We’ve seen it being used on several of Asus’ launches.. (its either this or the earlier P1 models) and I’ve been waiting for it to come out ever since… now finally it seems its going to be brought over to our shores – the “pico” projector from Asus known as the S1. Mobile warriors tend to carry plenty in anticipation of the most number of eventualities and this leads to selections of devices which have multiple uses apart from truly reliable and specialized pieces – the S1 meets both of these! In one innovative swoop, Asus designed the S1 to function as a 6000mAh powerbank (and an emergency light / flashlight) beyond its main purpose as a projector effectively landing a space in the bag of a user of any type! Everyone does tend to carry around some sort of battery backup with just a bit of regard to its size. The companion adapter is small as well and the connection to the socket uses the same three pin cord as that on notebooks providing the flexibility of leaving behind that cable when bringing another of the same. Two cases come with the package – one leather case for when the S1 is being carried along on its own and another, bigger pouch, that houses both the projector and the adapter for long term presentation activities. These, along with several other cords for all world region sockets and a number of quick start documentation booklets give the S1 package its heft despite the actual unit being just about the size of an average human palm. The Experience When I was told that they were loaning me the S1 for review I was definitely thrilled at the prospect… even more so when it was in front of me and I was being introduced to the device by PK and GP… we were in a relatively lit environment and the projection coming from the small metallic box was apparent on the wall – that showed plenty of promise! At 200 lumens it isn’t going to break any brightness record, but the 30,000 LED lifetime far surpasses its much larger counterparts in terms of longevity… that and the quick start and stop afforded by the technology make it a compelling argument over other types especially when considering using it for an enhanced group presentation. The S1 had been simplified for the most straightforward operation with any device with HDMI and/or MHL output with two of the most popular aspect ratios supported (4:3 and 16:9) up to fullHD 1080p. Because of this, keystoning isn’t available with this device; it works kind of like how a prime lens does in that you have to keep it level to the ground and perpendicular to the wall where the projection is aimed at. You can set it down on a table and all the projection goes upward unlike conventional designs which cast projection rays over and under the lens element; there wont be any need to put some leverage up front for fear of obscuring the display. The specifications list a limit of 100” projection at 2.37 meters away but the e-manual says otherwise; I believe this just to be a tested limit which can be surpassed given the proper circumstances.. I have been able to use it up to over 120” (~125”) diagonal (and that’s just because there’s no more wall to test it against haha). It does not come with a tripod but there is a mounting thread at the middle bottom of the device. I found myself using it often to get the S1 within proper centering and distance without a table holding it up though of course the computer which it was connected to did need one. Once a projection has been put up focus is adjusted thru a dial at the right side of the device which shifts the lens elements inside that will sharpen up the display to match the projection distance. All in all there are four buttons on the S1 apart from the on and off one – from the left to the right these are: Splendid (mode change/menu back), Volume Down (menu left/menu minus), Menu (menu OK), Volume Up (menu right/menu plus). Right next to which are the lamp and charge indicators. Asus Splendid cycles between four modes when plugged in and cycles between two when running on battery only. When not in use, the lens element is covered by a sliding metal shutter, the only remotely moving part in this entire setup! SonicMaster technology comes with this package as well, transmitting digital audio signals into highly audible sound – video and audio output all in a single package! That’s the checkered pattern (below) which sits beside the fan (on the left side) which keeps the device cool during operation. And while the S1 can only be truly fully appreciated in a space of relative darkness, it has an unbelievable amount of features to hold its own on a number of situations – especially home cinema! Watch this space for updates on the price and availability… there is a price in USD available online and if that is any indication, this small powerhouse will certainly appeal to a wide scale of users and groups. I certainly would love to add it to my own bag for impromptu presentations and features in the most unexpected of locations. Can’t wait for these to hit store shelves!
Was just alerted of its availability at Techtron for an unbelievable retail price of Php18,999.00!