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Samsung SP-H03 projector provides a decent image in a super small package

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At a Glance
  • Samsung SP-H03

Samsung’s LED pico projector, the SP-H03 really does impress with its tiny form. It takes up a smaller surface area than a DVD disc and is just over an inch tall—that’s including the detachable battery which boasts two hours of use.

Controls are provided in the form of touch-sensitive, illuminated buttons along the top of the projector with a focus slider to one side. With the exception of the SD card slot, all the inputs can be found behind a removable plate to keep things tidy.

While the SP-H03’s size and design are two major pluses, the projector didn’t excel in the first of our testing criteria, visibility in ambient light. Even fairly dim daylight led to washed-out images, and turning out the lights is an absolute if you want a clearer view. With the lighting adjusted, the quality of the SP-H03’s picture was greatly enhanced and the 30 ANSI LED brightness began to shine both figuratively and literally. With a 854-by-480 resolution, a decent-sized image akin to that of a large television was achieved without any dramatic dip in clarity. However, the focus slider did prove hard to control when fine-tuning the crispness of the image.

The size of the projector also let it down slightly when using the controls or the power and input cables. Weighing just a half a pound, the SP-H03 can easily be nudged or pulled out of position, which is less than ideal when used in conjunction with a fixed screen. Fortunately, with 1GB of internal storage, an included battery pack and an SD card slot, you can opt to project completely wirelessly. You can also use the tripod attachment on the battery pack, though this does feel like overkill for such a small device.

This is a grab-and-go projector for replacing a laptop screen and is not suited for high-end presentations, the lack of any keystone features to adjust angles is one indication of this. That said, the SP-H03 can produce a solid, colourful image when set up correctly and offers incredible portability, so could well be an ideal option for some.

Macworld's buying advice

While the SP-H03 didn’t excel in all of our display criteria, it put up a decent fight when compared with more expensive models and is the very essence of portability. For its price and remarkable design you can forgive the SP-H03 its lack of brightness; onboard storage and a removable battery also improve its score. Whether you hold it in your hand, mount it on a tripod or sit it on a desk, the SP-H03 is a convenient projection device that, in darker rooms, offers a brilliant image at a decent size.

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At a Glance
  • Pros

    • Solid battery life
    • Decent amount of built-in storage
    • Ultra portable; very light

    Cons

    • Touch interface can be tricky to use
    • Doesn’t handle ambient light well
    • Unstable when connected to input and power cables
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