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ViewSonic M1 Pro Projector Review: The best out there

The ViewSonic M1 Pro has USB Type-C and HDMI connectivity options.

Οι βιντεοπροβολείς μπορεί να είναι ι, λεπτομερείς και προσαρμοσμένοι για μια σωστή εμπειρία home theatre και είναι συχνά η πρώτη επιλογή σε μεγάλους χώρους και ειδικά κατασκευασμένες αίθουσες home theater. 

On the other hand, they can also be small, portable, versatile and give you entertainment or productivity benefits on the go.

The latter use case is particularly interesting in the home entertainment and productivity space, and brands like ViewSonic have made huge strides.

Among the latest products in the category is the ViewSonic M1 Pro.

With a projection resolution of 1280×720 pixels, a great design where the projector can stand freely and project in various directions, and a built-in speaker system Harman Kardon, the M1 Pro promises a lot. 

Is this the best portable projector you can buy right now? 

Find out in this review.

viewsonic m1 pro ViewSonic view review

ViewSonic M1 Pro has a display resolution of 1280×720 pixels and can reach up to 150 inches in size

ViewSonic M1 Pro design and specifications

His spiritual and successor ViewSonic M1 , the newer and more capable M1 Pro remains in the same position, offering fully wireless usability thanks to its built-in battery. The Pro version also has great resolution, a better speaker system and an improved form factor overall.

On the other hand, it is a bit more portable than the ViewSonic M2e , thanks to the integrated battery and the weight of 0,95 kg. 

While the M2e is best thought of as a home theater projector with some flexibility in how and where you can use it, it's not as portable and versatile as the M1 Pro. 

For this reason, the M1 Pro fits into a rather interesting niche, promising to serve its rather specialized purpose quite well.

It's not too big or bulky especially when it comes to projectors, but that doesn't mean the ViewSonic M1 Pro is a small .

There are three buttons to control volume and playback for supported sources on the projector itself.

On the back is the Harman Kardon logo, just above the cleverly placed 6W rear-facing dual-driver speaker system.

Power status is determined by opening or closing the rotating stand, which also doubles as a lens protector when the M1 Pro is turned off. 

When it's on, a dim light illuminates under the fabric casing to let you know it's operational, along with another set of lights to let you know the ViewSonic M1 Pro's battery level. 

There are exhaust vents on either side of the projector, along with a dial to adjust the focus of the lens.

All ports and connectors on the ViewSonic M1 Pro are located under a magnetic flap on the left side of the projector. Automatic keystone correction means you can adjust the view to any reasonable angle while the M1 Pro is standing upright and the device will adjust it to the correct screen ratio and angles.

The ViewSonic M1 Pro has a resolution of 1280×720 pixels and can display up to a screen size of 150 inches.

The brightness is rated at up to 600 lumens and the projection lamp is rated for up to 30.000 hours of use. 

The focal length on the ViewSonic M1 is fixed, so the size of the projection depends on how far from the wall or screen you place the projector. 

There is a slightly variable digital zoom ranging from 0,8X to 1,0X for small adjustments, but this is only for optimization and not for adjusting the screen size.

viewsonic m1 pro review top ViewSonicThe ViewSonic M1 Pro has volume and playback control buttons on the top, while the focus adjustment dial is on the side

While you can get a sharp view even up close, ViewSonic recommends a throw distance of at least 0,94m, which gives a projection size of 40 inches, up to 150 inches from a throw distance of 3,52m, but anything over 100 inches is likely to result in a sharp drop in display quality and sharpness.

In the package Included with the ViewSonic M1 Pro is a large charger that connects to the DC 19V socket, a USB Type-C to Type-C cable for connecting to devices, a remote control for navigating the built-in Android (Key elements ofuser and control functions) such as volume and source, and a hard-shell carrying case for the whole package.

ViewSonic M1 Pro connectivity and features

The connectivity capabilities on the ViewSonic M1 Pro are impressive for a device of its size. 

There are jacks for power and wired headphone/speaker connectivity, along with two USB Type-C ports, one USB Type-A port and an HDMI port. 

There are also wireless connectivity options such as Wi-Fi-based screen mirroring and Bluetooth 4.2 for connecting audio to compatible headphones and speakers.

While the ViewSonic M1 Pro has a display resolution of 1280×720 pixels, the system itself supports resolutions input up to 1920×1080 pixels, which will then be scaled up or down as needed.

USB Type-C is the most convenient of the connectivity options on offer, as it can handle video and audio using a single cable, but the presence of HDMI connectivity will no doubt be useful to many.

