The ASUS ZenBeam L2 is a compact, portable, battery-powered smart LED projector.
The ASUS ZenBeam L2 is a portable smart LED projector that offers a battery-powered big-screen movie experience in a surprisingly small package. With 960 lumens and a 1080p resolution, this small projector is another entry in this growing marketplace for miniature portable projectors. ASUS has created a compact and aesthetically pleasing product that will look good sitting on a nightstand, and be easy to bring with you for movie nights away from home. However, despite the impressive brightness, colors, and portability, this projector has as many oddities as it does features.
With the primary goal of being portable, this projector’s strongest features are its small size and simple design. Like other projectors in this category, the ASUS ZenBeam L2 is a smart projector. However, the smart features are powered by an included Android TV Box from HAKO mini which creates a conflicting user experience that is far from seamless.
Project an image of up to 120” with a battery life of up to 3.5 hours. For sound, you’ll be listening to the built-in harmon/kardon 10w speaker. The included ports give you all of the basic connectivity options, including USB and HDMI inputs. Use the included carrying handle to bring the ASUS ZenBeam L2 with you wherever you go, with no need for any additional accessories. If you do have accessories to take along, the carrying case is a nice touch that has room for the projector, along with some extra space for a few other things.
ASUS ZenBeam L2 Specs
Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)
960 LED Lumens
Zoom Lens Ratio
10-watt Harman Kardon
3.87" W x 2.25" H x 3.87" D
3.4 lbs (1.57 kg)
The ZenBeam line of projectors from ASUS includes several battery-powered projectors. The L2 is the second edition of the Latte L1, but ASUS has ditched the Latte branding for the ZenBeam L2. The 960 LED lumens is far brighter than the previous 300 LED lumens from the L1, as well as the resolution increase from 720 to 1080. The ZenBeam L2 has the best design and most impressive specs out of any of the products from the ZenBeam line.
ASAUS ZenBeam Model Comparison
ZenBeam Latte L1
Full HD (1920 x 1080)
1280 x 720
854 x 480
960 LED lumens
300 LED lumens
300 LED lumens
Up to 3.5 hours
Up to 3 hours
Up to 4 hours
5 watt x 2
132 x 172 x 132 mm
90 x 131 x 90 mm
110 x 39.5 x 107 mm
With a 1080p resolution and HDR 10 compatibility, the ASUS ZenBeam L2 runs at 60 FPS, making it a good projector for gamers as well as movie nights. Auto-keystone and obstacle avoidance are included to help you get a properly adjusted image. On paper, this projector gives you all of the basics that you’d expect from an entry-level projector but includes a battery to make the entire experience portable.
To give you the smart features, you’ll have the option of using the included HAKO mini Android TV box, which has its own little compartment on the top of the projector, to keep it out of sight. Bluetooth, Google Cast, Wi-Fi and all of the other features you get from any Android TV box are present here. The HAKO mini is powered by the 4x ARM Cortex-A4 @ 1800 MHz. With 2GB of RAM and 4GB of storage, this TV box gives you a barebones Android TV 10 experience.
Aside from the software you’ll find on the projector and the TV box, ASUS doesn’t offer any additional software to control your projector from your computer or smartphone. This is always the preferable situation as we strongly prefer the universal Android TV features for screen mirroring and more, rather than having to download additional apps to use these features with your projector.
ASUS ZenBeam L2 ships with an Android TV box. which mounts on the top of the chassis
I found it an odd decision to include the HAKO mini as the system that runs Android. The promotional material for the ASUS ZenBeam L2 advertises that it runs Android 12, but this is not correct. ASUS says that they have plans to push a system update in the future, but as of the time of this review, it’s running Android 10.
The Android TV system powered by the HAKO mini has a few oddities and features that don’t work. The biggest drawback is the voice command function doesn’t work at all on our test unit. Despite the dedicated voice command button on the remote, the microphone didn’t pick up any sound at first setup. It took several factory resets and repairing the remote before the microphone began to function correctly.
Another thing that I found to be an issue is the HAKO mini has a default resolution output of 4K. Considering the projector can only put out a 1080p image, the system is being strained with the 4K resolution for no reason. So I’d recommend changing the system resolution of the Android TV to 1080p for better performance.
It is also worth mentioning that we do not recommend these types of third-party Android TV boxes. There is a lot of information online about the questionable connections that these types of TV boxes are constantly making with Chinese servers. This system appears to be to be very stock Android, but I’d still recommend using an official Google Chromecast device instead.
