ViewSonic M1+ Projector, Portable as Nintendo Switch! CES 2019
Co-op Anytime, Any Place!
Who knew I would be playing Mario Kart while at Dinner with ViewSonic? The M1+ is the latest in go-anywhere projectors from the company. Due to it’s ultra-portable design, it makes a perfect partner with the Nintendo Switch. All you have to do is plug the screen into the projector, and you’re ready to play a game with a friend on the spot. That may be impressive enough, but there are several reasons why this little guy is worth the price of admission.
Even though portability is nice, compatibility is important as well. The Switch has a USB type-C port that connects to the docking station. This is also the port that outputs video signal through the docking station. Normally, you would think you can plug a video device into the port and start playing. However, Nintendo seems to have made the communication on the port (and charging apparently) proprietary. As far as I know, there isn’t another projector that can plug directly to the USB C port and run off the Switch. ViewSonic updated the firmware in the M1+ so that it can use the Switch’s signal, without needing to dock the pad.
The M1 Projector is only $338 on ViewSonic’s site, though it lacks some of the features of the M1+. The updated model will retail around $549.99, which is a bit pricier than the previous version. That said, it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity which can open up portability options as well. Also, I can’t say for sure that the original M1 will work with the Switch or not. It might just need a firmware update, but we’ll update accordingly if we find out additional information.
M1+ Surprising Brightness
At 250 lumens, I would normally write the M1+ off as not being bright enough for gaming. As they say though, seeing is believing. Even though the room at the restaurant wasn’t particularly bright, it had enough light to easily see around the room. Another issue was that the M1+ was projecting onto a wood slat wall. The wood was unfinished, which made projecting anything on it that much worse.
Somehow, Mario Kart was coming through easily, in spite of the conditions being very sub par for a projector. Not only was the game playable, but the movement was remarkably smooth as well. This is probably do to the high refresh rate in the specs. At one point, I angled the projector to the ceiling to see the picture clear up a ton. The ceiling was a normal, painted wall. The reason for this is the LED lighting, versus traditional halogen bulbs in other projectors. The lighting has much better color saturation. Even though the lumens are significantly lower, the image appears brighter as a result.
ViewSonic ELITE Gaming Monitors
The M1+ wasn’t the only cool product shown off that night. ViewSonic also showed one of their ELITE gaming monitors. The other new one, the XG240R, was announced even though it wasn’t on display. Let’s start with that one, since it does one particular thing great for gamers. At first glance, we have a 24″ screen with a TN panel and a 144Hz refresh rate. Considering the $266 ESP, that may not sound too impressive. However, the backside of the monitor has RGB lighting that can sync with TT RGB Plus, Chroma and MasterPlus+. That kind of feature alone adds a ton to the price of other panels.
Whether RGB is your thing or not, the XG350R-C was a sight to behold. The 35″ panel comes in an ultra-wide format. With a 3440×1440 resolution, seeing everything on screen gets a whole lot easier. That said, I’m still a refresh snob. Even in AAA adventure titles, I want smooth frame rates. The monitor handles that nicely by giving a solid 100Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync technology. Even FPS titles will look rather nice, and the 1800R curvature helps ensure you can see the whole screen before going out of your peripheral vision. At an ESP of $716, I think that’s a heck of a deal.
Home Theater Projector and Content Creation Panel
That wasn’t everything ViewSonic had on display. There was also a home theater system in a projector that had a good sound system built in. It also had an android app ecosystem so you could stream to it. This made it work without hooking up any other equipment to it. They also had an ultra-wide screen geared towards color accuracy for content creators. All of that is in my video coverage of CES. Check it out and stay tuned for more info coming soon.