Posted on November 6, 2018 By Chris Kahl
ViewSonic M1 Pocket Projector Review – Special Features: LED Light Engine, Smart Stand, Dual Harman Kardon Speakers, Built-In Battery, Onboard Storage and Media Player, Eye Protection, Warranty
There is not a lamp to be found on this pocket projector! The ViewSonic M1 relies on an LED light source (typical of pico and pocket projectors) and boasts an operational life of over 30,000 hours, according to their website. Other than being virtually maintenance free, by eliminating the lamp this projector offers a more environmentally friendly, Mercury-Free solution with less power consumption than a typical LCD TV.
While ViewSonic makes the 30,000 hour lifespan claim, they also note that actual life with vary on the usage of the projector and other factors. Though I couldn’t find it specifically mentioned anywhere relating to the M1, a claim of 30,000 hours is contingent upon using a dim, low-power Eco mode, which rarely will suit the needs of the user – especially on a projector that claims only 250 lumens in the first place!
I love this Smart Stand. It looks great and it is extremely functional! In my experience, most of these tiny pocket and Pico projectors do not have adjustable feet and either need to be mounted on a mini-tripod or have something wedged beneath it to get just the right angle on the screen – the ViewSonic M1 solves that problem! The Smart Stand pivots 360 degrees, allowing you to project just about anywhere, any way you want to; +40 degree keystone correction assists in that venture.
The Smart Stand doubles as a lens cover to protect the glass lens while transporting. Coupled with the Eye Protection setting being enabled, the Smart Stand will turn off the light engine and, when rotated into the lens cover position, quickly put the projector into standby mode for battery saving.
The ViewSonic M1 pocket gaming projector sports two 3-watt Harman Kardon speakers. Harman Kardon has long been a leader in audio equipment, and is known for their contemporary and innovative designs. Though this is a projector, it looks a lot more like a stylish portable speaker; the speakers offer room filling sound that I will discuss later on in this review.
The ViewSonic M1 pocket gaming projector excels in its portability. One such way it does that is an outstanding battery life claim of up to 6 hours of power on the internal battery (most hover around the 2 hour range or below). The rear of the projector features an external battery meter for quickly referencing the charge remaining. This allows the gamer to, at a glance, see the remaining battery life and reach safety to pause or save their progress before the battery dies unexpectedly.
In the Light Source Menu, which will be seen on the following page, you will find options for four different levels of brightness and therefor power consumption. These four levels are: Normal, ECO, Extended ECO, and Battery Saving. Battery Saving mode is the least bright and is the best power-saving option, but is something that will be most likely used at night, unless you’re in a room with excellent lighting control.
This pocket gaming projector steps up another notch with its internal 16GB of storage. That’s enough space for 4,000 songs and 4 hours of movies! Coupled with the file browser and onboard media player, which offers intuitive control over file selection and playback, this projector is perfect for sharing videos and images with family and friends on a big screen. With that internal storage and ability to accept USB storage, USB-C smart devices and MicroSD cards, there is little need to lug extra equipment around.
This one threw me off a bit when I stumbled across it and I actually needed to thumb through the manual to see what it did. The ViewSonic M1 offers a setting within the Menus list for “Eye Protection.” This is a safety feature designed to protect people (especially young kids) and pets who wander into the beam and look into the dazzling light emitted from the lens. This feature temporarily turns off the light source if a person or object gets too close; a distance of approximately 1 ft within 30 degrees of the center of the beam.
While it doesn’t seem necessary for this feature on a typical tabletop, shelf mounted or ceiling mounted projector, it makes perfect sense for one that would likely sit on the coffee table or the floor, where it’s easy to accidentally look into the light. It doesn’t take much to damage one’s vision, and I can certainly appreciate ViewSonic’s efforts here.
The ViewSonic M1 includes a decent warranty program for 3 years on parts and labor. The light source carries a 1 year warranty. The warranty on this projector includes one year of ViewSonic’s Express Exchange service for added peace of mind. Additional years of warranty, included additional years of Express Exchange, are available to purchase directly through ViewSonic.
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