Compact and Portable: The projector has a compact design, making it easy to carry and set up anywhere for on-the-go entertainment.
Full HD Resolution: With a resolution of 1920 X 1080, it delivers sharp and clear images for an immersive viewing experience.
Built-in Battery delivers up to 3.5 hours of video playtime
Auto Focus and Keystone Correction: The projector features auto focus and keystone correction, ensuring hassle-free setup and optimal image quality.
Versatile Connectivity: It offers multiple ports, including USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, and AUX-OUT, allowing you to connect various devices and external sound output sources.
Wireless Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support enable seamless wireless streaming.
Included Travel Case: Use the included travel case to easily and safely transport your projector with room for several accessories.
With a solid build quality and a very attractive chassis, the ZenBeam L2 does a fantastic job with the overall design. This looks more like a Bluetooth speaker with a grill that wraps around all sides of the projector. Every bit of the chassis is made with a nice-looking plastic material, while the carrying handle is synthetic leather. The top of the projector has a removable plate that reveals the compartment where the HAKO mini TV box sits. Inside of the compartment, you’ll find a USB-C cable that powers the TV box, along with a mini HDMI where the TV box is plugged in.
The controls are located on the top of the chassis
The removable top also has your hardware buttons. A simple navigation knob is used for the arrows and volume options. Next to that, there’s a back, scene, and input button. The power button is located on the back of the chassis.
Ports are located along the bottom at the rear of the product. This portion of the projector is a smooth plastic with rubber feet at the bottom. The ports are unobstructed and clearly labeled with two USB-C options, a USB-A, HDMI, and Audio-out. There is also a small hole that I assume to be an internal microphone but doesn’t appear to be functional.
The available ports include:
USB-C DC IN port: For connecting the power supply to provide power to the projector.
USB-C port: For connecting a USB drive and charging external devices with 7.5W output.
USB-A port: For connecting a USB drive and charging external devices with 5V/1.5A output.
HDMI port: For connecting playback devices via HDMI output to project content on the screen.
AUX-OUT port: For connecting to an external sound output device to enhance audio quality.
The ASUS ZenBeam L2 has a throw ratio of 1.2:1 which lets you get a fairly large screen from a short distance. This is a fixed lens with no optical zoom capabilities. The obstacle avoidance feature will automatically adjust the screen to project your image without things like furniture obstructing your view.
Auto keystone is present on this projector, but I’ve found it to be very inaccurate, even for slight angles. You have an option to manually adjust the screen using the quick corner or keystone menus. However, there is no option to turn the auto keystone off.
During my testing, I was constantly having to battle the auto keystone feature which was trying to compensate for the movement of my projector when I was trying to position it. If you’re using this projector with a trip pod, it would make sense that you’d want to turn the auto keystone off and get a properly adjusted image manually. Hopefully, with a future software update, this feature will be added.
Since the lens of the projector sits slightly recessed from the chassis, it’s very easy to pack into the included carrying case, without having to worry about bumps or scratches to the lens. Like most of the fixed lens laser projectors in this category, there is no lens cap included.
The included remote has controls for both the projector settings and the Android TV box. The remote can control both systems without any issues. A power button and input selection are at the top of the remote, right over simple navigation arrows and an “ok” button. Home and back buttons are placed in the center of the remote along with volume controls and the voice command button.
The bottom of the remote has dedicated buttons for YouTube and Netflix. Lastly, you’ll have an autofocus and menu button which brings up the system menu for the actual projector software, as opposed to the Android TV menu.
Since the Android portion of this projector is provided via the HAKO mini TV box, you will have two settings menus. The first menu is from the actual native software on the ZenBeam L2. You can access the menu via the remote, or by pressing down on the navigation knob on the projector.
The main menu has options for inputs, image correction, focus, audio, and battery modes.The menu setup is overall very odd, with the battery modes being labeled as “Splendid”. While the term “Splendid” is consistently used throughout the ZenBeam products as the battery modes menu, I cannot find any reason for it to be used or how it is related to battery modes. When the projector is plugged in, the Splendid modes change from battery modes to picture modes.
After you choose your battery mode, you’ll notice that there is no battery status indicator from the Android system. This is due to the fact that the Android TV is on a separate device and cannot read the battery status of the projector. To check the remaining power, you can open the projector system settings menu. In the top right corner, you can see a small battery icon, but there is no percentage shown. So gauging your remaining battery life is difficult.
AudioWizard lets you choose from different sound modes, and it’s a very straightforward system. Select from options for movie, music, game, and outdoor mode.
