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Review: Viewsonic M1

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With the summer finally here in the region, many are either getting ready to fly off to cooler destinations for holidays or getting their camping gear ready to hit the desert. I love camping outdoors and even though the entire experience is excellent, something I miss is on the go entertainment. While you can certainly watch content on a smartphone, nothing beats watching a movie on a bigger screen with your family snuggled up beside you.

Viewsonic has a trick up its sleeve that solves this issue – it is called M1. The M1 is an ultra-portable LED projector that comes packed with dual Harman Kardon speakers built-in. This is a lightweight LED projector that is designed to deliver multimedia content for users on-the-go. The Viewsonic M1 is a compact and lightweight and weighs just 680 grams.

The Viewsonic M1 also features 250 ANSI lumens of brightness and offers a contrast ratio of 120,000:1. What’s more, it is also packed with a short-throw lens that can display large images in small spaces. The ViewSonic M1 comes with a built-in battery that provides up to six hours of power.

You also get 16GB of built-in storage, and LED technology that provides you with up to 30,000 hours of usage. Connectivity options on the Viewsonic M1 include HDMI, USB 2.0, and USB Type-C, audio out, and a microSD card reader.

The overall design and build quality of the M1 is good. The design includes a swivel stand, which can be used as a stand to prop the projector up, while also making it easy for you to carry it around. Once the projector is turned off, the swivel stand can be used to cover up its lens. 

The Viewsonic M1’s buttons are located at the back of the projector, while the ports are under a flap on the side. There are two 3W Harman Kardon speakers on the top, while the bottom features a tripod mount. Inside the box that the projector comes in, you also get a USB Type-C cable, an HDMI cable, a power brick and a cable for charging, and a cloth pouch to store the projector and carry it around in.

The Viewsonic M1 is not a full HD projector and hence it offers a maximum viewing resolution of 854×480 pixels. The projector can project a screen size of up to 100-inches in either the 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios, with a minimum throw distance of 1m. You also get auto keystone correction with the M1.

Even though the Viewsonic M1 is a portable LED projector, the quality of the projection was very good. It was bright enough even in a room with a little bit of sunlight peeping in. On a single charge, we were able to clock around 3.5 hours of battery life, which is lower than the advertised 6 hours of battery life. While there is an audio out to connect to external speakers, the M1 does not come with Bluetooth connectivity option.

The Viewsonic M1 is a good portable projector that offers a range of ports allowing you to get content for a wide range of sources. It also features a neat design and its simple UI is easy to get used to without any learning curve involved. For a price of AED 1300, the Viewsonic M1 can be a very good portable projector for home and office use.

Price: AED 1300

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Gadgets

BenQ Launches 4LED 4K HDR Gaming Projector X3000i

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BenQ has launched the X3000i, bringing the finest ever audio-visual performance to a grand projected scale. Gaming scenes are delivered on the X3000i with a 100% DCI-P3 wide colour gamut coverage powered by BenQ’s exclusive CinematicColor technology, which is paired with an enveloping treVolo sound system and an input lag as low as 4ms, allowing gamers to traverse to open-world games imbued with live realism.

BenQ has been a leader in various projector segments across the UAE, KSA, and even the entire Middle East market throughout 2021 as well as previous years before that. In UAE, BenQ achieved the leading spot as a No. 1 DLP Projector Brand (with 18% market share) as well as the No. 1 4K Projector Brand (with 26% market share). For KSA, BenQ was crowned as the No. 1 overall projector brand with a huge 44.5% market share, along with being the No. 1 4K Projector Brand (with 51% market share) and the No. 1 Portable Projector Brand (with 48% market share). BenQ remained the No. 1 DLP Projector Brand with 17% market share as well as the No. 1 4K Projector Brand with 24% market share across the Middle East region for 2021.

Their latest projection solutions come with various nuanced BenQ features that we’ve come to expect from the world-class projector brand. For a truly immersive gaming experience, the X3000i draws gamers deeply into the plot with authentic colours balanced with true 4K UHD, high 3000-lumen visual brightness, and a crisp 500,000:1 super high contrast ratio with Dynamic Black algorithms. It comes equipped with 3D readiness and projector-optimized HDR with HDR10 / HLG support to ensure futureproof visual performance, while the 4LED light source with auto colour calibration guarantees years of gaming enjoyment.

“Leading the X series with an unprecedented combination of cinematic images and realistic sounds, along with the lag-free control that comes from 4ms response time at 240Hz frame rate,” said Manish Bakshi, Managing Director, BenQ Middle East & Turkey. “X3000i invites gamers to expand into infinite gaming universes and realize a game’s full potential” he added.

Adding to the visual with audio enhancement, X3000i fully envelopes players in powerful 5W x 2 stereo speakers that are tuned by BenQ’s treVolo audio team and enhanced by Bongiovi DSP (Digital Signal Processor) with Dynamic Stereo Enhancement, offering aural details with more surrounded, three-dimensional game sounds. Audio can be output to an external sound system via HDMI eARC for the ultimate cinematic experience.

Styled in dynamic design to complement any gamer’s décor and setup flexibility of 1.3x zoom, 2D keystone, and advanced AV connectivity, X3000i’s 4LED light source provides over 30,000 hours or 10+ years of vibrant colours and gorgeous gaming quality without lamp replacement cost. Console gamers who play for hours can carefully explore the storyline and show the world who they aspire to be with no hassle.

The realness of all interactions can be further discovered through role-playing, first-person shooter, and sports games as BenQ’s X3000i is equipped with specially-designed preset game modes. The depth, clarity, definition, and presence of the surrounding deep bass background music, approaching footsteps and clear vocals are emphasized respectively, with the true colours the games originally intend to display. These carefully calibrated settings are also applicable in models such as TK700STi and TK700 in the TK Series as well as TH Series, complementing a full projector lineup that’s dedicated to gaming.