The ViewSonic M1 Pro has a large 12.000 mAh battery that can be used to power the projector itself, but you can also use it as a power bank, Somehow. 

In my case, I found it a bit inconvenient as the projector was charging the laptop me while the two devices were connected using a USB Type-C cable, which quickly drained the projector's battery. 

I had to plug it into DC power to cancel out this issue, which of course didn't happen when using an HDMI cable with a compatible source device like the Apple TV 4K (3rd Gen) .

viewsonic m1 pro ViewSonic review portsThere are plenty of connectivity options on the ViewSonic M1 Pro, including USB Type-C, HDMI and wireless

Like some of ViewSonic's other projectors, the M1 Pro has a very basic Android-based user interface of its own.

This helps with basic things like accessing and modifying system settings and configurations, and connecting to certain source devices like USB drives to access media content through File Explorer.

There is 16GB of internal storage on the ViewSonic M1 Pro (12GB usable) for apps and data. The apps themselves aren't very detailed, as navigation and control are based on the remote control and are barely usable. 

The Netflix app, for example, is pre-installed, but it is rather difficult to understand and use, nevertheless it works properly and smoothly.

You can also use screen mirroring from compatible devices, using an Android app or with direct support for AirPlay screen mirroring with iOS. 

With my iPhone, it worked well for some apps, including YouTube and Disney+ , as well as basic productivity functions. 

It was handy for projecting photos or data, and the projector was bright enough even during the day (with the curtains drawn, though).

This also allows you to use the ViewSonic M1 Pro completely wirelessly, thanks to the wireless source connectivity and battery power.

ViewSonic M1 Pro performance and battery life

The placement and feature set of the ViewSonic M1 Pro make it a unique experience that you won't find much competition for right now.

It is just as suitable for productivity functions as it is for entertainment.

Multiple connectivity options mean it can also be used with a variety of source devices.

viewsonic m1 pro speaker review ViewSonic

The ViewSonic M1 Pro features a 6W speaker system tuned by Harman Kardon

Handily, the ViewSonic M1 Pro starts up quickly and is ready to go within seconds of flipping the base cover and putting it in place.

Connectivity is also reliable and fast, particularly USB Type-C which activates almost as soon as it's connected. Even HDMI is almost instant, while using AirPlay for wireless connectivity with compatible iOS devices was just as seamless and fast.

The fast and accurate base column correction also allows you to set it at any angle for convenience, although the best performance will be seen with the projector pointed horizontally at the projection screen or wall.

In normal operation, the fan system in the ViewSonic M1 Pro continuously blows hot air on both sides of the projector, and the sound of the fan whirring can be heard up close.

It's not very loud though, and if you stand even a meter away from it, it will completely cancel out the sound. While the 6W speaker system doesn't sound too loud, it's loud and well-tuned enough to be heard clearly from a similar distance.

At home, I put the ViewSonic M1 Pro on a table and projected onto a white wall from about 1,4 meters away, which produced a projection that was about the same size as a 55-inch TV. 

Sitting right behind the projector, I really liked the view and the size of the projection, even if I was a bit close to the wall. 

However, dimming was necessary for a good viewing experience, and focus should be adjusted manually for best results.

Watching football matches and its episodes Star Wars:Visions on Disney+ Hotstar it was quite pleasant and the darker the room the better it looked. 

The projector is bright enough to cover dim daylight, and with the focus properly set, the image was sharp enough to watch.

viewsonic m1 pro ViewSonic remote control review

It is important to remember that this type of projector is not meant to be an everyday choice. Think of this as something to take with you on your travels for entertainment in your hotel room or for productivity purposes like quickly projecting presentations and spreadsheets onto a conference room monitor from your laptop. 

The 12.000 mAh battery in the ViewSonic M1 Pro may sound important, but viewing is a power-intensive activity. 

As such, I was able to use the M1 Pro for about an hour in normal use, which can be increased a bit if you use the 'Eco' mode. 

This can be useful in some cases, but you'll pretty much need to have the projector connected to power for all practical purposes.

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VERDICT

ViewSonic's dedication to the projector space is impressive to say the least, and the company is one of the few to offer specialized projectors like the ViewSonic M1 Pro (and the M1 and M2e before it.)

While the ViewSonic M1 Pro is better suited for productivity use cases, it's still worth it for the occasional movie or TV show on the go. 

  • Design
  • Picture
  • Sound
  • Performances
  • Value For Money

Plus, the built-in battery adds some flexibility to how you use it, and a full suite of connectivity options means you can connect it to almost any modern source device, either using cables or wirelessly. 

If that's what you're looking for and you have the budget for it, the ViewSonic M1 Pro is my go-to.

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