Picopros Looks at the Aaxa Technologies L1 v2 Laser Pico Projector

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Looking for something different? Looking for a pico projector that is ultra-compact?  Looking for a pico projector that is focus-free? Yes, no need to focus.  In that case, the Aaxa Technologies L1 v2 just might be the choice for you.  After receiving the unit, we took a quick look at it. Here, we take a more in-depth look at the unit during use.

 

The Aaxa L1 v2 retails for around $399. It produces 20 ANSI lumens of brightness at SVGA (800x600) resolution and can produce images of up to 50" (diagonal). We measured a 50" image from 58" away - a throw ratio on par with the very best projectors.

 

We were pleasantly surprised by the small size of the L1 v2 - it easily fits in the palm and has a nice weight to it.  It feels very solid and well-made.  When considering the styling of this projector, the words "modern" and "sleek" come to mind.

 

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The L1 v2 offers a range of features, including: full USB connectivity, composite and VGA video input, and an internal speaker. It can decode various office documents, such as MS Excel, Word, and Powerpoint, as well as Adobe PDF files.  In addition, it can handle a wide variety of multimedia file formats: video (AVI, ASF, WMV, MPG), audio (MP3, WAV, AAC), and images (JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP).

 

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How, exactly, can the Aaxa Technologies L1 v2 pico projector produce images that are always in focus?  The answer: lasers.  This projector is configured with a red, blue, and green laser which are blended to create each pixel using a liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) mirror array.  The core technology comes from Syndiant, who is commercializing display engines for many laser and LED based pico projectors.  Because laser light is a collimated light source, there is no need to focus the image.  Even at 20 lumens, Aaxa Technologies is able to maintain a Class I laser device rating on this pico projector.  But, that's enough technical detail - lasers are just cool, right?

 

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As you will see in the video below, the Aaxa L1 v2 is easy to use.  The main menu allows for selection between four locations: photos, office files, music, or video - files that are stored on any standard USB memory stick.  Yes, the projector has a full USB connection; a really nice feature.   Alternatively, you can access the video input port which connects to a wide variety of devices via different adapter cables.  Whether streaming content from a laptop, digital camera, or even an mp3 player (e.g. iPod), the Aaxa L1 v2 can handle it with ease.

 

For our evaluation here, we played two different videos:  one with flesh tones (Imagination Movers), and the other an animated show (Family Guy).  In both cases, the projector produced a sharp image that was always in focus (as expected).  The internal speaker produced surprisingly loud audio - thought at maximum volume it did get a little tinny for our taste.  At reasonable volumes, the speaker performed nicely.  Colors were generally good, though we did observe a little green bias on the images.  However, the reds and greens of the Imagination Movers video were particularly saturated and popped off the screen.  This is one of the advantages of using a laser light source.

 

Overall, the Aaxa L1 v2 laser pico projector is a very nice option.  We'd recommend this device for people looking for an ultra-compact projector that is easy to use.  Sure, you can find brighter and less-expensive options.  But, you'll be hard-pressed to find something available that is focus-free and offers the flexibility and connectivity of the Aaxa L1 v2 pico projector.  At $399, this projector is certainly worth considering.

 

Have a look at our review video and let us know what you think.  Below the video is the product brochure as well.

 

Archived Comments....

Paul, what is your take on the Laser Class issue?  By using a panel they get a Class 1 Rating with 20 Lumens. How is MVIS going to keep their Class 2 ratings  at higher Lumens of 20 and higher? Also do you think this higher Laser class rating could affect the decision of OEMs to sign up with MVIS, instead going with a safer rating with higher lumens?

According to my chats with a laser expert (I will not provide a name), MicroVision could increase brightness while maintaining a Class II certification by shortening the red laser wavelength, increasing frame rate, throw angle, or verticle resolution - or some combination of these.  The extent to which they could increase brightness was not provided.

 

Whether OEMs put much thought into selecting MicroVision's Class II system versus a Class I LCoS system is a question for OEMs.  I can't really comment on that.

 

Paul

 

 

Paul Marganski

Co-founder and Contributor

Email: paul@picopros.com

Twitter @pmarganski

www.picopros.com

 

I'd say the fan gets fairly annoying. I would go for the ShowWX+ for the simple fact the it doesn't need the fan. I'd also assume that the battery on the Aaxa would be severely affected by the fan?

I've tried Laseno Smp-102 in China and returned it, which is exactly the same one with Aaxa L1 v2. The brightness and speckle is unacceptable. I'm searching another focus-free choice.

So Paul, could you share the comparison with Aaxa L1 v2 and Microvision Showwx plus, especially about the brightness and speckle? Thanks a lot.

It is difficult to comment without having the ShowWX+ in hand again. As far as speckle, it seems they are both about equalequal. The colors of the ShowWX++ were very good. But, ahain, hard to compare without having them both in hand at the same time. Paul

Paul Marganski

Co-founder and Contributor

Email: paul@picopros.com

Twitter @pmarganski

www.picopros.com

 

Thanks a lot again. I think I've got the enough answer. That is hard to tell  maybe mean there is no much difference between them.

I have to wait the next generation of Laseno(Syndiant) focus-free model promised in 2011, or turn to DLP pico HD ones with external battery several weeks later.

If brightness and speckle was an issue with 20 lumens, I would guess that leaves out MVIS's 15 lumen model, eh?

Salesman in Laseno told me the next generation model named smp-201 (maybe Axxa L1 V3) has wifi and at least 25 lumens. I am looking forward to the new hope that will shipped in June.