Despite the advancement of TVs to much longer diagonals, 3D, OLED and Smart technology, and projectors are still the synonym for enjoying movies and sports, of course, not counting the cinemas and stadiums. Well-standing bars that care about their reputation still announce that they have the projectors shortly before big matches. Nobody has probably seen the bars inviting customers to watch the match on a 55” 3D OLED SMART TV. Asus has several very similar projectors that fall into category of small, mobile and, most importantly, very interesting devices. This time, we’ve tested the model B1M.
Asus B1M is a small and lightweight projector. Its main features are high build quality and simple, rectangular design. The only thing that stands out is the black, cylindrical optics. On the upper surface, there are twelve buttons for settings and manual focus. On the bottom side are the angle setter and the holder for mounting it on the stand, which is not included in the device package. On the back side there’s an IC interface for connection with the remote control, headphones connectors, audio in, SD card slot, HDMI, 15-pin D-Sub and USB. Basically, it’s everything that you could possible need to connect to the projector. Power connector is on one of the sides and Kensington security lock is on the other one. In order to improve the cooling, Asus “carved out” the openings on all sides, but their presence doesn’t disrupt the design of the device.
Along with the projector comes a handy carrying bag, which is really admirable, considering its mobile nature. There’s also the corrector and several power cables (usable in different states), VGA cable, documentation, remote control and micro WLAN USB adapter. The last two items are a bit problematic. It’s completely normal for a device like this to have a small remote control, but that sometimes means not so great work. Also, the controls on the remote are identical to those on the device itself, so the remote enables you total control over the projector. WLAN USB adapter supports 802.11n standard which is commendable, but we think it would have been better if the device had a wireless adapter. This way, because adapter takes up the only USB port, in case you want to change the source of the display from wireless to USB, you’ll have to do it manually, and it won’t be that quick. Considering this projector is primarily intended for business use, this can cause problems for some users.
Asus B1M projector uses DLP technology for image creation and LD technology as a source of light. Combination of these two technologies enabled the small size of the device, expected length of use of about 30.000 hours and less power consumption than that of older projectors. Projector works under the lighting of about 700 ANSI lumens, supports maximum resolution of 1280x800 and contrast of 3500:1. Time needed for the projector to fully start up since the moment it’s turned on is only five seconds. Asus B1M can project the image on very small distances – from the distance of one meter it’s able to fully project the image equivalent to the 51” screen with 16:10 ratio. From the distance of three meters, the size of the image is equivalent to that of a screen of about 150 inches. The usual problem during use of projectors is deformed image due to projection under angle. B1M has Auto Keystone correction installed which detects the projector position and automatically corrects the image.
|Light source||LED, 700 ANSI lumena|
|Light source life||30.000 hours|
|Projection Distance||0.6 - 3 m|
|Projection/Screen Size||31.2 - 153''|
|Audio||2 x 2 W|
|Interfaces||PC Signal Input: HDMI, D-sub; Video Input: Composite Video; Audio Output: Earphone out; USB Port: 1 x downstream; Card Reader: SD|
|Supported formats||MOV, MP4, AVI, MKV, MPG, MPEG, WMV, MP2, MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, JPEG, BMP, JPG, PDF, Microsoft PowePoint, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Text|
|Dimensions||175 x 44.5 x 139 mm|
The device can also work without connecting it to the computer, since it has a speaker installed, and internal media player supports a broad selection of most popular formats. We’ve tried some of the most famous formats, but not everything was running completely smoothly. The latency during projecting PDF files is a bit slow, titles aren’t displayed correctly, and some mkv files simply couldn’t be played since the projector couldn’t reproduce them very well. All in all, even though it’s a great idea, this function will be of limited use, but sometimes it can be useful. Of course, since this is a test version of the device, there’s a possibility that there will be new firmware which will fix most of the flaws, but keep an eye on stuff like this if you’re planning to buy it.
Use over wireless adapter is very interesting. B1M can work as an access point or as a client in an existing network. In both cases, installation of Asus EZ Wi-Fi LAN application on the computer over which image is projected is necessary. In this mode, you can easily watch HD movies, so there’s no need for almost any cables. The cherry on top is the ability to connect smartphones to the projector with help of free application available for both iOS and Android operating systems. The application unfortunately doesn’t allow the video reproduction, but it can directly project what camera on the phone films, which can be really fun.
Asus B1M displays sharp and accurate image. Auto Keystone function does its job very well and you won’t be having problems with image geometry. Considering the size of the speakers, the sound is rather good, so for presentations or just quality fun you need only the projector and a wall. For full experience, you should consider adding quality canvas and better speakers, which we believe every true movie or sports fan will definitely have. The projector has flaws, such as inaccurate remote control and a bit noisy fan, but they simply fade in comparison with quality of use that Asus B1M offers. This is a great product which you will like from the start, and we’ll definitely want to test it again during next World Cup.