Apr 28, 2014 Nick Rego
For many road warriors, the thought of taking your laptop along for a presentation can be a bit of a nightmare. You’re always having to fiddle with cables, connectors, resolution issues, and what not – and all of this in the few precious minutes before your client comes in. While presenting using a projector can be a great visual aid, it’s not always as smooth or as seamless as we like. But what if along with your laptop you can take a lightweight projector that would give you no hassles in connectivity and be ready to project in less than ten seconds? In that case, say hello to the ASUS S1 Mobile LED Projector.
We’ve looked at compact projectors from ASUS before, but the S1 certainly is a thing of beauty. The large box that it came in totally exaggerated the actual size of the S1, as after I unpacked it the device itself could fit in the palm of my hand.
The S1 sports a beautiful brushed aluminum finish with a discreet circular pattern that’s been seen on some of its recent smartphones and tablets. It’s extremely lightweight, weighing in at around 342g. At the top of the device you’ve got buttons for volume and to access the projector’s menu and settings. Round the back you’ve got a number of ports – headphones, HDMI In, USB, and power. At the side you have a manual focus ring, and at the front you have a little sliding door that helps to protect the lens when you’re transporting the S1.
ASUS have been kind enough to include all the necessary cables right out of the box, which includes an HDMI cable as well as a MHL cable. The MHL cable can be connected to a compatible smartphone or tablet to project on screen, and the S1 will intelligently change orientation depending on how the connected device is being held. The only thing to bear in mind is that your laptop needs to have an HDMI port or you need to have the necessary connectors.
The S1 was designed to be a portable projector that you could quickly whip out, power up, and dive straight into your presentation, and it does this with ease. Since the S1 uses an LED display, the image is projected almost instantly from the moment the device is turned on. This means you don’t have to wait for the projector to warm up to get your perfect image, which is what you would have to do with traditional lamp-based projectors.
You can get a 40” projection by positioning the S1 just 1m from the screen. That’s quite impressive given the diminutive size of the S1, and is more than enough for a standard boardroom presentation. This also means that the S1 can double as a lightweight at-home projector, or even if you’re visiting a friend’s place and want to watch something on a bigger screen. Image quality is absolutely superb, which is surprising for a projector of this size. While you may not be blow away by its 854×480 resolution, it’s by no means something to scoff at. The onboard speaker equipped with ASUS’ SonicMaster Technology offers decent audio for a small-sized room, but anything louder and you’ll have to connect external speakers to the headphones jack. The images below show the S1 projecting on my ceiling, hence the slightly skewed image – the S1 doesn’t offer any image correction, so it’s important that you’re able to set it up so it projects straight forward and not at an angle.
The final jewel in the crown for the S1 is the fact that it has a built in 6,000mAh battery. This means that you can use the S1 without plugging it into a power source, making it an absolute gem for setting up a presentation quickly and easily without trying to hunt out the nearest power socket. On a full charge the projector lasted 2 hours and 48 minutes during a movie marathon, and took a little under 4 hours to recharge its battery to full capacity. What’s more is that even when the S1 is turned off, you can plug in your smartphone into the USB port to charge it up.
The only downside I have to note is that the S1 doesn’t have any adjustable feet at the base, in case you need to angle your projection slightly. You can mount the S1 onto a tripod for better projection angles, but it would be nice if there was a desk tripod included in the box.
The ASUS S1 Mobile LED Projector is a beautiful offering from ASUS, and a no-brainer for anyone who needs a portable projector that’s lightweight and ready to use in a matter of seconds. If you find yourself doing presentations often and are tired of having to deal with outdated or incompatible projectors, then slip this into your laptop bag for your next visit.
A former IT & Marketing Manager turned full time Editor, Nick enjoys playing videogames during work hours and tinkering with the latest gadgets.
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