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Review Asus S1

Well-chosen compromise

Asus S1 has only one goal in mind: to provide the best picture quality for the money from a very compact format.

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Asus S1
Good brightness and short throw distance make the projector usable in many contexts. Here you get a lot for your money!
The black level is limited, and what you get out of this resolution is limited. HDMI is the only connection.
  • Brightness / Contrast: 200 Lumens / 1,000: 1
  • Resolution: 854 x 480
  • Image size: 30-100 “(0.73-2.43 m)
  • Throw ratio: 1.1
  • Inputs: HDMI / MHL
  • Sound: 2 w speaker, headphone output
  • Wireless: no
  • Battery life: 3 h
  • Dimensions and weight: 110.5 x 102 x 30.7 mm / 342 g
  • Web: asus.com

The Asus S1 is slightly larger and heavier than the smallest projectors, but goes almost in the trouser pocket and slides smoothly into a handbag. The built-in 6,000 mAh battery lasts for around 3 hours. It can also be used as an emergency charger for mobile phones. The projector does not read video files, but has an HDMI input that also supports MHL for Android phones.

Performance

For just 50 bucks more than the Philips PPX5110, the Asus S1 provides a significantly better picture experience. The resolution is the same, and round objects may look somewhat serrated, and S1 is not optimal as a text viewer. But for video it works quite ok, with about the same resolution as the old picture tube TVs.

The brightness is in a completely different league than PPX5110, and here you actually see the picture in all the scenes, even if you do not necessarily have it darkened in the room. Though, as always, it pays to draw the curtains. Doctor Strange provides a good picture experience, and the colors look neutral and nice. No burgundy faces here. The black level is a bit paler than, for example, Philips PPX3417, and the images are therefore somewhat flatter. But we think the compromise works well, and we like the extra brightness. The projection distance is short, here you get a 41 inch image from just one meter away, which is very good.

The 2 watt sound is louder than many of its competitors, which only have 1 watt. Of course, it gets much better with a speaker, which can be connected via the headphone output.

Conclusion

The Asus S1 is a compact travel projector with 200 Lumens, and is among the brightest in its class. It does not have the best black level, but with natural colors and short throw distance combined with a good battery life, the compromise is still one of the best we have come across in this price range.

That you can use the projector as an emergency charger for your mobile is a nice bonus, but not something we have emphasized.

Photo: Asus

Also in this test

Philips PicoPix PPX5110

Entry ticket to mini projectors

Philips PicoPix PPX5110 super-compact mini projector can stream video wirelessly directly from your smartphone.

The projector is very light and compact, with powerful enough sound to work in many situations. Low mechanical noise.
Low brightness requires a dark room, and the image should be kept below 60 ". The colors seem supersaturated, with clear reddish faces.

Asus ZenBeam E1

Pocket cinema for the trip

The Asus ZenBeam E1 is no bigger than an old-fashioned Walkman, and it does for the home cinema what the portable cassette player once did for the stereo system.

Ultra-portable projector that can show movies and slideshows anywhere. Add an HDMI source and a white wall and you're up and running.
There really is not much brightness in it. And you miss the possibility of playback via Miracast or USB / SD media.

Philips PicoPix PPX3417W

Many tricks up its sleeve

Whether you want to watch video from your mobile, PC, memory card or USB - or even wirelessly - Philips PicoPix PPX3417W is a projector you can count on.

Most formats are supported and battery life is ok. The image quality is good, with enough brightness for most things.
The projection distance is very long, with only 24 inch image from one meter. Lots of noise from fan and color wheels.

Philips PicoPix PPX4835

Just good on paper

We were expecting more from Philips PicoPix PPX4835, especially at this price.

Good brightness is combined with high pixel resolution, and with the ability to project fairly large images.
The image is never completely sharp, and the whole thing becomes quite flat and lifeless. Color banding is also a problem, and the fan is a bit noisy.

BenQ GS1

Watch movies wherever you want

BenQ GS1 is a Columbi egg of a projector, which makes it possible to take the great movie experiences out into the world.

Takes up less space than even a small TV, but provides a great image with a short projector distance. Can play directly from USB key or Android mobile, thanks to built-in Android media player.
It costs like a full-fledged projector. It is not possible to play all types of movies, and a mouse and keyboard are often required. The brightness is limited - but hey, it can run for three hours on batteries!
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