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ViewSonic M2 Portable Projector Review

ViewSonic M2 Portable Projector Review

Projectors are great ways to enjoy movies or gaming in a different direction effectively. Either you want to permanently install one in your living room or probably desire to install something portable and easily moveable in a business location. However, there are several options available based on your budget and requirements.

The ViewSonic M2 Full HD Portable projector is undoubtedly excellent, enabling you to install a projection space anywhere or anytime you want comfortably. It’s portable enough to move around where you need it and automatically modifies itself in a few seconds immediately it’s booted up.

ViewSonic M2 Design 

Image Source: Future

Usually, most projectors are big white boxes, but the M2 used a more skillful approach. The M2 is a black and dark brown plastic square that measures an inch wider and taller than a Mac Mini.

You have the projection lens at the front, but any lens cover doesn’t secure it, so it’s essential to be careful when moving the projector (fortunately, a soft carry case is added). Several hidden sensors help the projector focus and a smart feature called ‘Eye Protect.’ It implies that if someone mistakenly stares into the projector lens or if an object comes too close, the image will temporarily shut off.

There’s an adjustable foot at the front that enables you to set the projection angle comfortably if the M2 is being placed on a flat surface. 

The M2 provides connectivity through Wi-Fi, but it’s Via an external USB dongle. Fortunately, this dongle possesses a devoted compartment located below the projector, i.e., you can plug it in and even not remember it’s there. Besides, immediately you’re connected to Wi-Fi, you can easily stream directly to the projector from your Windows, Android, Mac, or iOS device. 

Image Source: Future

Aside from wireless projection, there are various standard connectivity options at the back of the projector. There’s a complete HDMI port to connect a laptop or games console and a USB-C port for connecting to recent laptops or smartphones. 

The projector also possesses a USB Type-A port, a 3.5mm audio port to connect headphones or an external speaker, and a microSD card port. It has a tripod mounting screw at the base if you want to set it up on a firm tripod, and you can also use a standard projector mount if you’re going to hang it from the ceiling.

It comes with an M2 is a slim remote. It has no labels for any of the buttons, and the controller doesn’t light up in the dark. You’ll always have to bring the remote and you to use the projector effectively because there are no controls on the projector.

ViewSonic M2 Features 

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The ViewSonic M2 is developed with an RGB LED light source, having about 30,000 hours in full power mode, and a 0.33-inch 1080p DLP chip. It measures 2.9 x 8.8 x 8.8 inches, weighs 2.9 pounds.

Both Alexa and Google Assistant will allow you to switch the projector on and off, change the image source, adjust volume, and autofocus with your voice. And if the projector is connected to your Wi-Fi network, you can download the vCastSender app on your phone, connect your phone to your network, and give commands from the app, with various options than the voice commands that are available. The replacement remotes are $40.

Autofocus comes on by default and keeps running every time you turn the projector on and with a delicate soft focus. However, the powered manual focus is being controlled by the remote. Also, connecting via HDMI cable or plugging in a USB memory key or micro SD card to read files directly can plug in the included Wi-Fi dongle into a hidden USB port for wireless connections network direct connections to iOS or Android devices for the screen mirroring. 

The apps that are already stored in the projector can be used, add extra apps from the Android-based Aptoide store, and stream videos from YouTube, Netflix, etc. In case you’re not close to an outlet for the AC power supply, the rear-panel USB port also helps power the projector with a charged power bank.

If the projector is on a table, the lens offset places the image’s bottom at the lens’s centerline. I want to tilt or swivel it to point to the screen. The image can be squared off with vertical keystone correction of about +/-40 degrees and horizontal correction of about +/-30 degrees, either manual or automatic vertical correction and four-corner correction. It also provides menu controls to rotate the image for rear projection, opposite orientation in a ceiling mount or mounted on a tripod.

Image Source: Future

The projector is rated at 1,200 LED lumens, which implies that a meter will measure a lower brightness but that the image will look bright in a dark room. The M2 also possesses a 500 ANSI lumen rating, which is relatively higher than the 467 ANSI lumens measured for the brightest mode. 

Besides, the 467 ANSI lumens from a lamp-based projector are sufficient to light up a 100-inch diagonal 1.0 gain screen in a dark room at the M2’s standard 16:9 aspect ratio, the 60-inch screen in moderate ambient light. There’s an extra setup note for viewing 4K UHD material. The M2 runs with a 3840x2160p 30Hz HDR connection, while the specs stated that it supports HDCP 2.2, and ViewSonic noted that it’s still looking into the problem. 

