The Brookstone HDMI Pocket Projector is very compact, produces a decent picture, and is simple to set up and use. Its built-in rechargeable battery delivers 2 hours of projection time and can also charge portable devices via the integrated USB port. The product also ships with two HDMI adapters (for smartphones and tablets) and a short HDMI cable.
The Bad It’s somewhat pricey at $300; it doesn’t work out of the box with Apple iOS devices, meaning an adapter is required; it doesn’t have a memory card or USB slot for playing digital files without an external device; and the built-in speakers sound tinny.
The Bottom Line While it has a few small shortcomings and is somewhat pricey at $300, the sleekly designed Brookstone HDMI Pocket Projector is one of the better 2012 pico projectors.
To help pair your device with the projector, Brookstone includes a couple of adapters for smartphones and tablets along with a short HDMI cable. I got it working with a Kindle Fire HD, a Blu-ray player, and an Android phone. But if you own an Apple device, you’ll need an Apple Digital AV Adapter — that’s $40 for the 30-pin version or $50 for the Lightning version. Alternately, you could hook an Apple TV box to the Brookstone, and wirelessly send video from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch via.
A couple of other small things worth mentioning: There’s a threaded hole on the bottom of the projector, so you can mount it or attach it to a tripod. Also, you focus the picture using a small ring on the left side of the device. It isn’t terribly precise — and it takes some fiddling around to get the correct focus — but it works.
Brookstone includes a cheap nylon sack to store the projector in. It will prevent the device from getting scratched up, but otherwise it provides minimal protection.
The projector has a pretty basic feature set and keeps things very simple, which some people will like and some won’t. The only two physical buttons on the device are the power on/off switch and the focus ring. In terms of picture tweaks, you can only switch from “presentation” to “standard” mode. Touch-sensitive buttons on top of the unit allow you to adjust volume levels — I kept it at 100 percent.