Portable image viewer/PDA that can output reasonably hi-res pictures to a monitor?

I’m looking for something our staff can carry to remote locations and plug in to a computer monitor or data projector and show educational presentations. It needs to be a higher resolution than NTSC, as I have looked at images from a video iPod on a TV and that isn’t good enough. I would think 800x600 would be ok, or maybe a 1080i HD output.

So my boss is asking me whether we have any options smaller and cheaper than a laptop or notebook computer. Our source materials are Power Point presentations, but we could easily convert the slides to jpeg images. So I’m wondering if there is some kind of hi-res output image viewer that could do the job.

Any suggestions, like a digital picture frame with a VGA output, or something elso along those lines?

Digital picture frames with 800x480 resolution can be had for around $100. But honestly I think a $400 laptop would be your best bang for the buck. Bigger screen, higher resolution, plus can be used for more than just photos.

This would need to be for large groups, so a picture fram itself won’t do it. It needs either an VGA or DVI out so it can interfacce with most standard data projectors or large screen HD TVs.

$400 laptop? I wish – we can’t buy our own, the IS department chooses them and the laptops they buy cost $1700 and up. No, we’re not the defense department, but as a hospital, we spend like we are. For that kind of money, it really out to stop a bullet AND give me a blow job. But all it does is fuck us.

I just read about a device in this month’s Popular Science that is about the size of a telephone handset that is the projector. High resolution displayed at a fairly large size in a dark room. But I don’t believe it’s available yet. :frowning:

ETA: Ah, here it is. Maybe not as high-res as I recalled. It’s more about the small size.

There are some third-party VGA output adapters for PDAs, but I suspect they’re not very easy to set up and use. And they’re hard to even find info on, since PDA’s as a whole seem to have fallen out of fashion.

Have you looked at the Asus Eee PC? That should be ideal for presentations. Tell the IT department that you really need a 2-lb computer with a full QWERTY keyboard…

Huh. I wonder why I’ve never considered this question before. You would think that it’d actually be a fairly commonly asked for item. Maybe because everyone just uses laptops :stuck_out_tongue:

My quick googling came up with a CF device that allows VGA output, but you’d obviously still need a CF-enabled pda or something, as scr4 mentions.


p.s. Margi adapters are the ones I’d thought of, but apparently they are now discontinued.

No doubt. I hear this sort of thing over and over, just because it’s a big organization does that mean they can be that careless with money?

If I read your O.P. correctly, the Archos Video Recorder/ Player might suit your needs quite nicely.


If it had a VGA or component video out, it would be perfect. But AFAICS, it only has NTSC/PAL video output.

I really think you are looking for a computer, of some kind - converting Powerpoint presentations to static images just for the sake of… well… what? Being able to display them on a hypothetical device you haven’t actually managed to find yet?

It’s really going to suck that way, if you can even find such a solution - The whole point of Powerpoint is that it’s more than just a slideshow of static frames. I mean, I’m not saying I love whizzy transitions and animation, but you’re going to have trouble even making a bulleted list appear sequentially this way.

So I’d say even a cheap refurbished laptop is going to get a better result than a device that can just display images.

If not a laptop, then how about one of these:

-It should be easily possible to install something like gOS linux on this and run OpenOffice Impress (compatible with Powerpoint, mostly) on it.

I mentioned the conversion to jpeg because I thought there might be some image viewer that would not be able to run powerpoint, not that I would prefer one over the other.

Sorry - I didn’t mean to rant - it’s just that I think if you limit yourself to the presentation of completely static slides, you’re quite likely reducing the value of your presented material.

I just checked and it should be really simple to set up that mini PC I linked above - it will boot from a compactflash card plugged in the front - and it’s really simple to install Chubby Puppy Linux on that card (from another machine) - chubby puppy includes openoffice, which will run your presentations.

Add a wireless USB mouse or presentation remote and it should be good to go.

I don’t know what it’s called, but some projectors have a feature that allows you to copy the PowerPoint presentation to a USB memory stick and connect it directly to the projector, without needing a computer. So perhaps you can get a new projector that allows this.

That would do it, but I’ve never seen such a projector. The ones I’ve seen with USB inputs use them for either wireless remote controls or software updates.

I will do a search for one that would do this. Please let me know if you can find any.

I agree, it sounds like this would work, but my IS department has an absolute stranglehold on computer ordering. They would have to form a committee and study the implications of a system like this, which I’m sure would ultimately cost far more than just buying it and trying it out. That’s the main reason I’m trying to avoid a product that that can be called a PC.

Some digital cameras have S-video output. That’s not going to be more than TV resolution, but assuming the projector supports PAL format (most do), you could set the camera to output PAL and you’d get 720 x 540 resolution, or something like that.

I know you said you wanted VGA, but I’m pretty sure most digital projectors have S-video inputs. It’s going to be tricky finding something with a VGA output that isn’t a computer of some description.

So far I’ve found that some of the Casio projectors have this feature, including a couple that cost about a thousand dollars.

I’m starting to figure that out. But really,you’d think there be something. How many gazillion sales people are on the road, who would buy the smallest, easiest to carry and use presentation products they could find. If I were an engineer I would make one of these things and try to market it. How tough would it be to make a digital picture frame with VGA out, and maybe a USB in so you can carry an assortment of presentations for different products?

It just seem to me there would be a big market for it. Especially if you put it together with one of those cigarette pack sized projectors.

Thanks, I found several on Casio’s site. I will look into them more closely. One of them might fit the bill.