Q: A couple of years ago, you wrote about a tiny, battery-powered projector that will fit in a briefcase. As part of my job, I do presentations to small groups, and such a projector would be perfect for showing pictures and videos of our beautiful facility. What is the name of the projector, is it still on the market and is it suitable for this purpose?
A: The projector was the Asus ZenBeam E1, and it is still around. It would work for what you describe as long as you have a white wall or screen to use with it. While the image quality is good, the resolution does not rate as high-definition, and connectivity is somewhat limited. If you get one, you should plan on using it with a computer incorporating an HDMI output. The Asus ZenBeam E1 is $269 (asus.com).
But before you reach for that credit card, you should know that now you can get a far more compelling small projector, one that will look better, sound better and be easier to use, especially for your application. In fact, to call it a projector does not do it justice. It's really a complete home entertainment system packaged in a single device approximately the size and shape of a soda can. It's also one of the single most satisfying, entertaining and well thought-out products I have tested in a long time.
It is called the Nebula Capsule Max, from Anker. It is a true high-definition DLP projector with 720p resolution, capable of putting up a sharp, colorful image 100 inches in size. It has built-in Wi-Fi and apps for streaming, an HDMI input and a USB input that makes it perfect for your work pictures and videos because you can just put them on a flash drive and plug them in to the Capsule Max for playback.
It also has a built-in battery that can power it up to four hours, depending on the selected brightness. Use it plugged in for maximum brightness without a time limitation. It also can work as a Bluetooth audio speaker.
On top of that, it also automatically focuses and applies keystone correction, so you have a perfect image without effort. From a tactile standpoint, it has the solid, flawless quality one associates with high-end electronics.
I recently took the Capsule Max on a trip out of town. To unwind in the evening, I put it on a chair away from the wall, booted it up and connected it to the hotel Wi-Fi. I then used the included remote to log in to Hulu and Amazon Prime, dimmed the lights and enjoyed some of my favorite television shows and movies projected to home theater size.
It sells for $469 (seenebula.com). Granted, that's $200 more than the ZenBeam E1, but I believe it is money well spent. The ability to use it with a USB flash drive to do your presentations is a convenience you will really appreciate in the long run. Add in the better picture quality and other enhancements and you have an unbeatable package that excels at both work and play.
Send questions to Don Lindich at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get recommendations and read past columns at soundadvicenews.com.