Today we’re looking at the Asus S1 Mobile Projector. No, you won’t be sending Princess Leia-inspired holograms of yourself with this thing. But it does work really well as a portable presentation solution.

Other portable projectors I’ve tried can’t hold a candle to the S1. In fact, they can’t hold 200 candles because that’s the lumen power of the LED light in this device. But don’t worry, it doesn’t get too hot.

The quality of the projection is great. I found it easily viewable in a dim room and the resolution is sharp enough that you can even read smaller text. It would definitely do the job of showing off some images or a video presentation very nicely. It was easy to set up too, I just plugged it into my laptop and it worked right away, no installation required.

The battery life is very respectable for a device that’s both so small and shoots out a light beam. In testing, I got more than three hours of continuous usage in presentation mode. There’s also a battery saving mode that dims the light a bit and could last even longer.

Thanks to a USB output, the S1 can also act as a portable power reserve. Your smartphone could get two to three full charges out of a fully-charged S1.

You’ll need an HDMI output to use with this projector. It’s pretty standard on most laptops now, even the newer MacBooks. You can even get mini-HDMI output on many smartphones and tablets.

Audio has to be input via the HDMI port too. There’s a 2-watt speaker that will amplify sound for you, but you’ll probably just want to stick with the speakers on your laptop.

There’s some buttons on the top to navigate a menu and tweak settings, but you probably won’t use it much. The focus tuning knob on the side is all you’ll need. I’d like it if I could see the percentage of battery life left somewhere. As it stands, you get a brief warning and the green battery light turns red a few minutes before you lose power.

Yes, it’s disappointing that portable LED projectors can’t yet create Star Wars-quality 3D holograms. But until we live in a galaxy far, far away, this is probably the best portable projector you can buy.

You’ll also be paying for that performance. In Canada, pricing on the Asus S1 ranges from about $330 to $390.

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  • Richard Vickery

    It’s not a laptop, it’s a computer;call it a computer rather than something I put on my lap, which computers are clearly not designed for, and I might listen to the entire piece.