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-- by Marc Spiwak
Taking business presentations on the road can be rough, especially with clumsy multimedia units. But now, you can lighten your load with Proxima's new Lightbook multimedia projector. It's one of the smallest multimedia projectors available.
About as large as two stacked notebook computers when closed, the PC-compatible Lightbook measures 5 by 9.25 by 13.5 inches and weighs 11.35 pounds. It must be closed to fit in the included padded carrying case.
When you're using it, the Lightbook's top half swings up and forward, and the lens pops out. While not as bright as larger projectors, the Lightbook's 400-watt halogen lamp with a 250-lumen output (and a rated life of 40 to 60 hours) is bright enough for doing presentations even with the lights on. The projector displays a 640x480 image and can also handle an SVGA 800x600 image in a fit-to-view mode.
The Lightbook provides input and output connections sufficient to handle most tasks. A computer input connects to your PC's video output; a pass-through monitor output lets you simultaneously project an image onto a screen and view it on a monitor; a serial connector lets the Lightbook communicate with a computer using specialized software bundled with the projector. An S-Video and composite video inputs accept NTSC, PAL and SECAM video formats. The projector has two stereo audio inputs, one for the PC input and one for the video. Built-in speakers and 1W amplifiers eliminate the need for ex-ternal speakers. However, there is a stereo audio output to connect external speakers if you wish.
The projector is controlled by push buttons on the top panel or on one of two included remote units. One remote controls only frequently used features; the other can control all features, including common mouse functions, and on-screen drawing and highlighting tools. Everything is operated from an on-screen display, and anyone familiar with modern TV sets will have no trouble with the Lightbook.
The Lightbook should be positioned perpendicular to a screen at a distance of 5 feet to 10 feet. A keystone-correction lever is available to eliminate distortion if necessary. A pop-out fixture on the bottom of the projector holds the functioning lamp plus a spare. Although a fan cools the unit, the projector automatically turns off the lamp to prevent overheating whenever necessary.
Besides a one-year warranty on parts and labor (excluding the lamp), the Lightbook comes with cables, adapters and a padded carrying case. The Lightbook's versatility and portability make it the first projector to earn a spot on our Recommended List.