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First impressions: 3M Streaming Projector powered by Roku

Check out our fullĀ 3M Streaming Projector Powered by Roku review.

A projector small enough to fit in your palms but large enough to entertain a whole backyard? That certainly was the mission for 3M in its partnership Roku to combine the Roku Streaming Stick into a portable projector device, all of which allows you to make your media center entirely portable. In our hands-on impressions, we were able to set up the 3M Streaming Projector seamlessly. Just power on the device with the Streaming Stick plugged into the back and the projector is ready to go with a quick Wi-Fi connection and model registration on the Web.

Again, this pint-sized projector is as small and lightweight as it appears. Coming in at a weight of one pound, you can literally throw the device into your backpack and have it ready to go wherever you are traveling. Provided you include a Wi-Fi connection, you can even have movie nights on a camping trip if you so desire. A rubber grip lining the bottom of the projector helps with anti-slip placements.

From what we experienced, start-up time is a bit on the slow side — making us wait a whole minute for the Streaming Projector to boot up then for Roku to sign in. The fan, with vents located along the front end of the device, is audible but not distracting. The visual projections, at 60 lumens, are clear and vivid, but the quality obviously diminishes the larger you attempt to expand the screen. You can attempt to focus the picture with the wheel located at the front, but that can only do so much if you try to extend the screen up to the maximum size of 120 inches. This fact comes unsurprisingly, of course, given that the resolution is a modest WVGA with DLP technology. DLP tech is the sort of stuff you’d find in traditional movie cinemas, but WVGA will give you just your standard DVD quality. At a price tag of $300, this may disappoint some people, but keep in mind the sleek Roku integration is seldom found in most projectors on the market.

Another gripe so far is how difficult it is to yank the Roku Streaming Stick out of the projector when you want to access the HDMI port. It’s not impossible, but there is little room to wedge a finger underneath the streaming stick to pull the device out without thinking you might snap the HDMI plug in half. The top of the projector is also clean and shiny, but after fudging around with placing the item at the right angle, there are already visible finger prints all over the surface.

It’s a pretty, portable, and dare we say, an adorable device that is likely to be a hit with kids, but die-hard gadgeteers who are all about the specs may be left wanting more. I’ll leave this up to the professionals, such as our A/V editor Caleb Denison, to give you a full review in the upcoming weeks. Again, the 3M Streaming Projector is available for pre-order today forĀ $300, and will be sold exclusively on Amazon.