Portable projectors are back, and we check out ViewSonic’s latest offering.
When someone asks me what big-screen TV to buy for their home, I’d always try and suggest in getting a projector since it saves on space and at times, it’s still cheaper. Portable projectors didn’t really take off that much, but there’s a quite a few that stood out from the crowd.
One of these is the ViewSonic M1, a portable projector that is able to give you a 100-inch screen that won’t burn a hole in your wallet. The ViewSonic M1 is small and compact and even includes a handle to carry it around and even acts as a stand. This handle folds into the body of the projector which also covers the lens – genius design I must say. Opening this handle also automatically turns on the device.
Behind the projector, you will find buttons for navigating the menus and volume. I found it a little difficult using the buttons, and this is where the included remote control made it easier since most of the functions are there. The only drawback is that the projector’s IR receiver is located on the front of it, meaning that you would have to go in front of the device to properly operate it.
The ViewSonic M1’s ports, including HDMI 1.4, 3.5 mm, microSD, USB type-A, and USB type-C are hidden behind a flap on the side of the projector which also where you plug in the device for power. Though to be honest I barely plugged it in since the internal battery was able to give me about 5-6 hours of usage on a full battery – that’s enough for me to watch Avengers: Endgame twice.
The ViewSonic M1’s native resolution is at 854-by-480 and sources with a higher resolution will be scaled down to support the video output. There’s also 16 GB of internal storage that you can use to stores videos that you would want to watch on the go. ViewSonic says that the M1’s lamps have a 30,000-hour lifespan, so expect years of viewing with the projector.
I hooked up the ViewSonic M1 to my trusty Blu-ray player and mostly played a couple of titles from my collection. Image quality is better than what I had expected considering its size: it’s bright and colors are displayed accurately while detail is spot-on. It struggled a little when light is present the room, though I’m sure most of you will watch it with the lights off anyway.
The projector also includes Harman Kardon-built speakers and while they way better than a normal speaker you’d find on any projector, it still lacks the depth that you’d probably expect from it. Still, dialogue resonated clear, and explosions still manage to give us an upgraded listening experience. As an alternative, you can always use the 3.5 mm to output sound to a compatible receiver or speaker.
It has its flaws, but the ViewSonic M1 manages to impress us with its design, function, and performance and easily gets our recommendation as one of our favorite portable projectors.
+ Generous port selection
+ Decent image quality
+ Great battery life
– The remote control works if you’re in front of the projector
Final Rating: 4/5