Review: Asus ZenBeam E1

It wasn’t that long ago when projectors, even portable ones were big, heavy and bulky. Those days are long gone and that’s best illustrated by the Asus ZenBeam E1 that I am reviewing today.

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It’s very tiny and won’t occupy a whole lot of space in your laptop case, nor does it weigh a lot. It actually will fit in your pocket if you have loose fitting pants. In the box, you’ll find the projector, and a power cable, HDMI cable that you used to hook up the projector to your computer or other device such as a Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Blu-ray player, plus a mini “Quick Start Guide” and a fake leather case.

On the projector itself, there’s an HDMI/MHL port, audio port, power port, and a USB port in the back. The latter can allow the ZenBeam E1 to used as a power bank, providing portable juice to phones, cameras, etc. I guess in an emergency situation, that might be handy. But I must admit that I cannot see a use case for it. Speaking of the battery, it is rated at five hours for a charge. 

Before I get to how I found it from a usability standpoint, let me talk about the key specs. The ZenBeam E1 uses DLP technology to give you WVGA (854 x 480) within a range of 22 to 80-inches. Sounds promising. But for best results, you should find a completely dark room and use it there because in that environment it shines. If there was light in the room, it wasn’t nearly as good. That’s likely because it only puts out 150 lumens which a low number for a projector. As for the sound seeing as it has a built in speaker, it was okay. But if you want that cinematic experience, you should have external speakers on hand which you plug into the audio port. Thus, the ZenBeam E1 is best used for those who travel and need to do business presentations. 

Now Asus is just bringing the ZenBeam E1 to the Canadian market at present. Thus I do not have pricing yet. But it should be around the $300 mark based on some quick research. If you need a portable projector and weight is an issue, the Asus ZenBeam E1 is worth a look to see if it will fit the bill for you.

 

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