The lowdown on projectors

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Into the light

What's big this year? Little'as in tiny projectors, albeit at a big price, or normal projectors at a tiny price. At one end of the projector spectrum, the $999 projector is causing quite a stir. You can get a whole projector for about half the price of an entry-level model last year, and with quality features.

On the other hand, spending about $2,700 can save you an armload of chiropractor bills. Several companies have introduced small projectors, weighing less than two pounds, that can go in the same carrying case as your PC. It might surprise the folks at airport security, but it'll also impress many audience members.

Do they work wirelessly? Wireless controls for projectors are almost standard issue; now, the trick is wireless IEEE 802.11b connectivity between a notebook or handheld PC and projector. Several makers offer the feature, but to date most of them perform slowly. Also, be sure a projector can support your notebook computer; some balk at Mac wireless connections.

Must-know info? Projectors are becoming a consumer item, which demystifies the devices and makes them seem like an off-the-shelf item. So, making the case in your agency for new projectors, at lower costs, will be easier, analysts and industry insiders expect.

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