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Review: ViewSonic M1 portable projector

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

Compact short-throw projectors are one of the most useful and versatile devices out there for home and office. Fitting in the palm of your hand, a portable projector is another widescreen TV, a presentation tool, a slideshow device and a portable home theatre for frequent travellers.

The 1.5-pound ViewSonic M1 projector sounds like a sports car. In many ways it is like the sports coupe of projectors. It’s sleek, compact, powerful and a lot of fun.

The clever design of the ViewSonic M1 has a built-in Smart Stand that offers 360 degrees of articulation. This is huge because you can use the stand to prop up the projector anywhere and even angle it so you’re projecting right on the ceiling.

This stand also saves you the trouble of having to use a small tripod to steady the projector in uneven surfaces such as hotel beds and carpeted floors.

I connected my ViewSonic M1 to a Google Chromecast which I controlled from my Android device. The projector offers and HDMI port plus a free USB port to connect and to power the Chromecast, a perfect pairing.

You also have USB Type-C plus a MicroSD card slot for alternative input. Once everything is set, you are rewarded with an 845 x 480 resolution that can be as large as 80 inches diagonal.

The built-in dual Harman-Kardon speakers make a huge difference and offer loud and nuanced audio to complement the video. Even at the loudest settings, for watching sports or blockbuster films, sound is never distorted.

I enjoyed streaming the engaging but thoroughly depressing Man in the High Castle from Amazon Prime Video, the entire Daredevil Season 3 from Netflix as well as endless episodes of Teen Titans Go, my son’s current favourite show.

I also connected the projector to my PlayStation 4 which doubled as a gaming machine for Forza as well as a Blu-Ray player. The ViewSonic M1 delivered the goods and was ideal for small room or home office use.

This projector is built to travel and has some other useful features. 16GB of storage make this a great external hard drive that can hold up to 4 hours of HD movies or 4,000 songs. A built-in battery can power the projector off the grid for 6 hours, enough for two full-length movies.

ViewSonic has made the M1 easy to use. From the set-up, finding the source of video, the smooth action of the focusing ring and the four key control buttons quickly become familiar.

This diminutive dynamo’s DLP LED lamps with 250 lumens of brightness are rated for 30,000 hours of use. You do hear the built-in fan kick in from time to time but it’s not completely distracting.

The ViewSonic M1 is an outstanding portable projector. It is compact enough to fit in a laptop bag or backpack yet larger and more solid than some smaller projectors of this size.

The loud and clear stereo speakers, the excellent articulating Smart Stand and bright and crisp picture makes this a king among short-throw projectors.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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