The TK700 low input lag projector enables gamers to win big in true 4K resolution that is paired with the lowest 16ms input lag possible at that quality. It comes with a Game Mode for detailed clarity with optimal colours in dark scenes. The TK700STi on the other hand is the world’s first 4K HDR Gaming Projector packing the same superior features as the TK700, but with exceptional short-throw capabilities & embedded Android TV. BenQ’s lineup also includes a 3500lm high brightness HDR console gaming projector, the TH685i powered by Android TV and comes with dedicated gaming modes.

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Gadgets

Samsung Intros The Freestyle in the UAE

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Samsung Gulf Electronics today announced the launch of the latest addition to its Lifestyle Portfolio – The Freestyle – a highly anticipated, first of its kind technology that “was sold out within the first two days of its pre-order,” according to the company. The Freestyle is a compact, portable projector that can be used anywhere, anytime, according to the user’s lifestyle, preferences, and personal style.

With incredibly lightweight portability, The Freestyle goes beyond the scope of conventional projectors to deliver a truly immersive entertainment experience. Mustafa Sadick, Regional Director Head of Visual Display Group, Samsung Gulf Electronics said: “One of our key goals for display is to go beyond the capabilities of regular devices to give consumers the freedom to customize and consume content wherever, whenever, and however they want. We are excited to launch The Freestyle and look forward to consumers discovering its truly revolutionary features – helping them to transform their space and express themselves with the infinite possibilities of the next-generation portable screen made to fit their lifestyles.”

The Freestyle makes big-screen streaming easier than ever, no matter how much space you have. Enjoy watching content on a large screen (up to 100 inches) anytime, anywhere. Using the Scale & Move feature, you can scale the projected display size up to 50% and move the screen without ever moving the projector. Why not take a trip down memory lane by browsing your family photo albums using The Freestyle’s mirroring feature for Android and iOS devices? Through smartphone mirroring, you can even video call your friends and family on a large screen.

Designed for portability, The Freestyle automatically adjusts the level, focus, and keystone as soon as you touch the power button for a quick and hassle-free setup. It also freely rotates up to 180 degrees, allowing you to find the perfect position without moving the projector. Easily change the angle to display content anywhere in your home, whether it’s on the wall, the ceiling, the floor, or the table. You can also power on and off the device using only your voice, so it’s perfect for when you’re ready to fall asleep. You can ask questions, listen to music, or open apps with ease using voice commands.

The Freestyle has an ambient mode that allows you to customize your space with mood lighting effects. You can also create your own unique home interior by projecting something onto the curtains or blinds, adding style and personality to your living space. With high-quality sound and Bluetooth connectivity, The Freestyle is a great choice to play music at your next party.

Comparable to the high-performance portable Bluetooth speakers out in the market, The Freestyle’s powerful built-in speakers deliver rich 360-degree sound, so you can experience immersive audio from wherever you’re sitting. This ultraportable, smart TV projector combines high-quality visuals and immersive audio to deliver an entire entertainment experience. Blast your favorite playlist through The Freestyle’s speaker and turn your get-together into a night you’ll never forget.

With The Freestyle, you can create your own space for watching content anywhere, whether indoors or outdoors. With its compact size and minimal weight of only 830 grams, this portable projector is super convenient to pack. Whether it’s your friend’s place, a hotel abroad, or even outdoors, now it’s easier, faster, and more convenient than ever to stream your favorite content as if you are at home. Using the Tap View feature in the SmartThings app on your smartphone, simply connect The Freestyle to your mobile device to access the exact User Interface of your Samsung Smart TV.

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News

Samsung’s “The Freestyle” is Now Available for Pre-Order Across the UAE

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Samsung Electronics has launched a portable and smart projector called “The Freestyle”. The projector can be adjusted to be used at any angle. Mustafa Sadick, Regional Director Head of Visual Display Group, Samsung Gulf Electronics, said, “Consumers today are embracing a lifestyle that offers flexibility in terms of work and play. The Freestyle is a one-of-a-kind projector geared towards versatility to meet the consumers’ changing lifestyles. The Freestyle is a fun and versatile device that can be used in any way consumers prefer – offering them an opportunity to showcase their individuality.”

The Freestyle versatility is embodied by its form factor, design, and innovative features. It weighs in at just 830 grams, is portable enough to carry in one hand, and has the ability to rotate 180 degrees, enabling users to show high-quality video anywhere – tables, floors, walls, or even ceilings – no separate screen required.

For an ideal watching experience in any conditions, The Freestyle features an auto keystone and auto-leveling functions that display a 16:9-ratio screen, up to 100 inches in size, anywhere without distortion. The projector automatically focuses to ensure a clear screen and retains its level to prevent any inconveniences in viewing. This function helps users display the screen from all kinds of different positions.

The Freestyle also offers Smart TV features that are available on Samsung Smart TVs, with built-in streaming services and mirroring and casting features that are compatible with both Android and iOS mobile devices. The Freestyle is the industry’s first portable projector that is certified by global major OTT partners, providing customers with the best content viewing experience.

The Freestyle is also compatible with external batteries that support USB-PD and 50W/20V output or above. This allows users to take it with them anywhere – whether they are on the move, on a camping trip, or otherwise out and about. When it’s not used as a projector to stream content, or for those who are looking to relax, The Freestyle also provides a mood lighting effect thanks to its ambient mode and translucent lens cap.

The Freestyle is priced at AED 3499 and will be available for pre-order through Samsung’s brand shops as well as major retailers in the UAE and Samsung.com.

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