The M2 possesses a set of Harmon Kardon 3-watt stereo speakers, which offers incredible sound quality to make them worth using and high volume for a little conference room. If you want to include an external audio system, you can use it by connecting the 3.5mm analog audio out port or wirelessly connect to Bluetooth speakers.

ViewSonic M2 Performance 

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Projection Quality

One of the fantastic features of the M2 is its swift ability to autofocus immediately when it’s turned on. You only have to wait for a few seconds for the test image to come into focus, and then you can view your content. You can also have an 80” screen at a projection distance of 2 meters, which is a substantial size. But increasing this will degrade the image brightness and quality a little.

The automatic Keystone correction helps if you place the M2 at an unsuitable angle, you can make sufficient modifications to make the image look proper. Also, since it’s a LED projector, don’t expect beautiful photos, mainly if there are many ambient lights around. So, you’ll have the best quality in a dark room. 

Image Source: Projector Junkies

The M2 is quite an excellent projector for you to enjoy movies at home. You may sometimes experience difficulty with scenes with several blacks. Entirely there isn’t a lot to complain about, due to the specifications of the projector.

A strange feature of the M2 is that it has a permanent motion smoothing, and there’s no way to turn it off in the settings. So, if you’re watching content through a USB or wirelessly casting, connecting a source directly, the motion smoothing is always turned on. This won’t be that big a problem, but whenever you’re watching old classic films or cartoons, the sped-up frames may seem very unnatural. The projector provides the ability to see 3D Blu-rays or other content when connected with either ViewSonic or other third-party compatible 3D glasses. Gaming on the M2 is somewhat reasonable, but the motion smoothing isn’t perfect in games that depend massively on smooth animations and bloom effects to convey atmosphere. 

UI and Audio

Image Source: Projector Junkies

The OS is a variant of Android, so it’s not elegant. So, navigating around menus can be stressful, and the main interface isn’t well-organized. It is not an accurate Android version, so there’s no access to the official Google Play store for apps, but you gain access to the Aptoide store. The apps usually freeze up or do not launch accurately, and you might not have a fantastic experience if you desire to watch content directly through any of the apps.

Another disturbing fact about the M2 is that it can’t automatically detect whenever any source is plugged in, so you have to select which source you want via the remote manually. Aside from controlling the projector with the remote, it can also be controlled through your smartphone by downloading an app, only if both devices are on a similar Wi-Fi network. Besides, with your voice, you can control the projector through Google Home and Amazon Echo.

Audio is packed with two 3W speakers, which are customized by Harman/Kardon. It has quite a loud volume, but the audio quality is not that great. Fortunately, you can connect a speaker or headphones via cable or Bluetooth for an exciting audio experience. Still, if you’re not too stressed over the audio sounding a little bit tinny, then the built-in speakers will work just fine.

ViewSonic M2 Connectivity 

Image Source: Future

Using M2 without plugging it into a power outlet requires you to use a USB-C battery pack, and ViewSonic didn’t include one. According to ViewSonic, you’ll have about two hours of movie time if you use a 10,000 mAh pack such as the Mophie power station PD XL. 

The M2 possesses a single HDMI input, the HDMI 2.0, although the projector can only display 1080p. However, having a single HDMI input isn’t a restriction with any projector. The USB-A connector has sufficient power to comfortably run a streaming stick, such as Roku or Amazon Fire TV, if you don’t want to utilize the internal apps. If you have a device that can send video over USB-C, the M2 can take that and display it. Be sure that your phone can before using this option. 

The audio in the M2 was co-developed by Harman Kardon. The two speakers only possess three watts each for power, relatively a little, but it can fill a small room and sound quite keen for small speakers. 

It is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. But it seems a bit stressful, so the remote is somewhat less stressful. Generally, the remote is simple, and it’s not backlit. The vRemote mobile app can be used to control the projector, although it needs to be registered to use it.

The M2 can mirror Android and iOS screens. However, it isn’t the workaround for missing apps, as you may expect. The screen is mirrored right up till you press play on a video. For instance, in Vudu or Netflix, the projector’s screen becomes blank. Eventually, connecting to a streaming stick to the M2’s HDMI and USB power ports is a beautiful medium to get access to every of your streaming options. 

Conclusion 

Regardless of its picture quality problems, the M2 is an excellent projector. It’s tiny and portable, can run off a battery, and has substantial sounding internal speakers. A small carrying case is being included with it, which will enable you to easily throw it into a bag and move around comfortably. For that reason, it works incredibly, mainly if you connect your media streamer. But for something that will be placed in your home permanently, there are other better options for the same money.

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