There is a file explorer in the menu as well, which lets you browse files from the system and any USB drives that you connect. I noticed that the internal file layout was structured in the same way as an Android TV device, which leads me to believe that at some point there was an attempt to run Android natively on the ASUS ZenBeam L2. You’ll even find an “Android” folder in the file system and many other default folders from the Android OS. It could be that the native system is actually based on Android, but I could not verify this.
Light Wall feature includes 26 built-in cinemagraphs to add ambiance to a room
Light Wall is a built-in feature that lets you pick from a libary of preloded animations to be display on the projector. These animations are calm and relaxing and great to play in between movies. There are four different categories which include natural elements, lively character, colorful life, and digital stimulation. I love the idea of having preloaded visuals to play on your projector, and I’d love to see ASUS add some higher-quality options in the future.
Overall the system menu has many strange elements. The inconsistency with two separate menus will lead to moments of confusion for many users. If we take a look at the Android TV settings from the HAKO mini, it’s everything you’d expect from a stock Android TV experience.
Battery-powered projectors have to strike a fine balance between performance and battery life. The more image features you have, the less battery time you’ll have. The ZenBeam L2 strikes a good balance, knowing that this product is not for home theater enthusiasts, but is targeted towards the most casual viewer.
You can change between the “Splendid” modes to get the best color option possible. BRIGHT, STANDARD, THEATER, ECO, SCENERY, GAME, and USER modes are available. The STANDARD mode deliver the best balance of brightness and color accuracy. An area where this projector struggles is in scenes with snow. The default Contrast setiing is too high so details are lost in highlights, and you’ll struggle to see shadows and textures in the bright snow.
This projector is HDR 10+ compatible, and HDR content look good for a compact battery powered projector. This has alot to do with the ZenBeam L2 ability to deliver up to 960 LED lumens which is alot for a compact portable projector.
For a small mobile projector of this size, the 960 LED Lumens rated brightness of the ZenBeam L2 is pretty impressive. While many manufacturers are using LED lumens to rate thier projectors brightness, at Projector Reviews, we use ANSI lumen as our brightness measurement standard.
LED lumens brighness ratings are 2.4 higher than its ANSI lumen rating. Therefore a projector with a rated brightness of 960 LED lumens should deliver about 400 ANSI lumens which is bright enough to deliver a good image in darker environments. It is also bright enought to project a good image on a smaller screen under some ambient light.
The Splendid User mode will give you the brightest image when you set the brightness to 100, the contrast to 50, and the color temperature to normal. I found this to be the best setting for every situation including movies, games, and presentations.
ASUS claims that the ZenBeam can produce 960 LED lumens, about 400 Lumens. To measure the brightness, I plugged the projector into a power outlet and set the projector to the picture mode to BRIGHT. In addition, I set the Brightness to 100, the Contrast to 50, and the Color Temperature to normal. I then took 6-9 readings, about 15-20% out from the center of the screen.
The ASUS measured 370 ANSI lumens which was close to the brightness we expected. I also measured the brightness of other preset picture modes, which are available when the power is plugged into a power outlet as well as the battery-powered modes. Those measurements are shown below.
ZenBeam L2 Brightness (Plugged In)
Brightness Measured (ANSI Lumens)
ZenBeam L2 Brightness (Battery Powered)
Brightness Measured (ANSI Lumens)
Battery Mode - Low
Battery Mode - Middle
Battery Mode - High
BLACK LEVEL AND SHADOW DETAIL
The ASUS ZenBeam L2 does a better job of producing detailed images in shadows than with highlights. Blues and reds produce a good range of saturation in shadows. Black bars found in widescreen content were closer to grey than black. Much of your black levels are determined by the type of screen you have and the particular environment in which your projector is set up.
There are projectors at his price point that deliver deeper blacks and better shadow detail but they are not as compact and don't include a built-in battery. Overall, the black levels are on par with other portable LED projectors we have reviewed. Most customers looking for a projector like the ZenBeam L2 would be perfectly fine with the black level it produces.
To test the overall picture quality of the ASUS ZenBeam L2, I used a number of different media sources. I hooked up a Blu-ray player, a Chromecast, and a PC with a Plex server. The content was played from local files, Blu-rays, and streamed from platforms like Netflix and YouTube. A basic Chromecast HD provides the best overall viewing experience on a projector like this. As far as quality goes, there was no discernible difference between the Google Chromecast and the included HAKO mini. Both media sources have about the same quality for 1080p content.
