rather heavy. It's pretty bulky, too, measuring 299 by 93 by 229mm. Nevertheless, it has a rather elegant appearance, thanks to its rounded corners and piano-black finish. An extensible foot provides a manual height adjustment while the rubber feet at the rear unscrew to provide horizontal adjustments, although you'd probably never notice that without reading the manual.
The physical layout of the P1265 incorporates a small and rather fiddly control panel, but the slimline remote provides all the controls you’ll need. Unlike some credit-card sized models it has 24 full-sized keys and a built-in laser pointer. It also takes standard AAA batteries, which are easy replace when you're out and about.
A pair of side-mounted sliders unlatches a hinged lid making lamp replacement, or theft, very easy via the top of the unit.
A good range of connectors is to be found at the rear of the unit, including VGA-in and pass-through, DVI-I, composite video and S-Video. You also get USB and RS-232 control ports and mini-jack audio input to drive the internal speaker.
When you've finished, Acer InstantPack technology allows you to
unplug the mains cable as soon as you've turned off the projector. This protects the lamp against
premature failure due to overheating, should the power be cut too soon.
One benefit of not cramming a projector into the smallest possible case is easier airflow management and therefore reduced audible noise. The P1265 runs at a relatively quiet 28dBA in standard mode while pumping out 2,400 ANSI Lumens.
Judging the brightness of a projector solely on rated ANSI Lumens is often misleading, especially with DLP projectors where different display presets offer different trade-offs between brightness and colour reproduction. Presentation modes often deliver very bright whites but rather 'dirty' colours, for example, while 'photo' or 'video' modes concentrate on more accurate or at least visually pleasing colour.
Our tests have found that it's not uncommon for a DLP projector to lose two-thirds of its brightness when switching from Presentation mode to sRGB. However, this is not the case with the P1265, which retains more than 75 per cent of its maximum light output in sRGB mode. This means that the P1265 is often brighter than projectors rated at 3,000 ANSI Lumens when both projectors are displaying their highest-quality images.
In fact, thanks to Acer's ColorBoost technology, the P1265 can display a considerably wider range of colours than many competing projectors. If you want your projected image to look good, the P1265 is a very strong contender indeed.
Edited by Charles McLellan
Additional editing by Nick Hide