Toshiba's compact projector using an LED light source
Toshiba's compact projector using an LED light source
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Toshiba Corp. has displayed a prototype compact projector weighing about 500 g at the "WPC EXPO 2005," a PC and digital electronics trade show. The digital light processing (DLP) projector's key feature is the light source which uses light-emitting diodes (LED). Toshiba reduced the projector's size and weight by introducing red (R), green (G) and blue (B) LEDs as a light source, compared to the high-pressure mercury vapor lamps combined with a color wheel used in its current compact projectors. The weight is about half that of the company's current smallest product. The dimensions are 136 x 100 x 55 (the thinnest part is 39) mm, 40% of the current product. Toshiba also succeeded in reducing power consumption to 15 W, lower than 1/10 of the current product.

The company plans to release the projector onto the market in January 2006. The product will be packed with a Li-ion secondary battery pack (250 g), a dedicated screen for image projection and a bag, which can also be used to carry a notebook PC. Pricing is not fixed, but street pricing is expected to be around ¥100,000.

Details of the embedded LEDs are not specified, but a company spokesperson explained, "We employed a product boasting the market's highest level luminance." However, due to the high priority given to size reduction, the number of LEDs is limited to two green LEDs, one blue LED and one red LED. This results in a poor image luminance of only about 1/100 the current product's 1,500 lm, which the spokesperson says "is not sufficient to project images to other screens available in the market." Consumers therefore need to use the dedicated screen packed with the projector.

Yasushi Uchida, Nikkei Electronics