The Optoma PK301 carries many of the features of a larger projector in a tiny package, and even its styling resembles that of a much larger machine, several reviewers note. They praise the PK301's crisp, smooth images, multiple inputs, relatively bright display (for a pico projector) and color balance. Like many pico projectors, it lacks a zoom lens, so you'll have to move it forward or back to create larger or smaller images on your display surface. Critics also cite poor audio quality, though it does offer an audio output for use with headphones or powered speakers. An optional remote control is a handy accessory, reviewers write. While it is possible to run your presentation without any connections whatsoever using internal memory and the battery, you'll get the best brightness when the PK301 is plugged in, and more elaborate presentations will require a connection to a laptop.
Price is a negative. If you are on a tighter budget, the 3M MPro 150 (*Est. $260) is considered a pretty good value. The picture quality is not as bright and crisp, nor are colors as attractive as with the Optoma PK301, reviewers say, but it receives high ratings from a large number of sites.
Many sites offer in-depth reviews of the Optoma PK301, including some devoted to projectors (ProjectorCentral.com, ProjectorReviews.com) and some who consider it as a laptop peripheral (Laptop Magazine, PCMag.com). While the projector-focused reviews tended to put the unit in better perspective among other projectors, the general tech sites do a better job of digging into issues of concern to computer users.
Reviewer Allan Abbott says the Optoma PK301 pico projector actually delivers a little more brightness than advertised, though you must plug in the unit to get the brightest pictures. The ports on the back of the unit are tiny and require adapters for standard inputs. Abbott feels the Optoma PK301's colors are well-balanced and saturated, with lifelike photos and flesh tones and adequate contrast for data images. Audio quality and the lack of a zoom lens (common among pico projectors) are drawbacks.
Review: Optoma PK-301 Pico Projector Review, Allan Abbott, Aug. 4, 2010
The Optoma PK301 pico projector receives an Editor's Choice award here, scoring a 4 out of 5 rating. The PK301 is unusually bright for a pico projector, connects to both computers and video devices, and offers audio out for headsets or powered speakers, the review notes. Cons of the Optoma PK301 include low volume, uneven brightness across the image, and a short VGA cable.
Review: Optoma PK301 Pico Pocket Projector, M. David Stone, April 26, 2010
3. Laptop Magazine
Laptop Magazine's Michael Prospero says the Optoma PK301 pico projector is small, light and high-quality, with a good picture ("bright and crisp … vivid and smooth") and a convenient focusing ring. The design is attractive -- "like one of the company's larger projectors was left in the dryer too long" -- and there are a good number of inputs. Drawbacks include a relatively high price and short battery life, he says. He awards 3 of 5 stars.
Review: Optoma PK301 Review, Michael A. Prospero, July 19, 2010
This detailed review does a nice job of comparing the older Optoma PK201 pico projector, the newer PK301, and the 3M MPro 150, another popular pico projector. The Optoma PK301 has better definition and a brighter picture than the PK201, though reviewer Devin Coldewey says he prefers the PK201's color. He found the Optoma PK301 to be brighter, clearer and more colorful than the 3M MPro 150.
Review: Review: Optoma PK201 and PK301 pico projectors, Devin Coldewey, July 1, 2010
"The Optoma PK301 pretty much puts to rest the classification of pico projectors as toys," writes Matthew Panzariono. He notes the DLP projector's standard issues with uneven brightness, and said the audio was "mouse-sized, tinny." The fan is noticeable for a pico projector. Still, he notes that positives like high brightness and abundant inputs make the PK301 his top choice among pico projectors.
Review: Review: Optoma PK301, Pico Projectors Just Got Real, Matthew Panzarino, April 2011
Reviewer Anthony Arrigo gives the Optoma PK301 pico projector a Hot Product Award designation, praising its good selection of features and brightness. Like most pico projectors, the Optoma PK301 is best used with small groups, he said, and it's among the more expensive of its type. But he adds that the unit's brightness and resolution are worth the extra money.
Review: Pico Projector Review – Optoma PK301 LED Projector, Anthony Arrigo, Sept. 2, 2010
More than 70 owners team up to grant the Optoma PK301 pico projector an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Users compliment its brightness and display, especially given its size. They suggest its best use is for small groups in smaller spaces, given that the display begins to wash out in brighter or larger surroundings (as with most pico projectors).
Review: Optoma PK301 Pico Pocket Projector, Contributors to Amazon.com