Pocket projectors tend to be hit or miss, but the ViewSonic M1 mini Plus is a hit for sure. It's small enough to put in your pocket, but it can easily project to the ceiling from bed height at 854×480 resolution, but supports full-HD resolution. That means your computer will see it as a 1080p display. It also does automatic vertical keystone correction, making it a snap to project on any surface.
- 50 ANSI Lumens brightness
- Throw distance of 0.64m to 2.66m, (39″ @1m)
- Image size of 24 inches to 100 inches
- HDMI, USB Type-A, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
The M1 mini Plus comes with a built-in battery which offers around an hour of playback in my tests. That's not a lot, but the projector uses a USB-C port for charging, so you can easily power it on-the-go. You can use a power bank, but it needs to output at least 18W to charge the projector. The projector has a built-in stand to increase the elevation, and you can also flip it upside down if that works better. You can adjust the output from the settings menu.
It's pretty easy to set up the projector. Just turn it on, connect it to a Wi-Fi network, and you're all set. You will have to use the remote control to input your Wi-Fi password, but once done, you're all good. The projector looks to be running a heavily modified version of Android, but sideloading apps is not guaranteed to work. You can, however, install other apps from the projector's Aptoide Store. There's also the option of plugging in a USB drive to watch videos or pictures.
The projector comes with the Netflix app. You'll have to cast other content, such as YouTube, from your smartphone. It doesn't quite work with all content — Viu would sometimes work. But casting usually works, or you can also mirror the screen. I used an iPhone to test this. There's also a HDMI port so you can connect to your laptop to use as an external display. The audio from the projector's JBL speakers is pretty decent. Don't expect a theatre-class experience though.
At around S$339 or more, depending on where you get it, the ViewSonic M1 mini Plus is a great buy if you're looking for a convenient and easy-to-use projector. The interface is a lot easier to use than the Lumos Auro projector (which I don't recommend, by the way). I really like the ViewSonic's form factor and portability, and you probably will, too. You can get it from Shopee, Lazada, or Amazon. Amazon appears to be the cheapest for now. It might be smart to wait for a sale, as we've seen it go as low as S$309 when that happens.
Note: Review unit provided by ViewSonic. Updated to reflect Amazon's pricing and Shopee and Lazada's price change.
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