Portable projection made easy.
Months after we tested the original ViewSonic M1, we’re getting the M1+ now for review. It bears nearly an identical look to its predecessor, with a few upgrades thrown in. Let’s check it out.
If you put the M1+ next to the original M1, you’d barely notice the difference. There’s still the same swivel that turns into a stand when opened, along with the four buttons at the back that serve as functions for power, volume, and navigation.
Just like the M1, the M1+’s front sensor will know if you’ve lifted the swivel and will automatically turn on the projector. On the side is a hidden port selection that includes USB-A, USB-C, 3.5 mm, microSD, and HDMI. While the ports are neatly aligned, accessing them can be a bit of a hassle especially with the cover flap in the way. It’s a small quip, but I hope ViewSonic changes this layout on the next iteration of the M1 projector.
The M1+ comes with a standard power brick along with a USB-C cable that instantly makes it compatible with some smartphones, tablets and even notebooks. The ViewSonic M1+ carries a native resolution of 854-by-480 pixels, but it can support inputs of up to Full HD 1920-by-1080 pixels. The projector will automatically downscale the output if it’s more than its native resolution, which is in our case everything that we played on it.
The projector sports a brightness of 300 lumens which isn’t really enough to power a full-blown home cinema. You can definitely see the projector struggling when the lights are turned on, so this led to our conclusion that the M1+ is more suited for smaller rooms or when you’re on the go.
The main menu for the ViewSonic M1+ is easy to navigate, especially using the remote. I didn’t enjoy the remote on the M1, but somehow I felt the M1+ has been improved. That being said, I suggest that you should be close to the projector when using the remote since that is the best way it can recognize it. The M1+ is also loaded with the same Harman Kardon speakers which are undoubtedly one of the best speakers we ever heard on a projector.
The M1+ is easy to navigate and because it supports various apps, this means you can install multiple apps like YouTube or Netflix and watch video directly from the projector. It also supports screen mirroring on both iOS and Android devices and it worked like a charm when we tested it with an iPhone 11 Pro and a Google Pixel 3.
The M1+’s battery life is most similar to the M1, which is about 6 hours. While that could translate to an average of three movies played back-to-back, I realized that we were already looking for the charger after about four hours. It’s not the best, but generally using this projector would always be in a place where power is available so most of the time the battery life won’t matter.
The minimal upgrades made on the ViewSonic M1+ are subtle, and while some of the M1’s flaws are still present this is still one of the best portable projectors available at the moment.
[UPDATE] We’ve just received the retail price for the ViewSonic M+1, which comes in at $400. This price easily places the M+1 higher than other portable projectors that cost more. With this added information the final rating has now been revised to 4/5.
+ Great design and form
+ Easy to navigate
+ Great sound output
– Flaws from the M1 are still present
Final Rating: 4/5