While they might not prompt the same gasp of awe as a TV that is thinner than a stack of credit cards, projectors are really great for somebody who wants a display as large as their wall.
The trouble is that a decent projector that can achieve a resolution close to what TV’s are capable of can cost you a lot more than a TV. Heck, this UHD projector costs so much I could put a UHD TV in every room of my house.
But projectors have a number of uses that go beyond what a TV is capable of. A presentation for instance is better viewed on a large display and unless your company is willing to pay for a TV large enough for an entire boardroom to see comfortably, the obvious choice is a projector.
So what we need then is a cheap projector that does what it needs to do and no more.
Enter the ASUS ZenBeam Go E1Z Projector, a battery powered projector that is primed for use in 2017 and it’s not just for your business.
ASUS ZenBeam Go E1Z review – Finding its place
The ASUS ZenBeam Go E1Z (henceforth referred to as the E1Z) uses a 150 lumen RGB LED (note the absence of white) to display a WVGA (854 x 480) resolution image up to 3.7 meters away.
All of this is powered by a 6 400mAh battery.
At that distance you can expect a screen display of 120 inches. Of course you can go smaller and get a display of 16inches from half a metre away.
Testing the projector at a variety of distances yielded a variety of results. At the recommended distance of 50cm, the image was crisp and clear and colours were great.
Moving away however that 150 lumen LED begins to struggle and at 3.7meters you’ll be squinting to see images lighter than your projection surface.
To be fair my “boardroom” is well lit throughout the day so your mileage may vary.
At night the E1Z comes into its own. During an unplanned outage at the weekend I whipped out the E1Z and we were back to streaming Silicon Valley on ShowMax as we had been before Eskom decided electricity was something other people should enjoy.
The onboard 2W speaker is okay but I found connecting the E1Z to an external speaker via the 3.5mm jack gave me a better aural experience, especially in a room with four people laughing at Erlich Bachman.
ASUS ZenBeam Go E1Z review – Power hungry?
With an exterior sound source and the projector connected to a notebook via microUSB we noted an average battery life of 2 hours 50 minutes.
It’s not exactly great but you’ll be able to watch a movie using the E1Z at the very least.
Thankfully when the power comes back you can charge up the projector in just two hours.
What’s more is that the E1Z sports USB On the Go which allows you to charge your smartphone.
Speaking of which, the E1Z also uses a microUSB port to charge. In fact the E1Z is rather user friendly when it comes to ports.
The E1Z swaps HDMI for microUSB which you can use to connect to a laptop (which has the required driver installed) to begin beaming.
For those that want to cut wires completely, an app can be downloaded to your smartphone (DisplayLink Presenter and ZenBeam) that to control the projector and present content.
This simple solution is great for professionals on the go, or as I mentioned earlier – a group of friends trying to watch a movie during a power outage.
ASUS ZenBeam Go E1Z review – Conclusion
At R5 499 the E1Z is not exactly cheap in fact you could get a regular lamp projector for cheaper depending on where you shop.
What makes the E1Z different though and where I see the value in this sort of projector is its size and the fact that you can put it on a desk and start projecting.
Hell, you don’t even need a cable you can just download an app for your phone and start projecting.
For a small business I think this sort of tool is perfect as you don’t need to think about replacing projector lamps (which are very costly) or regular maintenance.
So yes, the E1Z is expensive but for what it offers up I think it is well worth the money.