You should feel comfortable using lightweight players like the Chromecast with this projector since equipment like my Blu-ray player or PC didn’t really have much to add to the overall image quality. At its heart, this is still a portable projector and is designed to work with Android TV as its primary media source.
This projector is designed for movies and games first, so you won’t find any presentation-focused features. That being said, the text quality is about as good as you can expect from a 1080 projector. Avoid using aggressive keystone, as the text begins to get blurry on the far side of your screen, even with mild keystone adjustments.
Once you have properly configured the projector, the text appears sharp and easy to read, with even small fonts as small as 8 points having sharp edges and minimal blurring. The presentation viewing mode offers the best visuals for slideshows, documents, graphs, and spreadsheets.
With a single 10w speaker, the sound quality from the ZenBeam L2 isn’t as good as one would hope. With these all-in-one battery-powered projectors, they’re meant to be used as-is. This means that the internal speaker needs to be good enough on its own, without the need to connect external audio gear.
Different sound profiles will make adjustments based on the type of content you’ll be watching. Switch between outdoor, movie, music, and game modes. Each mode does a good job of providing the optimal sound settings for the appropriate environment.
A 3.5mm headphone jack can be used to connect a pair of headphones. If you use the HAKO mini Android TV box, you can use the built-in Bluetooth for an external speaker or headphones.
The Zenbeam L2 is equipped with a 17,700mAh battery which can deliver up to 3,5 hours of video playback. To charge the battery of the ASUS ZenBeam L2, you’ll use the 90W charger that comes with the unit. You’ll use the USB-C port on the back to charge your projector.
Because it’s USB-C port, you can even use a standard phone charger to juice up your battery, as long as you have time to spare for a slower charging speed. If you intend on using the projector while it’s plugged in, we recommend sticking to the stock charger from ASUS.
We tested the battery to determine the longest possible battery life. To do this, we set the projector mode to low and set video playback until the battery was dead. The projector lasted about four hours before reaching 0%, which is more than the advertised 3.5 hours.
At $699 the ASUS ZenBeam L2 has impressive brightness and vivid colors, but overall it feels like an unfinished product. With broken features, a mismarketed Android TV system, and a difficult menu, this projector feels like the product development was rushed.
It definitely has the potential to be something much better. Hopefully, in the future, ASUS will improve the unit's smart capabilities via firmware updates. Until then owners might want to pick up a Google Chromecast for about $30.
The 960 lumens of brightness is bright enough for a movie night in a dark environment. With a super compact design, this projector is small and light enough to casually bring with you when traveling. The included carrying case is a nice touch and a great way to store any accessories that you plan on bringing with you. A good tripod is going to be your best companion with the ASUS ZenBeam L2.
In comparison to other portable projectors in this price range, the ASUS ZenBeam L2 actually has better brightness and battery life than the competition. An alternative portable projector option is the NEBULA Capsule 3, which has similar features to the ZenBeam L2.
The ZenBeam L2 and the Capsule 3 are portable laser projectors that are small enough to fit in one hand. The Capsule 3 is $50 more with a price tag of $749.99. But even though the ZenBeam L2 is cheaper, it has a brighter 960 lumens display, which beats the 300 lumens from the NEBULA projector. It also sports a one-hour longer battery life, with a max of 3.5 hours of video playback. So as far as performance goes, the ZenBeam L2 is the clear winner, even though it’s priced lower than the competition.
The NEBULA Capsule 3 does a better job of offering a complete and polished product. The projector is running Android TV 11 natively, with no need for an external TV box. It’s also a tad smaller than the ZenBeam, but not to the point where it matters much.
The specs for projectors in this category vary greatly, but the 1080 resolution has become a consistent standard at this price point. If you pair the ASUS ZenBeam L2 with a Google Chromecast HD and a better Bluetooth speaker, you’ll enjoy watching movies or playing games on this projector.
There are several options for small battery-powered projectors on the market and I think at $699.99, ASUS does offer a projector with a brighter and better image than the competition. When it comes to projectors, brightness is arguably the most important aspect, so the ZenBeam L2 is one of the preferable options for portable projectors under $800.
960 lumens of brightness
Built-in Battery deliver 3,5 hours of video playtime
Light, compact build
LED light source with a long life of up to 30,000 hours
Includes a travel case
HAKO mini TV box for Android TV is glitchy
Troubleshooting required to get some smart features to work
Android TV 10 at launch when Android TV 12 is advertised
The sound quality of the internal speaker system could be better