Optoma ML330 Projector review: Smart entertainer with a space-saving design
Even though it is all plastic, it is sturdy and features backlit, touch-sensitive controls on top.
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Specifications: LED DLP projector, 1280 x 800 pixel native resolution, 500 lumens brightness, 20,000:1 contrast, 3D support, HDMI in, USB 3.0 (portable HDD support), USB 2.0, Ethernet, microSD slot, 3.5mm audio out, 3.5mm AV in, auto keystone, WiFi, Bluetooth, Android 4.4, 460 grams
Pros: Compact size, sturdy build, great output, lots of connectivity ports, smart Android interface works well
Cons: Loud fan noise, low speaker output, no VGA/DVI connectivity
Optoma arrived late in India but is well known internationally for its range of projectors. The ML330 is a compact offering and one of the few palm-sized Android projectors around. When you power it on, you don’t see a blue screen but a custom interface based on Android 4.4. This means you can use the projector without connecting any inputs. You can install apps from the built in Aptoid store or install apps by transferring apk files by USB. The interface is easy to use with big tiles and works smoothly too. Hardware for the smart interface includes an unknown processor, 1GB RAM and 8GB storage — you can expand storage by adding a microSD card. You also get built-in WiFi for Internet connectivity and a Bluetooth for keyboard/mouse and audio output to a pair of headphones or Bluetooth speaker — very cool.
We were impressed with the build quality of the projector. Even though it is all plastic, it is sturdy and features backlit, touch-sensitive controls on top. The focus dial is on the right side while the power button is on the left. For the size, it is impressive that Optoma manages to offer a full-size HDMI input, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Ethernet and an AV connector for older composite/component devices. However, there is no direct VGA or DVI port and neither are any adapters provided for these ports — safe to say they designed it for users who want multimedia.
There is built-in auto keystone correction which comes in handy while setting up the projector. On the bottom is a pull out plastic notch to prop the projector at an angle when required. You will be surprised by how many lumens this tiny projector can push. If you keep the screen size to 50-inches or less, you can see it during the daytime.
Since the light source is LED, it starts up fast and needs no replacement lamps. With controlled lighting, it is capable of a 120-inch display. It also supports playback of 3D files though you will need to purchase 3D glasses separately. We used the projector’s own interface, played videos directly from USB flash drives and connected it with an Xbox One — it works great.
There are a few issues that we faced with the projector. First, it gets fairly hot, fairly fast. When the projector starts heating up, the fans kick into high gear and the noise is relatively high — you can hear them over the projectors’ built-in speakers.
Thankfully, it doesn’t not shut down due to overheating — we used it for two and half hours non-stop and did not see any errors or warnings. The other issue is that the dual 2W speakers are good for presentations only — better to connect external speakers via Bluetooth. Overall, if you are looking for a smart projector with a space-saving design, you should definitely consider the Optoma ML330.