Optoma ML750ST ultra portable LED projector review
The Optoma ML750ST is classed as an ultra-portable projector. It weighs less than half a kilo, will fit on one hand, but still manages an impressive spec sheet.
This DLP projector is kitted with a short-throw lens so perfect for ad hoc cinema or gaming.
Optoma ML750ST design
A few years ago this would be classed as a pico projector but, since things such as the Qumi Q3 turned up, ultra-portable it is.
The ML750ST will still slip inside a bag or briefcase though – not that it needs to.
As the little Optoma only weighs 420g, you’re not going to do yourself a mischief carting it about either.
Somehow they have managed to squeeze in a HDMI port, SD card slot, a USB port, a headphone jack, and a universal in/out socket (for which a cable is helpfully provided for free).
The HDMI supports the MHL protocol for sharing content from compatible mobile devices. Spend an extra £27 on Optoma’s optional wireless USB adapter hands the projector wireless streaming support. This was kindly bundled in with my review pack.
It all adds up to being the little projector that can.
But, can it?
Optoma ML750ST performance
The ML750ST is an LED projector and uses a DLP (Digital Light Processing) system of individual red, green and blue LED modules. This is instead of the colour-wheel system used by most full-sized DLP projectors.
As you can imagine, this helps in achieving the portable-friendly size. It also means that the ML750ST’s lamp life is rated at 20,000 hours. Quite a difference to the 4,000 hours on the average full-sized home model. Most handy of all though for this projector on the go is that you don’t have to allow for cool-down time. Thanks to the LEDs, just switch off, unplug, pack up, move on.
The ML750ST claims a brightness of 800 lumens. It also boasts a contrast ratio of 20,000:1 according to the official site.
It also manages a 1280 x 800 WXGA resolution at a native image aspect ratio of 16:10 rather than the 16:9 ratio of TVs and most video content.
The ST part of the projector’s name stands for ‘short throw’. If you’re not sure if this is a good thing or not, I reckon it is. You see, this means that it is able to deliver big images from a reduced distance away from the screen or surface you’re projecting on to.
For example, you can achieve a 100-inch image from having the ML750ST just a meter away from your screen.
I was somewhat relieved to discover that the ML750ST actually sports an automatic keystone adjustment feature. Not only that, but it actually works.
This uses a built-in sensor that auto calibrates the LEDs each time the projector is switched on to give you a rectangular viewing area rather than something a little more trapezoidal.
The HDMI port can be used for connecting Blu-ray players and games consoles for home entertainment uses, as well as PCs and laptops. For me, this was utilsed for my trusty Amazon Fire Stick.
The SD card slot and USB port can be used for playing Microsoft Office, PDF, photo, video and audio files directly from the projector. Handy should you be planning on using the ML750ST for presentations and the like. A quick warning though, the projector doesn’t play nice with PowerPoint animations, apparently.
Optoma ML750ST picture quality
Choosing a film at random from the Prime Video section – it happened to be the 1996 Dolph Lundgren flick ‘Silent Trigger’ – I was actually surprised by the projector’s performance. Less so, Dolph’s.
I set this up over the recent sunny weekend in my living room. The curtains are thin so the room was still quite light. Even in this environment the black-level response and colour performance made the film watchable. Again, no real help from Dolph here – and I do usually like his films, especially Universal Soldier and Showdown in Little Tokyo (the latter gets bonus points for the added Brandon Lee factor). But, I digress.
Dark scenes contain much more realistic blacks than I was expecting for such a diminutive projector. I couldn’t really detect that haloing effect that you can sometimes get around dark areas either. This makes the shading and contrast much more natural.
This produced a fairly natural colour pallet. It is still vivid where needed and subtle in other areas.
You can still get the wow-factor from a striking sun-set but, when dealing with skin-tones for instance, there is still a subtlety without over-saturation.
Its responsiveness isn’t going to make it a competitive gamer’s go to display, but it keeps up with fast scenes well enough. Gamers might be interested in the GT1080Darbee though.
Input lag is minimal – around 16.5ms is the quoted time.
The only real limiting factor I could see in my test was my room wasn’t dark enough. Had I been equipped with black-out curtains I am sure that I could’ve stretched the viewing image more. As it was, I could still get a 50-inch image that still had plenty of detail.
Regarding detail, some of the edges did appear not as sharp or defined as I would have liked. Perhaps full HD resolution may have smoothed this out a bit.
There were also a touch of rainbow-ing in really bright scenes. Again, nothing major but something I feel I have to mention.
I have to admit though, I did have to remind myself that I wasn’t dealing with a full-sized projector. Naturally, they will be able to dish out the lumens but the little ML750ST does perform well.
Optoma ML750ST sound quality
The ML750ST’s focus on convenience extends to an integrated speaker to save you from always having to find an external unit to hook it up to.
This unit is rated at 1.5W – but you weren’t expecting full Dolby Atmos were you?
Thankfully, the projector runs quite quietly.
You can make out dialogue, even in more rowdy scenes but the speaker is perhaps best left as a last resort.
Audio projection is poor, and there is little to no bass.
It’s best to use the headphone jack and hook-up a speaker. Bluetooth would’ve been a nice touch.
Optoma ML750ST review conclusion
This little ultra-portable projector certainly ticks a lot of boxes. It is easy to carry around, it’s bright and the colours are good.
The speaker is very weak, but then that’s going to be pretty low on your wish list if you were considering the ML750ST.
As a business projector it does pretty much all you’ll need it to. Being able to run Office presentations without a PC is a bonus. Running it from a computer is decent too and the PC setting works as it should.
If you had a business account, then the price might not be an issue. However, if you were looking at this as a personal purchase, then this might be a stumbling block.
We all know the smaller things are the more they tend to cost but, if Optoma managed to keep this closer to £400 it might have been a little more tempting. Not only for those looking for portable projectors, but those considering other budget versions. It could be an excellent all-rounder.
As it is, if you need a portable projector with skills that can match many full-sized budget offerings, then the ML750ST might be worth it.
Optoma ML750ST price and availability
You can buy the ML750ST now from Amazon.co.uk for £530.