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Thursday, October 27, 2005
Toshiba Prototypes Compact Projector Using LED Light Source

Toshiba displayed a prototype compact projector weighing about 500g at "WPC EXPO 2005," a PC and digital electronics trade show held in Japan these days.

The digital light processing (DLP) projector's key feature is a light source using light-emitting diodes (LED). Toshiba reduced projector size and weight by introducing red (R), green (G) and blue (B) LEDs as a light source, which was high-pressure mercury vapor lamps combined with a color wheel in its current compact projectors. The weight is about half that of the company's current most compact product. The dimensions are 136 x 100 x 55 mm. Toshiba also claims that it has succeeded in reducing power consumption to 15 W, lower than a 1/10.

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 Yen (US $864).

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 first 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.

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