Epson shows off the MegaPlex Digital Dock Projector at Macworld | iWorld 2012

Last week at Macworld | iWorld 2012, the imaging company Epson had set up a large area on the second floor to show off its latest product, the MegaPlex Digital Dock Projector. Epson makes a number of imaging products, including printers and projectors, but this is its first project driven by an iOS device. It's a pretty standard portable projector (in fact, I'd argue that the image and speaker quality on the projector are a little below standard, unfortunately), but the kicker here is that there's an iOS dock connector on the back, so you can plug in your iPad or iPhone, and any app that allows you to send video out can be shown off on the screen.

There are two versions of the project for sale, priced at US$799 or $699, respectively. The difference is in the display. The higher-priced version will output 720p video at 2800 lumens, and the less expensive model does 540p video at 2200 lumens. There is a panel of standard video inputs on the side, including RCA, s-video, VGA, and HDMI, so you can plug just about anything else into the projector if you happen to not be using the dock.

But there's also a handle on the unit, so it's a (mostly) portable way to show movies or presentations directly from an iOS device. It does that well, despite a tradeoff for image quality. The projector itself doesn't have any audio out to hook up to an external speaker, and while you could just use the iOS device's audio jack, that solution seems less than elegant.

Still, it was kind of impressive to see the iPad's output up there on the big screen though Epson's box. If you've been looking into low cost projector solutions, and wouldn't mind have the option to get video right off of your iDevice, the MegaPlex might be what you're looking for.