The Favi B1-LED-Pico ($280 street) is a versatile pico projector: it can be connected to your computer’s VGA port to emulate what’s on your screen for giving presentations and the like; it can be hooked to a composite video source to, say, project DVDs; and it can display photos or video clips, or play music files stored in its 1GB of internal memory or from a micro-SD card or USB key. One thing you can’t do with the B1 is use it away from an outlet, as it has no battery.
Dimensions and Features
The B1 is rectangular, with rounded corners and a black base. At 1 by 3 by 5 inches (HWD), the 8-ounce B1 is on the large side for a pico projector; it could fit in a jacket or pants pocket, but not a shirt pocket. According to Favi, output ranges between 20 and 35 lumens, with a rated brightness of 28 lumens. It has native SVGA (800 by 600) resolution.
The controls on top include a focus lever, as well as five buttons to control the projector while in PMP (personal media player) mode: a button labeled M that returns you to the previous menu; a play/pause/select button; fast-forward and rewind buttons, and a button to switch modes. The focus lever is really an extension of the focus wheel that’s set behind the lens and moves it in and out. The lever has the right amount of resistance to provide for smooth motion and to let you come to a good focus without much trouble. It’s a better focusing system than the Favi E1-LED-Pico ($200 street), whose focus wheel protrudes slightly from the front of the projector, and is harder to precisely manipulate.
The B1 comes with a Y cable with both VGA and composite video/line audio connectors, for connecting to either a computer or a video source such as a DVD player. It also includes a mini USB cable for file transfer. The metal tripod, with fold-out legs, is steadier and more substantial than the flexible-legged tripods that come with many pico projectors. The tripod’s ball head allows you to precisely adjust the projector. The B1 also comes with a 12V power adapter, a black leather case, and a remote control.
- Engine Type
- B1-LED-Pico Type
The B1′s remote can control just about everything the projector can do: switch between the basic modes (PMP, VGA for connecting to a computer, and A/V for connecting to an external video source); access a menu in A/V or VGA mode to adjust brightness, contrast, etc.; view photos at full size, as thumbnails, or as a slideshow; zoom in and out; increase or decrease the volume; and more.
The B1-LED-Pico has a USB connection for transferring files from a computer, and it can also accept a USB thumb drive to run files from; it can also run media files from a micro-SD card placed in the slot on the projector’s side. To transfer files to and from your computer, you need to enter PMP mode. The screen message that comes up, “Connecting PC,” is a little deceptive in that a status bar comes up and quickly disappears, at which point you’re already connected, but the message remains, as if it’s still trying to connect, but once the projector appears as a drive in Windows Explorer, you can transfer items to and from B1-LED-Pico.
In running the B1-LED-Pico through our suite of DisplayMate Tests image quality proved to be typical of the pico projectors we’ve tested: good enough to be useful, but not without its flaws. For instance, it had trouble distinguishing between dark shades of gray, with a corresponding loss of detail in dark areas. Bright whites sometimes showed a bit of a yellow tint, a not uncommon problem in pico projectors.
I also watched some video on the B1-LED-Pico when it was connected via composite video to a DVD player. B1-LED-Pico was quite watchable; the one distraction is that the volume from the speakers was feeble, and the projector’s fan noise added to the audibility problem. It does have an audio-out jack for use with headphones or powered external speakers.
The Favi B1-LED-Pico costs less than the Editors’ Choice Optoma PK301 Pico Pocket Projector($400 street, 4 stars) but it also can’t match the Optoma’s 50-lumen brightness (when powered through an adapter) and lacks its ability to be powered from a battery, as well as flourishes such as an HDMI port. The B1 is brighter than the entertainment-oriented Favi E1-LED-Pico, which lacks a VGA connector to let you run presentations from a computer, but the E1 can be used away from an outlet when powered by 4 AA batteries. If you don’t require a pico projector that can run off batteries, the B1-LED-Pico—which can be used for both business and entertainment—should be on your short list.