ASUS S1 Portable LED Projector Reviewed

ASUS S1 portable LED projector
ASUS S1 portable LED projector – view from the side

The ASUS S1 portable LED projector is a beautifully designed and compact short-throw projector. Sporting a light-weight silver and icicle gold aluminum body, the ASUS S1 is definitely built for portability.

The ASUS S1 appears to use a DLP Pico chip with a light output of 200 lumens and 1000:1 contrast ratio. The native WXGA (854px x 480x) isn’t quite 16:9 but close enough. ASUS claim that the LED light source is good for a maximum of up to 30,000 hours.

Some key points:

  • Up to 3 hrs of projection time with the built-in 6,000mAh battery
  • Doubles as a power bank for your mobile devices
  • Ultra-portable and still capable of displaying a 41-inch diagonal display
  • HDMI/MHL inputs
  • Integrated ASUS SonicMaster speaker
ASUS S1 portable LED projector specifications:
DisplayDisplay Technology: 0.3" DLP®
Light Source: R/G/B LED
Light Source Life (max): 30000 hours
True Resolution (native): WVGA(854x480)
Light Output (max): 200 lumens
Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
Color Saturation :100%(NTSC)
Display Colors :16.7M
Projection LensThrow Ratio: 1.1
Projection Distance: 0.73 ~2.43 meters
Projection/Screen Size: 30 ~100 inchs
Projection Offset: 100%
Zoom Ratio: Fixed
Video FeaturePicture Modes: 4 Modes, (Battery Mode/Presentation Mode/Theater Mode/Standard Mode)
Aspect Ratio: Auto/4:3 /16:9
Projector Placement: Front Table/Front Ceiling/Rear Table/Rear Ceiling
Audio FeaturesBuilt-in Speaker: 2 W x 1
PowerPower Consumption:
Power On Mode: ≤32 W
Standby Mode: <0.5 W
Internal Battery: 5 V, 6000 mAh, Battery life: 3 hours @ 50 lumens
Noise Level32 dB(Standard mode) / 28 dB (Battery mode)
InterfaceSignal Input : HDMI, MHL
Audio Output : Earphone out
USB Port : 1 x Type A port
Mechanical DesignChassis Colors: Silver, Icicle Gold
On-machine Buttons: Yes, ()
Tripod Socket: Yes
DimensionsPhysical Dimension(WxHxD): 110.5mm x 30.7mm x 102mm
Box Dimension (WxHxD): 186mm x 122mm x 240mm
WeightNet Weight (Esti.):342g
Gross Weight (Esti.):1.82kg
AccessoriesCarrying Bag
HDMI cable
MHL cable
Power Cord
Power Adapter
Quick Start Guide
USB cable
Warranty card
Compliance and StandardsCB/ CE/ FCC/ VCCI/ UL/ CU/ C-Tick/ CCC/ TUV-GS/ PSE

Design

With a stunning design of soft brushed aluminum curved corners on a square canvass, the top of the ASUS S1 includes 4 buttons for controlling audio, settings and data source.

ASUS S1 portable LED projector - view from the top
ASUS S1 portable LED projector – view from the top

The front of the ASUS S1 features the projector lens. Noticeably missing was an infrared port for a remote control.

ASUS S1 portable LED projector
ASUS S1 portable LED projector

On the right hand side of the ASUS S1 we found the focus adjustment wheel.

ASUS S1 portable LED projector - focus dial
ASUS S1 portable LED projector – focus dial

The rear of the ASUS S1 contained the power button and input jacks for DC power, USB 2.0, headphones and HDMI. The size of the USB and HDMI ports provides some perspective to how small the S1 is. The HDMI port also doubles as a Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) that can be used with compatible mobile devices.

ASUS S1 portable LED projector - rear inputs
ASUS S1 portable LED projector – rear inputs

The ASUS S1 portable LED projector with the compact soft carry case. Not a lot of room for much else once the projector is inserted. However, ASUS do also include a larger case which fits accessories as well.

ASUS S1 portable LED projector with carry case
ASUS S1 portable LED projector with carry case
ASUS S1 portable LED projector larger case
ASUS S1 portable LED projector larger case

Picture & Sound Quality

The resolution of the ASUS S1 is WXGA (854px x 480px) which is a far cry from 1080p or 4k. However, considering the price point and target audience, this is a comparable resolution to other mini projectors. Similarly, with a projection distance of approximately 0.73m – 2.43m, the ASUS S1 portable LED projector can project a screen size ranging from 30 inches to 100 inches. Not bad for a pocket sized projector.

ASUS S1 portable LED projector connected to a Surface Pro 3
ASUS S1 portable LED projector connected to a Surface Pro 3
ASUS S1 portable LED projector video playback
ASUS S1 portable LED projector video playback

The image quality was a little washed out due to the low light output of the S1 but that’s to be expected at this price point with the smaller short-throw projectors.

We didn’t have too much to say about the sound quality other than the single 2w speaker won’t remove the need for external speakers if you have a large audience. We found that the onboard speaker was simply too soft for most sound enriched multimedia experiences in a large room. For a small audience in a fairly small and quiet room it’s probably ok. Volume was much better via the headphone jack but you don’t generally hand out headphones at a presentation. My guess is that external speakers is probably the intended use.

Final Thoughts

The ASUS S1 portable LED projector is a small and lightweight short-throw projector that fits on the palm of your hand. Weighing in at approximately 342g, this pico pint sized projector also doubles as a battery bank to charge up your mobile devices. The build quality is top notch and the metal casing provides a level of protection and durability that you would expect with a portable projector.

The ASUS S1 does also have a few areas in which ASUS can improve. Firstly, the unit does not come with a remote control. That said, being designed for portability and the typical use case would be attached to a laptop or portable device, this probably won’t be that big a deal. Secondly, the soft carry case is a perfect fit for the S1 – just the S1. You still need to find a home for the associated cables. ASUS do however supply a larger case that will fit the projector and cables but it’s not as nice as the compact version. Lastly, HDMI is the only connectivity option that is available. You can easily get around this with the use of adapters but noting the previous point of not being able to include the cables in the case, the less loose items you need to carry the better.

The positives of the ASUS S1 portable LED projector far outweighed any of the hardware limitations we encountered. Whilst not the cheapest of small projectors in the market, we still felt that the Asus S1 delivered value for money. If you are considering a portable LED projector, consider including the ASUS S1 portable LED projector in your shortlist.

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Post Author: Noeneel Sharma

Australian born tech expert, Noeneel, is the founder of the GeekLingo. He has over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology (IT) world. As an Information Technologist, he has a Bachelor in Information Technology, MBA and a Master of Business Process Management. He has professional working experience working across reputable industries including telecommunication, legal, accounting, banking, and most recently electricity. He spends most of his time with his gadgets as he enjoys photography, researching and runs the popular aquatic forum SKF Aquatics. Connect with Noeneel on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

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