May 27, 2024
ViewSonic M1 Pro Portable Projector Review: Champion of Multiple Purposes

ViewSonic M1 Pro Portable Projector Review: Champion of Multiple Purposes

Projectors can be enormous, detailed, and designed for a true home theater experience, and they are frequently the first choice in large spaces and purpose-built home theater rooms.

The ViewSonic M1 Pro, priced at Rs. 68,999 in India, is one of the projector and monitor specialist’s recent offerings in the portable projector arena. The M1 Pro promises a lot for the money, with a projection resolution of 1280×720 pixels, a unique design that allows the projector to stand freely and project in various directions, and a built-in sound system. Is this the greatest portable projector available today? Learn more in this review.

ViewSonic M1 Pro design and specifications

The spiritual successor and spiritual successor of the ViewSonic M1, the newer and more capable M1 Pro maintains the same positioning by providing entirely wireless use thanks to its built-in battery. The Pro version also receives a resolution jump, a stronger speaker system, and an overall improved form factor, however, all of this comes at a considerable price hike.

However, because of the built-in battery and 0.95kg weight, it’s significantly more portable than the ViewSonic M2e. While the M2e is more of a home theater projector with some versatility in how and where it may be used, it isn’t as portable and versatile as the M1 Pro. As a result, the M1 Pro fits into an intriguing niche, promising to perform its very specialized role admirably.

The projection light is rated for up to 30,000 hours of use and has a brightness rating of up to 600 lumens. The ViewSonic M1’s focal length is fixed, meaning the size of the projection is determined by how far away from the wall or screen you set the projector. For minor modifications, there is a somewhat variable digital zoom range from 0.8X to 1.0X, however, this is purely for optimization rather than really setting the screen size.

While you can get a sharp projection from as close as 0.94m, ViewSonic recommends a throw distance of at least 0.94m, which provides a projection size of 40 inches, going up to a size of 150 inches from a throw distance of 3.52m, but anything more than 100 inches is likely to result in a sharp drop in projection quality and sharpness.

Along with the ViewSonic M1 Pro, the sales package includes a large charging brick that plugs into the DC 19V socket, a USB Type-C to Type-C cable for connectivity to source devices, a remote for navigating the built-in Android-based UI and controlling basics like volume and source, and a hard-shell carry case for the entire package.

ViewSonic M1 Pro connectivity and features

The ViewSonic M1 Pro’s connectivity features are excellent for a gadget of its size. There are power and wired headphone/speaker ports, as well as two USB Type-C connectors, one USB Type-A port, and an HDMI port. Wireless connectivity options include Wi-Fi screen mirroring and Bluetooth 4.2 for audio connecting to compatible headphones and speakers.

While the ViewSonic M1 Pro has a projection resolution of 1280×720 pixels, the system supports input resolutions of up to 1920×1080 pixels, which are subsequently upscaled or downscaled as needed. Although USB Type-C is the most convenient connecting choice because it can handle both video and audio with a single cable, the inclusion of HDMI connectivity will undoubtedly be valuable to many.

The ViewSonic M1 Pro contains a big 12,000mAh battery that may be used to power the projector, but it can also be utilized as a sort of power bank. In my instance, this was inconvenient because the projector was charging my laptop while the two devices were linked through a USB Type-C cable, which quickly depleted the projector’s battery. To resolve this issue, I had to connect it to DC power, which did not occur while using an HDMI cable with a compatible source device, such as the Apple TV 4K (3rd Gen).

The M1 Pro, like several of the other ViewSonic projectors I’ve reviewed, has its own simple Android-based user interface. This is useful for simple tasks like viewing and updating system settings and preferences, as well as connecting to some source devices like USB drives to access media files via the file explorer.

ViewSonic M1 Pro performance and battery life

The placement and feature set of the ViewSonic M1 Pro make it a one-of-a-kind offering with little competition right now. It’s equally suited to productivity as it is to enjoyment, and significantly more so than the ViewSonic M1 for the latter due to the higher projection resolution. Because it has numerous connectivity options, it can also be utilized with a variety of source devices.

However, given the size of the projection, the ViewSonic M1 Pro is still limited by its 1280×720-pixel resolution. Smaller projection sizes looked great for the most part, particularly with material playing, and you’ll excuse certain flaws simply because this is a projection.

Larger projection sizes, on the other hand, highlight the resolution’s inherent inadequacies. This didn’t matter much if I was just projecting my laptop screen, but it did have an effect on the viewing experience for movies and TV shows.

The ViewSonic M1 Pro boots quickly and is ready to use after a few seconds of twisting the cover stand and positioning it. Connectivity is also dependable and rapid, especially with USB Type-C, which activates almost instantly after being plugged in. Even HDMI is virtually rapid, and AirPlay for wireless connecting with compatible iOS devices is similarly simple and speedy. Keystone correction is also quick and accurate, allowing you to set it up at any angle for convenience, while the optimum performance will be observed with the projector aimed horizontally at the projection screen or wall.

It’s important to remember that this type of projector isn’t intended to be used on a regular basis; think of it as something to take with you on vacation for entertainment in your hotel room, or for productivity purposes, such as quickly projecting presentations and spreadsheets onto a conference room screen from your laptop. It’s undeniably superior to the latter, as it more closely matches the resolution and display ratio of a standard laptop or tablet screen.

The 12,000mAh battery on the ViewSonic M1 Pro might sound considerable, but projection is a power-intensive activity. As such I was able to use the M1 Pro for just around one hour in normal use, which might go up a bit if you use ‘Eco’ mode. This might come in handy in certain situations, but you’ll largely need to have the projector plugged into power for all practical purposes.

Verdict

ViewSonic’s commitment to the projector area is outstanding, and the firm is one of the few that offers specialized projectors like the ViewSonic M1 Pro, as well as the M1 and M2e before it. The M1 Pro caters to a pretty specific use case and is perhaps quite pricey given that you can get a great 65-inch TV for the same price, but the device’s versatility and usability are unrivaled – provided this is what you’re looking for.

Although the ViewSonic M1 Pro is more suited to productivity use cases, it’s also useful for watching movies or TV shows on the road. Furthermore, the built-in battery offers some versatility to how you can use it, and a comprehensive range of networking choices means you can connect it to almost any modern source device, whether by cords or wirelessly. If you’re searching for anything like this and have the money to spend, I recommend the ViewSonic M1 Pro.

Price (as of this review): Rs. 68,999

Ratings: 

Design: 9
Performance: 7
VFM: 6
Overall: 7

Pros:

  • Good connectivity options
  • Good sound quality for a portable projector
  • Decent performance
  • The battery enables fully wireless use
  • Portable, convenient lens cover and stand apparatus

Cons:

  • Basic built-in UI
  • Low resolution shows in big projection sizes
  • Fixed optical zoom
  • Expensive

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