ASUS P1M Portable LED Projector Review

The need for a portable LED Projector


Many people may be wondering about the need for a portable projector. Is there really such a user scenario that requires one to bring a projector around for his work? What is the point of making a projector portable when it's going to be used in a fixed position? 

Samsung previously came out with their Galaxy Beam smartphone which is in fact phone with a built in projector. The smartphone was not very popular because of the poor performance of the projector, but we saw a true value in creating such device. Projectors are great devices for providing entertainment contents and experience without taking up a lot of space. Portability allows this experience to be shared, for example it can be easily brought to a friend's party. There is definitely space in the market for portable projectors.

Today, we take a look at the different features and specifications of the ASUS P1M projector. 

A look at the ASUS P1M



The ASUS P1M looks extremely simple. It is made for every average consumer and therefore comes in a small and user friendly package. There is a nice little stand built in to raise the projector unit for a better viewing angle. 

5 buttons are all you need to navigate around the settings of the ASUS P1M. It's straightforward and dummy proof, making it one of the easiest projectors to operate.

As for connectivity, the unit has a SD card slot which allows you to play any content from your SD card from the projector directly. Pictures, movies, music and document formats are largely supported. There is also a EZLINK miniUSB port which allows you to connect the projector to your PC and project contents immediately without the need for any video cables. All you need is a miniUSB cable which is also found within the package. On the other hand, ASUS adopted the use of a generic port for its video connectivity. A RCA/VGA(DSUB) converter cable is found in the package to connect the projector to your PC.

Found at the back of the projector is the AC Power jack and a kensington lock hole. One of the core feature of the AC power in jack is that it is cross compatible with most ASUS notebook power adapters and will work even with those power adapters.

Additionally, there is a single 1W speaker is built into the projector. Music files do play directly on the projector unit.


At the lens area, there is a manual focus knob for you to get the clearest image on the wall/screen.


Specifications

  • Display
    Display Technology: 0.45" DLP®
    Light Source: R/G/B LED
    Light Source Life (max): 30000 hours
    True Resolution (native): WXGA(1280x800)
    Brightness (max): 200 ANSI lumens
    Contrast Ratio (typical): 2000:1
    Color Saturation :120%(NTSC)
    Display Colors :1.07 Billion
  • Projection Lens
    Throw Ratio: 1.16
    Projection Distance: 0.5 ~3 meters
    Projection/Screen Size: 20 ~120 inchs
    Projection Offset: 100%
    Zoom Ratio: Fixed
  • Video Feature
    Picture Modes: 7 Modes, (Black board/White board/Dynamic Mode/Game Mode/Scenery Mode/Theater Mode/Standard Mode)
    Keystone adjustment: Digital (Up to +/- 30 degree)
    Auto Keystone: Yes
    Aspect Ratio: 16:9/16:10/5:4
    Projector Placement: Front Table/Front Ceiling/Rear Table/Rear Ceiling
  • Audio Features
    Built-in Speaker: 2 W x 1
  • Signal Frequency
    Analog Signal Frequency: 31~79 KHz(H)/ 56~75 Hz(V)
  • Noise Level
    Acoustic Noise: 28 dBA(Theater mode)
  • I/O Ports
    PC Signal Input : D-sub 15 pin (through CEA 30pin)
    Video Input : Composite Video: RCA x 1 (through CEA 30pin)
    USB Port : 1x mini USB for USB Display
    Card Reader : SD
  • Multimedia Formats Supported
    VideoAVI (H.263, Xvid, MJPEG), MOV (H.263, Xvid, MJPEG), MP4 (H.263, Xvid), 3gp/3g2 (H.263, Xvid), FLV (*Max 1920x1080 30FPS)
    AudioAPE, MP2, MP3, WAV, OGG, FLAC
    PictureJPEG, BMP, PNG
    Document ViewerAdobe PDF, Microsoft PowePoint, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Text
  • Mechanical Design
    Chassis Colors: Black
    On-machine Buttons: Yes, (Left/Menu/Right/Input Select/Power Key)
    Tripod Socket: Yes
    Supporting Stand: Yes
  • Security
    Kensington lock
  • Dimensions
    Physical Dimension(WxHxD): 125.5x 33.5 x130mm
    Box Dimension (WxHxD): 230x 180x 122mm
  • Weight
    Net Weight (Esti.): 420g
    Gross Weight (Esti.): 1.3kg
  • Operation Temperature
    5˚C ~ 35˚C
  • Operation Humidity
    35%~85%
  • Accessories
    30-pin CEA integrated cable(D-sub/Composite)
    30-pin CEA USB Type A Cable
    Power Adapter
    USB cable(for USB display)
    Power Cord
    Carrying Bag
    CD(user manual)
    Quick Start Guide
    Warranty card
  • Regulation Approval
    FCC, UL, IC, CE, C-Tick, CB, VCCI, CCC, GOST-R, WEEE, ROHS

What we felt


Personally, I really liked the easy settings interface of the ASUS P1M. Settings were very easy to understand even for someone who know nuts about projectors like me. Setting the projector up require almost no effort. I simply had to plug in the power and then connect the video cable.

The user interface on the settings page of the projector is very simple and is controlled via 3 main buttons. There is a left and right button and a middle select button for selection. It really is as straightforward as it seems.


I appreciated the auto keystone functionality with the projector as it auto corrects the keystone of the screen. This means that I was able to put the projector at different angles and still get a straight 90 degree angled edges on the projected screen. Images would then appear in the correct size and not be distorted. 


The results? Great entertainment experience with minimal space consumption. With a 1.5 meter distance between the wall and the projector, I was able to have a large screen of about 60 inch in size. Talk about viewing HD Bluray movies and watching football matches with such a huge screen. Too bad you can only imagine what I'm saying while I'm enjoying it right now :P 

The projected screen was bright and decent when lights were switched off. Of course, don't expect a clear and perfectly bright projected screen when the lights are switched on. However, we did felt that performance was still good and usable even under those conditions. When lights were switched on, the projector still able to have adequately bright images on the wall. 

Moreover, I would like to commend on ASUS for including speakers for the projector, making it a wonderful media device out of the box. I believe that ASUS used similar speaker component from notebook products in this projector. The sounds coming out from the unit is enough to fill the whole room and good enough for general entertainment media consumption. Of course, you would still want to connect your media source to a audio speaker system for the best experience. 

However, there are a few areas which we thought ASUS could have improved. Currently, they are currently using a proprietary cable for the connections to the projector, this also means that the projector will be useless even when the cable is faulty. Customers will have to buy the cable from ASUS directly and would not be able to get their hands on these cables easily from any electronics and PC stores. ASUS could have used a converter instead and provided us with a usual DSUB cable. 


Conclusion

ASUS has not disappointed me with their projector even though they are not well known for manufacturing them. The projector is full of ASUS essences, much focusing on user interaction and user experience. The ease of setting up and changing the settings of the projector really sets it apart from competing products. Their adoption of LED technology for the projector also prolongs its lifetime and makes it much environment friendly as it consumes less electricity. If you're looking for a new projector to supersize your home theatre experience, make sure to take a look at the ASUS P1M.

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