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It’s a video projector, but a very small one that will sit in the palm of your hand or fit comfortably in your pocket.

It can be used as a portable business projector, but the small size of the displayed picture — claimed to be a maximum of 60in (150cm) wide in excellent viewing conditions — means it’s really designed as an entertainment product to enable people to view video from their laptops, phones, digital cameras, iPods and other personal devices.

The terminology hasn’t settled down yet and other terms for the device exist, including palmtop projector, palm projector and, the oldest one, pocket projector. Pico-projector first appeared around 2003 but products with that name have only recently reached a performance level that makes them attractive.

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 24 Oct. 2009

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-pic1.htm
Last modified: 24 October 2009.