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Sprint LivePro: A Projector for All Seasons?

sprint-liveproAt some point we have all attended a meeting where the projector didn’t work for this reason or that. Sprint’s LivePro may not end all projector technical disasters, but it certainly is well equipped to make sure you have enough options so that failure is not one of them.

Billed as the “Swiss Army Knife” of the projector world may sound bold, but is not too much of an exaggeration. The feature list is broad. It comes packed with external battery charger, hotspot, a near stock version of the Android operating system, 4 GB of internal storage, 1 GB RAM, USB connectivity, Micro SD slot, WiFi connectivity, connectivity to the 3G and 4G LTE Sprint network, HDMI connectivity, Bluetooth connectivity and it is of course a projector. It comes with its own USB and HDMI cables. The only feature missing is that you cannot use it as a mobile phone.

Armed with such a compliment of “goodies,” the goal is to make sure that whatever your source of data, you are covered. So cloud storage, be it Android or another is covered, including assorted smartphones and mobile computers. Being that it is Android based, those who work in this ecosystem benefit the most.

All of this sounds good. For mobility, the device measures a scant 4.7 inches square and 14.1 ounces or 0.88 of a pound. It is not cumbersome, and the aesthetics, at least for me were fine. Do be ready to take the charging cable with you. I would advise against leaving home without it.

Billed as an all-around projector, the LivePro has a place, but I do not see it as a family device as much as I do a business one for some very specific situations.

The native resolution is 854 x 854 and can project up to a 120 inch display on a wall or other surface. For optimum viewing, the placement range is anywhere from ten niches to ten feet from the surface you are projecting onto. Go any further and image quality immediately diminishes.

Where the LivePro becomes truly practical is when used in a business situation where access to equipment is scarce. For an instant audio visual presentation in a space that can be made dark, the project works well enough.

In any room with lighting, even dim, images are very difficult to see. One really needs a very dark space to have respectable image quality.

Although this is considered as a home entertainment device for travel, the limits of this projector make it less than ideal. Because of the limitations of the projector in terms of image quality, this is not a replacement for a projector that will give you high definition pictures. I really can’t imagine using this device for showing films or any video longer than 15 or 20 minutes. For slide presentations, like power point, running time could potentially go longer. The point is that is not ideal for extended use.

While this could be a shortcoming, the device ships with a near stock version of Android Jelly Bean. I am not certain if Sprint is going to update the OS. As anyone with an Android smartphone knows operating system updates are always slow in coming. For those depending on apps designed for Kit Kat or Lollipop, this could be an issue.

Speaking of apps, there are some standard Google ones already installed. Chances are good that you will want them anyway. Thankfully, there is no bloatware, but space is limited. There is only 4 GB of on board storage for apps, and about half of that is available for users. Expanding apps is possible via the micro SD card slot, but some apps cannot install on external storage. Naturally, I would not suggest ever rooting the LivePro.

Operating the device is a relative breeze. The smartphone like interface means that anyone familiar with an Android phone is going to feel at home. Just figure out a few buttons on the device, and operation is smooth.

As specific as this projector is in usefulness, I did have a chance to test it out in a real world situation.

I was giving a presentation of visual art. The meeting consisted of just three people, myself included. A dark room was available and connecting to the device was easy, smooth and relatively pain free. The images were satisfactory and the meeting went well. The visual presentation part ran about 15 minutes. After that I could see where visual fatigue was setting in. But, this was the perfect device for this very specific situation.

There are some limits with the Sprint LivePro that make it less than an ideal projector for family entertainment. With the demand for low light, acceptable image quality, this diminutive project has a place in business environments where high tech is limited and viewing numbers between 3 to 9 people. There are certainly applications for the LivePro and you just have to figure out if your needs can fit within the limits of the LivePro’s capabilities.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 4.7 inches x 4.7 inches x 1.1 inches (120.6mm x 120.6mm x 28.5mm)
  • Weight: 14.1 ounces (400 grams)
  • Display: 4-inch WVGA touchscreen display with 800×480 resolution and Gorilla Glass
  • Projection Display: 10 inches to 10 feet
  • Projector Type: DLP
  • Lamp Brightness: 100 lumens
  • Lamp Life: 20,000 hours
  • Contrast Ratio: 1,000:1
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 or 16:9
  • Battery: 5,000mAh Lithium-ion battery
  • Memory: 4GB internal memory (ROM), 1GB (RAM) microSD™ card slot supports up to 64GB
  • Ports: HDMI; USB

About Kurt Von Behrmann

Kurt Von Behrmann
Kurt Joachim von Behrmann was born in Stuttgart, Germany and from that time to the present has literally followed in his father's footsteps as an Artist, Art Professor and Writer. Like many visual artists, von Behrmann started out with small scale drawings as a child. This interest in the arts continued and ultimately translated into a B.F.A in Painting with honors from the Art Academy of Cincinnati and subsequently an M.F.A. in Painting from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills Michigan. After the degrees were earned, he followed a path that moved him through various parts of the southeast as an administrator and Professor. During those moves he continued to write for such publications as "The New Art Examiner," based in Chicago, "Art Papers," based in Atlanta, Georgia and "The Little Rock Free Press," in Little Rock, Arkansas. Shortly after that time, Mr. von Behrmann began to branch out reviewing other subject matter including films, books, and computer software and hardware. Mr. von Behrmann resides in Phoenix, Arizona and continues to create new work as a visual artist, in addition to maintaining a regular computer column.

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